Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Glentoran have the quality to take All-Ireland final place: Leeman

Darryl Fordyce celebrates his goal against St Patrick's Athletic in the Setanta Sports Cup last night
Darryl Fordyce celebrates his goal against St Patrick's Athletic in the Setanta Sports Cup last night

Glentoran skipper Paul Leeman believes he and his team mates have the ability to make it through to the final of the Setanta Sports Cup after last night’s sensational win over St Pat’s at the Oval.

The Glens turned in a truly amazing performance of quality, skill and guts, led by the magnificent Leeman, to make it through to the final four of the competition for the first time thanks to Daryl Fordyce’s early winner against the Dubliners.

And now the die-hard Glenman has his sights on a showpiece decider and perhaps the chance to emulate Linfield’s victory in the competition in 2005.

“We are delighted to get through to the semi-final, we have taken the club to a new level but we aren't finished,” said Leeman.

“It's there for us now – we were dead and buried in the group and to be honest the pressure was probably off us because no one expected us to qualify so we were able to go out and express ourselves.

“Now there is a wee bit of pressure involved – it is a semi-final, there's a lot at stake and we are really looking forward to it and hopefully the fans will go down there with us and back us all the way.

“We are one step from the final, we've got the quality there, so why not – let's give it a go.

“This is one of the only trophies that I haven't won. Myself, Colin Nixon, Elliott Morris, Michael Halliday, we have been lucky to win almost everything there is to win in local football but we've all failed to achieve in the Setanta.

“Two or three games ago no-one gave us a chance and now we have managed to qualify by beating St Pat's who were probably favourites in the group so we are delighted.

“As well as that, coming off the back of a 4-1 win over Linfield as well I think we deserve to be in the semis.”

Having put one of the best teams on the island to the sword, Leeman says the Glens can use this display as a catalyst for success this season.

“It was a great team performance as well as having great individual performances – everyone from Elliott Morris in goal, the defence, midfield, the two boys up front, everyone played their part.

“It was one of those games where everything clicked.

“That's the sort of performance that we were putting in at the back end of last season when we went on a run and that's what we have to do every game.

“It's going to take another performance like that to get through to the final, but we believe we can do it.”

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