Belfast Telegraph

Hitman Mark Patton is hungry to grab headlines again

By Graham Luney

Two years ago, Mark Patton was an Irish Cup hero for Glenavon, netting big goals in the semi-final and final victories over Crusaders and Ballymena United but now the versatile performer faces a fight to make the squad for today's showpiece clash with Linfield.

The 26-year-old knows he can make a big impact on the big occasion - he has proved it at Windsor Park more than once - but such is the wealth of talent at manager Gary Hamilton's disposal that there are a few class acts fearing they could be left out of the side to take on David Healy's men.

Patton will need to use all his persuasive powers to be handed the chance to shoot down Linfield but Hamilton knows all about the strengths of one of the heroes from two years ago.

"I've only mentioned it to Gary once or twice that I scored the winner in the final two years ago - once or twice a day," said Patton.

"It was obviously a great moment for myself and if I'm getting a bit of banter aimed at me it's always nice to throw that one at them, that I scored the winner in the Irish Cup final.

"It was a great day for myself personally and an even better day for the fans."

Patton added: "Windsor Park is looking great and it's going to be a great game played in front of a big crowd, with both sets of fans getting behind their team.

"When we won the trophy two years ago the fans were brilliant but there will be an even bigger crowd on Saturday."

• Glenavon defender Conor Dillon will travel to Australia for a year once the Irish Cup final is over.

Belfast Telegraph


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