Belfast Telegraph

Students easily make the grade against Distillery

Lisburn Distillery 0 Queen's University 2

By Keith Bailie

Queen's University manager Peter Thompson is hoping that his clubs' remarkable Irish Cup run will attract more players to the club.

Queen's booked their place in the last eight of the country's premier cup competition with a stunning 2-0 win over Lisburn Distillery at Ballyskeagh, thanks to goals from ex Larne forward Bertie Fulton and Michael Allison.

Manager Thompson believes the clubs' unique selection policy helps to foster a good atmosphere.

“We've had debates in the past about whether we should open the club up to non-students, but at the moment you either need to be a student or a graduate. Against Distillery, we had 10 students and six graduates in the squad. They've all studied at either Queen's, St. Mary's or Stranmillis.

“It can be a hindrance at times, but I also think it helps our team spirit. You'd be surprised by how many players actually qualify to play for us.

“I hope this cup run sends out a signal to other graduates and students, who are perhaps playing at other Championship clubs. Why would you not want to play for Queen's University when you consider the quality of facilities, coaching and players at the club?”

Thompson himself was reluctant to take credit for the win.

“All credit to our players, I can talk about preparation and training, but they're the ones who put the work in.

“I must say, I've a fantastic bunch of lads here. They want to learn, you can't ask for more than that as a manager.

“We were comfortable from the first whistle, and to be honest it was probably one of the most comfortable games we've had all season. Sometimes, this year, we've scrapped past teams by the odd goal, but Distillery never threatened us.

“With 25 minutes left we thought they were going to throw the kitchen sink at us, but it never happened.”

Queen's took the lead in the first half when Bertie Fulton knocked home an Aaron Thompson flick-on. The second goal arrived seven minutes into the second period, when Distillery keeper Ryan McBride felled James Lavery inside the area.

McBride saved Lavery's spot kick, but Allison was on hand to turn the ball into the net.

Allison goal set up a Quarter-Final tie at The Dub against the winners of the replay between Warrenpoint Town and Bangor, which will take place at Clandeboye Park next Monday.

The exciting cup tie was marred by the news that Distillery boss Tommy Kincaid suffered a heart attack in the build up to the game.

Thompson said: “I was wondering why Tommy wasn't at the game today, I thought he was maybe on holiday, but when I heard the news, everything else paled into insignificance. Everybody at our football club would like to wish Tommy a speedy recovery. Football takes a back seat when you hear news like that.”

The former Ards and Glenavon manager is said to be in a stable condition. 

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