Belfast Telegraph

Glentoran defender Taylor hopes first final will be a winning one

By Graham Luney

Footballers will not forget the first time — the first time they get their hands on a winner’s medal.

Glentoran centre-back Johnny Taylor didn’t play enough league games last season to properly bask in the glory of a championship win but tomorrow he hopes to savour the sweet taste of success.

A bad knee injury to skipper Paul Leeman has thrust the spotlight on the Glentoran rearguard and their backline is expected to be tested by the attacking threat posed by Stephen Carson, Rory Patterson and Darren Boyce.

But Scott Young’s men have a spring in their step after blowing the title race wide open with a win over Cliftonville on Tuesday night while leaders Linfield faltered against Glenavon.

“We know we are going to have to defend very well,” said Taylor.

“With the likes of Stephen Carson and Rory (Patterson) up front we know we are going to have to be at the top of our game.

“Hopefully we can keep a clean sheet and come out winners.

“I didn’t play enough games in the league last season to get a medal so hopefully this will be my first one.

“It will be a first major cup final for myself and it will be a big day for myself and the team.”

Taylor didn’t play in the 6-0 defeat to Coleraine earlier in the campaign but he doesn’t need any reminder of it. Only Linfield have scored more goals than the Bannsiders this season and the east Belfast side will have to silence some of the best attacking players in the domestic game to guarantee some silverware in what has been a frustrating campaign.

“It’s difficult to bounce back from a big setback but you have to be strong,” he added.

“Everyone was very down and hurting after that game but we had to bounce back. Although I didn’t play in the game I was hurt myself. We are all in this together and hopefully when Saturday comes we can get the victory.”

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