Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Irish Cup Final: Wondrous occasion rescues Cup's lustre as Glentoran defeat Cliftonville 3 - 1

Glentoran's Jimmy Callacher celebrates scoring against Cliftonville during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park
Glentoran's Jimmy Callacher celebrates scoring against Cliftonville during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Glentoran's and Cliftonville's during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast. Photo Kirth Ferris/Pacemaker Press
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Cliftonville's Barry Johnston during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Glentoran's Jimmy Callacher celebrates their third goal during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Glentoran fans during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Glentoran's Jimmy Callacher celebrates their third goal during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Cliftonville's Barry Johnston with Glentoran's Stephen Carson during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Cliftonville's Barry Johnston with Glentoran's Stephen Carson during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 - Marie Curie Irish cup final between Cliftonville and Glentoran at Windsor park Belfast. Cliftonvilles Captain George McMullan lies injured while team mates celebrate Joe Gormleys opening goal
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 - Marie Curie Irish cup final between Cliftonville and Glentoran at Windsor park Belfast. Cliftonvilles Ciaran Caldwell in action with Glentorans Jason Hill
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 - Marie Curie Irish cup final between Cliftonville and Glentoran at Windsor park Belfast. Cliftonvilles Ciaran Caldwell in action with Glentorans Jason Hill
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 - Marie Curie Irish cup final between Cliftonville and Glentoran at Windsor park Belfast. Cliftonvilles George McMullan in action with Glentorans Jason Hill
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 - Marie Curie Irish cup final between Cliftonville and Glentoran at Windsor park Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 - Marie Curie Irish cup final between Cliftonville and Glentoran at Windsor park Belfast. Cliftonvilles George McMullan in action with Glentorans Stephen Carson
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Cliftonville fans during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Glentoran's Jimmy Callacher and Cliftonville's Joe Gormley during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Glentoran's Jay Magee and Cliftonville's Marc Smyth during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Cliftonville's Joe Gormley opens the scoring during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Cliftonville fans during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 - Loyalists take part in a protest in south Belfast this afternoon after the Irish Football Association said the national anthem would not be played at the Irish Cup Final between Cliftonville and Glentoran at Windsor Park this afternoon.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Glentoran's Andrew waterworth celebrates a goal during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Glentoran's Jimmy Callacher celebrates scoring against Cliftonville during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Glentoran's Andrew Waterworth makes it 1-1 during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Glentoran's Jimmy Callacher celebrates scoring against Cliftonville during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Glentoran's Andrew Waterworth makes it 1-1 during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Glentoran's Jimmy Callacher celebrates scoring against Cliftonville during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Glentoran's Andrew Waterworth makes it 1-1 during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Glentoran's Jimmy Callacher celebrates scoring against Cliftonville during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Glentoran's Andrew Waterworth celebrates scoring against Cliftonville during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Glentoran's Andrew Waterworth celebrates scoring against Cliftonville during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Glentoran's Andrew Waterworth celebrates scoring against Cliftonville during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Glentoran's and Cliftonville's during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 - Marie Curie Irish cup final between Cliftonville and Glentoran at Windsor park Belfast. Cliftonvilles Ciatran Caldwell in action with Glentorans Jason Hill
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Glentoran's Andrew Waterworth celebrates scoring against Cliftonville during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Glentoran's Andrew Waterworth makes it 1-1 during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Glentoran's Andrew Waterworth celebrates scoring against Cliftonville during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Glentoran's Andrew Waterworth celebrates scoring against Cliftonville during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 - Marie Curie Irish cup final between Cliftonville and Glentoran at Windsor park Belfast. Cliftonvilles Ciaran Caldwell in action with Glentorans Stephen Carson
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Glentoran's Andrew Waterworth celebrates scoring against Cliftonville during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Glentoran's Andrew Waterworth makes it 1-1 during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Glentoran's Andrew Waterworth scoring against Cliftonville during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Cliftonville fans during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Glentoran's and Cliftonville's during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 - .Marie Curie Irish cup final between Cliftonville and Glentoran at Windsor park Belfast. Cliftonvilles Joe Gormley puts the reds one up . Picture by Stephen Hamilton/ Presseye.com
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Cliftonville's Barry Johnston with Glentoran's Jason Hill during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 - Loyalists take part in a protest in south Belfast this afternoon after the Irish Football Association said the national anthem would not be played at the Irish Cup Final between Cliftonville and Glentoran at Windsor Park this afternoon. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 - Loyalists take part in a protest in south Belfast this afternoon after the Irish Football Association said the national anthem would not be played at the Irish Cup Final between Cliftonville and Glentoran at Windsor Park this afternoon.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Glentoran's Stephen Carson during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 - Loyalists take part in a protest in south Belfast this afternoon after the Irish Football Association said the national anthem would not be played at the Irish Cup Final between Cliftonville and Glentoran at Windsor Park this afternoon.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 - Loyalists take part in a protest in south Belfast this afternoon after the Irish Football Association said the national anthem would not be played at the Irish Cup Final between Cliftonville and Glentoran at Windsor Park this afternoon.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 - Loyalists take part in a protest in south Belfast this afternoon after the Irish Football Association said the national anthem would not be played at the Irish Cup Final between Cliftonville and Glentoran at Windsor Park this afternoon.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Cliftonville's Conor Devlin saves from Glentoran's Andrew Waterworth during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 - Loyalists take part in a protest in south Belfast this afternoon after the Irish Football Association said the national anthem would not be played at the Irish Cup Final between Cliftonville and Glentoran at Windsor Park this afternoon.