Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

McFall targeting another cup final

Coleraine 0 Portadown 3

Ronnie McFall isn't a man known for standing on sentiment.

After 26 years as Portadown boss he has lost none of his appetite for success and another Irish Cup final appearance is now the target for this season after Saturday's stunning success at Coleraine in the quarter-final.

McFall's first Irish Cup triumph in management was with Glentoran 30 years ago when they beat Linfield 2-1after an Oval replay.

It doesn't for a single second bother big Ronnie that it is the Glens who now block the way to the showpiece finale in May. He has no doubt his players can deliver another big performance against his former club next month and secure another appearance in the decider.

The veteran boss was positively glowing after masterminding the win at the Showgrounds and landing Glentoran in the draw was the icing on the cake.

"It would have been tough no matter who we drew," he says. "What's important is that we were in there and that was because the players delivered a clinical performance to make sure Coleraine would not hurt us.

"Glentoran's season has been a bit like ours. Inconsistency is the problem but the cup gives us a chance to end the season on a high."

McFall (pictured) doesn't doubt his players can see the job though. This performance convinced him of that. Even without the injured Gary Twigg, who should be fit for the semi-final, the Ports responded to a dismal run of one win in their previous six.

Striker Kevin Braniff celebrated his 30th birthday two days early by scoring twice, either side of Darren Murray's penalty, but was something of a reluctant hero.

"This was a team effort. We had a job to do and that was to press for the ball and get tight to them, particularly in midfield. We did that and got the result we deserved," said Braniff.

Braniff believes Portadown can repeat the exercise against the Glens.

"Games between us usually have an edge but we can take them on our day, especially if we play the way we did against Coleraine," he insists.

And with Gary Breen and skipper Keith O'Hara also set to a return, the Ports squad should be even stronger.

Saturday's success was only Portadown's second win in nine Irish Cup ties at Ballycastle Road since the Second World War as Coleraine retreated with barely a whimper.

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