It’s Quarter Finals day in this season’s Tennent’s Irish Cup and Mourneview Park welcomes the visit of Loughgall FC who are Glenavon’s opponents.
Having been knocked out of last season’s Irish Cup by the Welders, and going out of this season’s League Cup on penalties to Annagh United, there should be absolutely no complacency among the Glenavon ranks as they take on the Championship 1 side.
The Villagers are well placed in the Championship 1 table, currently lying in 4th place and just two points behind HW Welders who are in second place. Loughgall have come through three rounds to get to the Quarter Final, beating Trojans 2-1 in the 4th Round, thumping fancied Larne 5-2 in the 5th Round before knocking out PSNI 2-0 in Round 6.
Leading striker Warner Mullen is one to watch along with strike partner Daniel Ryans in the visitor’s ranks and keep an eye out for on-loan Glenavon starlet Jamie Rea. Mullan bagged a hat-trick in the Villager’s last league outing in a 5-1 victory against Lisburn Distillery and Rea was also on the score sheet against the Whites.
All those cup games were at Lakeview Park and, in contrast, this is Glenavon’s first home tie of the competition since January 2014. There was certainly no sign of complacency as The Lurgan Blues defeated last year’s nemesis Welders 4-1 at Tillysburn before knocking out the holders Glentoran in an emphatic 4-1 victory at The Oval.
Loughgall First team coach Stephen Hawe and Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton are old friends having both been in digs together when they were at Blackburn Rovers. “Stevie and I were at Blackburn for four years together with Johnny Topley and Garth Scates, all of whom have played for Glenavon at some stage” Gary told us. “He’s a good lad and he’s done a great job with Loughgall and they are flying high at the moment. I’ll have a drink with him after the game, hopefully after we’ve won!
“Before the season kicked off people were saying they were candidates for relegation but Stephen has them doing well in the league and he’s taken them to an Irish Cup quarter final. We know all the pressure is on us tomorrow as whatever happens, Loughgall will come out with a lot of credit just for getting this far. We have to be professional and believe in our ability. Although we’ll keep trying to move up the league, the Irish Cup is our main chance of a trophy and on our day we are capable of beating any team.
“We’ve done our homework on them and we need to go out and show the same hunger, work-rate, desire and mentality that we show in every game in the Premiership, no matter who the opposition.
“It’s a special day for the Farren’s,” Gary continued.” and we hope we can give them something to smile about after the sad and difficult times they’ve been through.”
Gary is hoping to complete the signing tomorrow of a player with “massive experience of playing at a higher level than the Irish League.” Gary describes him as a ‘utility’ player who can play as a defender or midfielder and also has played as a striker. “With injuries and suspensions we need the cover, ” Gary concluded.
|Referee||Assistant 1||Assistant 2||4th Official|
|Arnold Hunter||Richard Storey||Gareth Eakin||Tim Marshall|
The Match and Ball Sponsors are Terri and Mark Farren and First Class Builders (Don Holmes). Before he passed away it had been Mark’s intention to Sponsor a game to thank Glenavon for the Club’s support during his illness and it is Terri ‘s wish that Mark and her are both shown as sponsors. The Glenavon Man of the Match award is sponsored by Bleary-based Craigavon Koi and Aquatics.