Glenavon’s exciting 3-2 victory at the Coleraine Showgrounds in the BetMcLean League Cup quarter finals has set up a mouthwatering Mid-Ulster derby semi-final against Portadown, probably on Tuesday 16th January 2024. The venue will be Mourneview Park.

All Glenavon’s goalscorers in the 3-2 victory against Coleraine have passed their totals for the whole of last season. Midfielder Jack Malone has notched seven goals to date, including one penalty-kick. Last term he was on target five times, including one penalty-kick. Teenager Aaron Prendergast has now scored six goals since August. The Belfast man found the net three times last term. Cohen Henderson’s late winner was his second of the season. In 2022-23 he found the net once.

It is the first time that the Lurgan Blues have reached a major knock-out semi-final since the 2016-17 Irish Cup meeting with Coleraine at the Warden Street Showgrounds. On that occasion James McLaughlin scored a late winner after James Singleton had cancelled out Brad Lyons’ opener.

The forthcoming BetMcLean League Cup semi-final will be the first major cup tie between the Mid-Ulster giants since the 2016-17 Irish Cup quarter final. On that occasion goals by Joel Cooper (2), Ciaran Martyn, James Singleton and Mark Sykes helped Glenavon to win 5-0 at Shamrock Park. A certain Robbie Garrett played for Portadown.

The last time Glenavon and Portadown met at the semi-final stage of a major tournament was during the 1995-96 season. Then the clubs drew 1-1 at the Oval before the blue half of Craigavon triumphed 4-1 in the replay. Stephen McBride scored a magnificent volley in the first meeting. Loanee Danny Shipp (2), Glenn Ferguson and Lee Doherty were on target in the replay. Glenavon lost the 1995-96 Irish Cup Final 1-0 against Glentoran.