Cliftonville’s Rory Donnelly visualized after scoring 4 very first half goals saw Cliftonville book their location in the final of the Tennent’s Irish Cup as they dispatched Champion side Loughgall 4-1 at The Oval.
Joe Gormley and Rory Donnelly both netted braces for the Reds, while Andrew Hoey’s strike was scant consolation for the Blues who had winger Peter Campbell dispatched in the late stages of the game.21 seconds were all that Cliftonville had to take the lead, a blistering start directly from the kick off seeing Chris Curran cross into the middle and, after Conor McDonald missed the header, Gormley rifled house on the turn.Five minutes later they had a 2nd, some fantastic work from Jay Donnelly putting namesake Rory through on Gareth Buchanan and the Reds man curled his shot past the keeper in spite of slipping as he pulled the trigger.The visitors
‘ discipline was letting them down, with a string of yellow cards injuring them, before Gormley included a mind-blowing 3rd, linking well with Rory Donnelly then sending out a beautiful 25 backyard lob over the head of the advancing Buchanan and into the net.Conor Mullen missed out on a remarkable chance to pull one back for the visitors, heading over entirely unmarked from six backyards, prior to they did get a goal on the half hour when Mullen succeeded to keep the ball in and, after Gary Liggett struck the bar, Andrew Hoey was on hand to put in the rebound.The resurgence was short-lived and 5 minutes later Buchanan talented Rory Donnelly his second, the keeper striking a clearance straight at Jay Donnelly and his cross was guided in by Rory despite Buchanan’s best shots to get back.What the very first half had in objectives, the second half entirely lacked.
Gormley raised another lob over the head of Buchanan only to see this one fall inches large of the posts however opportunities were at a premium in the second.Indeed, the best opportunity once again dropped to Gormley when a bobbling ball evaded two Loughgall protectors
and was up to the striker on the 6 yard line just for Buchanan to pull off a stunning point blank save from the volley.Any slim opportunities of a Loughgall return ended when Peter Campbell lost his cool at referee Keith Kennedy nine minutes from time, the winger receiving two yellow cards in the area of a couple of seconds to receive his marching orders.Instead it’s Barry Gray’s side who progress to the final at Windsor Park in Might where they’ll be seeking to complete their up-and-down season on a high versus Coleraine.CLIFTONVILLE: Neeson, McGovern (Grimes, 78 mins), Ives, Harney, Curran( Lavery, 75 minutes), Bagnall, Gormley, J Donnelly, Cosgrove, McDonald, R Donnelly(Winchester, 63 minutes). Subs not utilized: Mooney, G Donnelly, Garrett, A Donnelly.LOUGHGALL: Buchanan, Montgomery, Rea, Copeland, Stewart, Dallas, Mullen(Ferris, 66 minutes), Ferguson, Liggett, Hoey (McDonald, 78 minutes),
Campbell.Subs not used: Ballard, Neill, McMaster, Stratton, Robinson.Man of the Match: Joe Gormley(Cliftonville)Referee: Keith Kennedy (Lisburn)Here’s the match as it happened: Belfast Telegraph Digital