Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Glentoran star Boyce not scared of penalty agony

Glentoran's Darren Boyce has put the nightmare of missing in two penalty shoot-outs behind him

Darren Boyce is ready to face the pressure if he’s put on the spot again.

The Glentoran forward insists that the penalty nightmare that he experienced twice while playing against the Glens has been well and truly put behind him since he returned for a second spell at the Oval.

In between his two stints in east-Belfast Boyce suffered penalty shoot-out agony when he missed from the spot in the Co-operative Insurance Cup final of 2010 and again in last season’s thrilling Irish Cup quarter-final between Coleraine and the Glens.

Tonight Scott Young takes his in-form Glentoran side to Lisburn Distillery for a Paddy Power County Antrim Shield semi-final (7.45) and Boyce is ready to step up if the contest goes all the way to penalties.

And with the Glens being the current holders of the Shield the Whites can’t expect to be granted anything like a simple path to the final, against either Cliftonville or Linfield.

“I was gutted after the two penalties I missed against Glentoran,” said Boyce.

“In between the one in the Cup final and then the Irish Cup game against Glentoran last season I didn’t take another penalty, but I was still happy to go up and take it.

“I thought I’d got over the first miss, but I hadn’t.

“In my first game back at Glentoran, against Bangor in a pre-season friendly, we got a penalty and I was keen to take it.

“It was a no pressure game and I thought it was a good opportunity to get the penalty thing out of my head.

“Fortunately I scored it and that helped me get over the misses that I’d had previously.

“Then when our Europa League game went to penalties I was more than happy to take one and again I scored, so I think I’ve definitely overcome the mental side of things now.

“I definitely feel better about taking penalties and I’m happy to put myself up to take one again if I have to.”

The Glens head to Ballyskeagh on the back of a four-match winning run. Indeed they’ve won seven times in their last nine outings, including a 5-0 win over the Whites just over a fortnight ago.

They’ve averaged four goals a game in that nine-match spell and Boyce was among the scorers in Saturday’s 5-0 triumph away to Dungannon Swifts.

“We’re playing well and we’re winning games, which is always good,” said Boyce.

“I am enjoying my football and although I’ve been in and out of the team a bit I know that with the squad we have that might happen on occasions during the season.

“I’m glad that I decided to come back to Glentoran. It was the right move for me and hopefully we can go on and win things.”

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