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 - Loyalists take part in a protest in south Belfast this afternoon after the Irish Football Association said the national anthem would not be played at the Irish Cup Final between Cliftonville and Glentoran at Windsor Park this afternoon.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 - Loyalists take part in a protest in south Belfast this afternoon after the Irish Football Association said the national anthem would not be played at the Irish Cup Final between Cliftonville and Glentoran at Windsor Park this afternoon. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Players and officials remove glass from the pitch after a bottle was thrown during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Glentoran's Jason Hill and Cliftonville's Ciaran Caldwell during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Cliftonville's Ciaran Caldwell celebrates Joe Gormley's goal during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Cliftonville's Ciaran Caldwell celebrates Joe Gormley's goal during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Players and officials remove glass from the pitch after a bottle was thrown during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Glentoran's Stephen Carson and Cliftonvilles George McMullan during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Players and officials remove glass from the pitch after a bottle was thrown during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Cliftonville's Marc Smyth with Glentoran's Andrew Waterworth during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Cliftonville's Ryan Catney with Glentoran's Andrew Waterworth during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Players and officials remove glass from the pitch after a bottle was thrown during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Players and officials remove glass from the pitch after a bottle was thrown during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Cliftonville's Eamonn Seydak with Glentoran's David Howland during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Cliftonville's Joe Gormley opens the scoring during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Players and officials remove glass from the pitch after a bottle was thrown during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Cliftonville's Joe Gormley opens the scoring during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Glentoran's Stephen McAlorum and Cliftonville's Barry Johnston and Ryan Catney during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast.
Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 Marie Currie Irish Cup Final, Cliftonville v Glentoran, Windsor Park Belfast. Joe Gormley scores for Cliftonville
4/5/2013 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. Joe Gormley scores during this afternoon's Irish Cup Final between Cliftonville and Glentoran at Windsor Park, Belfast.
Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 Marie Currie Irish Cup Final, Cliftonville v Glentoran, Windsor Park Belfast. Marc Smyth and Ryan Catney celebrate as Joe Gormley scores for Cliftonville
Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 Marie Currie Irish Cup Final, Cliftonville v Glentoran, Windsor Park Belfast. Marc Smyth and Ryan Catney celebrate as Joe Gormley scores for Cliftonville
Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 Marie Currie Irish Cup Final, Cliftonville v Glentoran, Windsor Park Belfast. Liam Boyce celebrates as Joe Gormley scores for Cliftonville
4/5/2013 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. Joe Gormley scores during this afternoon's Irish Cup Final between Cliftonville and Glentoran at Windsor Park, Belfast.
4/5/2013 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. Joe Gormley scores during this afternoon's Irish Cup Final between Cliftonville and Glentoran at Windsor Park, Belfast.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 - Loyalists take part in a protest in south Belfast this afternoon after the Irish Football Association said the national anthem would not be played at the Irish Cup Final between Cliftonville and Glentoran at Windsor Park this afternoon. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 - Loyalists take part in a protest in south Belfast this afternoon after the Irish Football Association said the national anthem would not be played at the Irish Cup Final between Cliftonville and Glentoran at Windsor Park this afternoon.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 - Loyalists take part in a protest in south Belfast this afternoon after the Irish Football Association said the national anthem would not be played at the Irish Cup Final between Cliftonville and Glentoran at Windsor Park this afternoon.
Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland- 4th May 2013 Irish Cup Final- Cliftonville FC v Glentoran FC Cliftonville fans (l-r) Fra Milnes, Caoimhe McKillop and Siobhan McMallon during Saturday's Marie Curie Irish Cup Final at Windsor Park.
Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland- 4th May 2013 Irish Cup Final- Cliftonville FC v Glentoran FC Glentoran fans James (10) and Cameron (7) Henderson during Saturday's Marie Curie Irish Cup Final at Windsor Park.
Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland- 4th May 2013 Irish Cup Final- Cliftonville FC v Glentoran FC Cliftonville fan Mark Donnelly , 11 during Saturday's Marie Curie Irish Cup Final at Windsor Park.
Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland- 4th May 2013 Irish Cup Final- Cliftonville FC v Glentoran FC Cliftonville Liam Boyce and Glentoran Stephen McAlorum during Saturday's Marie Curie Irish Cup Final at Windsor Park.
Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland- 4th May 2013 Irish Cup Final- Cliftonville FC v Glentoran FC Cliftonville Liam Boyce and Glentoran Stephen Carson during Saturday's Marie Curie Irish Cup Final at Windsor Park.
Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland- 4th May 2013 Irish Cup Final- Cliftonville FC v Glentoran FC Cliftonville fan Abbie Quinn (7) during Saturday's Marie Curie Irish Cup Final at Windsor Park.
Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 Marie Currie Irish Cup Final, Cliftonville v Glentoran, Windsor Park Belfast. Cliftonville's Ciaran Caldwell with Glentoran's Jason Hill
Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 Marie Currie Irish Cup Final, Cliftonville v Glentoran, Windsor Park Belfast.
4/5/2013 PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. Jason Hill clears from Ciaran Caldwell during this afternoon's Irish Cup Final between Cliftonville and Glentoran at Windsor Park, Belfast.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Cliftonville fans during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Glentoran's and Cliftonville's during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Glentoran's and Cliftonville's during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Glentoran's and Cliftonville's during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast. Photo Kirth Ferris/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Glentoran's and Cliftonville's during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Glentoran's Andy Waterworth and Cliftonville's Marc Smyth during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Photo-William Cherry/Presseye Cliftonville fans during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Glentoran's Andy Waterworth and Cliftonville's Marc Smyth during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Glentoran's and Cliftonville's during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Glentoran's and Cliftonville's during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Glentoran's Andy Waterworth and Cliftonville's Jamie McGovern during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast.
?Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 4th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Picture by Darren Kidd /Presseye.com Marie Currie Irish Cup Final, Cliftonville v Glentoran, Windsor Park Belfast.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/05/2013 Glentoran v Cliftonville Irish Cup Final Glentoran's Andrew waterworth celebrates a goal during todays Irish Cup Final at Windsor park in Belfast.
Presseye Northern Ireland - 04th May 2013 Mandatory Credit - Glentoran's Jimmy Callacher celebrates scoring against Cliftonville during Saturdays Irish Cup final at Windsor Park.

