Belfast Telegraph

McCabe in mood to upset Ballinamallard

By Stuart McKinley

Shane McCabe is determined to take Glenavon on an Irish Cup run – and the midfield battler doesn't care who he upsets.

McCabe would rather win football matches than friends and he could well get on the wrong side of his neighbours tomorrow afternoon too when the Lurgan Blues take on Ballinamallard United in round six.

While that means a short trip for the Enniskillen native, he wants to go on a long journey in the cup.

"It's a great draw for me personally because I love going to Ferney Park. I loved it when I played there for Ballinamallard United and I love going there to play against them," said McCabe.

"The best bit about it is that I can leave the house at 1.30pm to get to the game – although I don't have much chance of a lie in with a three-year-old running about from eight o'clock in the morning.

"I was close to signing for Ballinamallard in the summer and I probably would have done only for Gary Hamilton, but I am a Glenavon player now and all I am interested in is winning this game for our supporters.

"I know a lot of the Ballinamallard players and I'll have friends and neighbours at the game.

"A few of my close friends would be big Ballinamallard supporters and there'll be a good bit of banter around the local area.

"I love that though, it keeps it fun, but I'll be hoping to have the last laugh on them."

Glenavon reached six Irish Cup finals in 11 seasons from 1988 to 1998 – winning it twice – but they haven't been near a Windsor Park decider since.

McCabe was there in 2007 with Dungannon Swifts and his motivation now is to cure a personal seven-year itch.

"We went on a great run with Dungannon and although Adam McMinn wouldn't be renowned for how well he strikes the ball, I knew when he went up to take the penalty in the semi-final against Cliftonville that he would score," said McCabe.

"We should have beaten Linfield in the final too. When it went to penalties we were confident and then we scored our first two and they missed both of theirs.

"We didn't score another one after that and it all ended in disappointment.

"I was in the Glentoran team that lost to Donegal Celtic in the quarter-finals a few years ago too and that hurt.

"The Glenavon fans deserve a good run in the cup and it would be a great reward for all the people who do so much work behind the scenes to make it a great club to play for.

"We won't dream too much yet though because you can end up with egg on your face."

e MARK Farren has announced his retirement from the game due to health reasons.

The 31-year-old striker was diagnosed with a brain tumour six years ago, but returned to play for Derry City before moving to Glenavon 12 months ago.

He recently underwent preventative surgery, followed by a course of radiotherapy after a routine six-monthly brain scan found an irregularity.

Belfast Telegraph


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