Belfast Telegraph

Past misery won't affect us, insists Crusaders' ace Paul Heatley

Carrick Rangers 0-3 Crusaders

By Graham Luney

Mid-Ulster was the place to be on Saturday for sensational developments in our domestic game. Meanwhile, on Belfast's Shore Road, the league's most talented player, Paul Heatley, gave another predictable display of brilliance.

Last season's Player of the Year blasted Crusaders into another Irish Cup semi-final and their opponents are Glenavon again after the Lurgan Blues had the last laugh two years ago en route to winning the decider against Ballymena United.

Heatley's old club, Carrick Rangers, feared he would torment them again after scoring four goals in a league clash earlier in the season and they were right to be alarmed.

The 28-year-old took his tally for the season to 17 with a brace and Diarmuid O'Carroll also netted a deserved goal while Aaron Smyth and Brian McCaul were both sent off for Rangers.

"It was a good convincing, strong performance from the team," said Heatley.

"A hat-trick is always nice but it's not about the individual, it's a team game and Diarmuid O'Carroll certainly deserves a goal for his performance which was inspirational.

"We had Jordan Owens sitting on the bench and there is great depth and quality in the team which is why we are sitting in number one spot in the league.

"The club are always ambitious, we have been successful in Europe and winning the league and Irish Cup are key targets.

"It will be a tough test against Glenavon but hopefully we can make another final. Players want to win everything regardless of what has happened in the past."

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