It was the Irish Cup Final we all needed it to be.

Played out against a backdrop of raucous noise and shimmering colour, it was an occasion fiercely contested both on and off the park on an afternoon which was always guaranteed to present a fairytale ending.

As it transpired, it was Glentoran's dreams which came true as Eddie Patterson -- so often cruelly labelled 'the nearly man of football management' for never having being able to deliver a major title during his tenure with yesterday's opponents -- denied his former employers and boyhood favourites a famous Treble and, in doing so, masterminded the Irish Cup's long overdue return to east Belfast.

Coming as it does at the end of a campaign when the Glens generated as many negative headlines as they did positive, the achievement is all the more remarkable when you consider the ordeal Patterson and his players endured when their wages were not forthcoming at various stages of the season.

Look at their joyous celebrations and try to tell them they don't deserve every minute of it.

The scene was set more than an hour before kick-off, when fans on either side started spilling into the stadium to snap up the best vantage points for one of the most eagerly-anticipated showpieces of recent times.

Over the last few years, Irish Cup Finals have lacked a certain something. There's been no spark, no buzz and, as far as television viewers could tell, no spectators.

There were no such concerns yesterday, with Glenmen cramming into both decks of the North Stand as well as providing a more aesthetically pleasing Railway End than the eyesore of a building site which haunted last year's photographs.

Reds supporters, meanwhile, were queued at the turnstiles long before their 1pm opening time and, in addition to snapping up every available ticket for the South Stand, made themselves seen and heard on the Kop, where they unknowingly unveiled their club's brand new home strip emblazoned across a gigantic banner.

Disappointing as it was for the flock concerned and as poor a reflection as it is on an international stadium evidently incapable of coping with the numbers involved, how incredible is it to wake up this morning, reflect on the enormous crowd at the match and consider that there were further hundreds -- thousands, even -- who couldn't get in because tickets were like gold-dust?

Both clubs regularly sold out their allocations and, despite the capacity being increased on more than one occasion, there still wasn't room for everybody who wanted to attend -- a slap in the face to the Irish League's naysayers and motivation for those inside the stadium to justify their places by cranking up the volume to ever greater levels.

Almost in an act of defiance against those who had attempted to hijack a sporting spectacle to make political statements, both sets of fans stood united while roaring their own songbooks into the south Belfast air.

'Dance, dance, wherever you may be ... ' was the Red Army's cry, matched bar for bar by a passionate rendition of 'As I lay on my bed last night, I fell into a dream ... ' by the red, green and black hordes on the other side.

This wasn't just a crowd of locals who'd dashed across a few postcodes to be there.

This was truly an international operation. All week, flights have touched down in Belfast to deliver ex-pats from far and wide and, even in the hours preceding kick-off, the Enterprise train from Dublin brought forth the final cavalcade.

All that was missing was the day's hero. Step forward Andy Waterworth.

If that's to be his last contribution in a Glentoran shirt, then what a way to bow out.

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