Belfast Telegraph

Glentoran survivor Marcus Kane hoping to deliver on big stage at Irish Cup

By Graham Luney

Marcus Kane scored the winner against Portadown in the 2013 Irish Cup semi-final at Windsor Park - and now he's dreaming of going one better by repeating the feat in the season's decider at The Oval!

Glentoran's number three is one of the few survivors from the side that shattered Cliftonville's hopes of winning the treble two years ago.

The left-back has come a long way since his days wrestling for honours at Shankill Juniors and he could really hit the big time tomorrow afternoon.

"This will be my second Irish Cup final after playing in 2013," said the 23-year-old.

"Other than Stephen McAlorum, Jay Magee, Elliott Morris and Jim O'Hanlon few of us have memories from that day and the squad is completely different now.

"I think we were written off in 2013, but the boys had the belief we could cause an upset.

"My confidence was very high at the time because I had scored the winner against Portadown in the semi-final.

"I was buzzing at the time and hopefully I can score the winner on Saturday.

"There is the added incentive of qualifying for Europe so hopefully we can deliver.

The Glens weren't even expected to reach the final, but saw off champions Crusaders in the last four to book their place in the showpiece.

"We had a gameplan against Crusaders and it worked very well," said Kane.

"We looked at how we should be defending against their strikeforce and the homework paid off."

Kane, who has made more than 100 appearances for the Glens, is confident the young players in red, green and black will not be overawed by the occasion.

"We do have the younger side and they have more experience in their ranks, including boys who have played in cup finals, but I'm confident the pressure won't get to our boys," added Kane.

"Young players play without fear and just express themselves.

"They have done the business in big matches including the semi-final so they can handle the occasion.

"My fiancee Amy and daughter Mollie should be there and it's a great family occasion which we intend to enjoy."

Around 8,300 fans will pack into The Oval and it promises to be a colourful occasion.

The Ports are upset the Glens were handed home advantage but the east-Belfast side pushed for the Kingspan Stadium to be use.

Kane added: "I think the IFA's hands were tied a bit, but when there was talk of a fans' boycott that shows you the strength of feeling among the supporters, but games between the sides at The Oval have been fiercely contested and this will be no different."

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