Veteran Crusaders defender Gary Smyth is praying that — should the Crues make the JJB Irish Cup Final — his personal sequence will be broken.
Big Gary has played in six finals — three with Glentoran and three with Glenavon — and the sequence has been, lost-won-lost-won-lost-won, so number seven would be a reverse.
"We're not there yet," the 39-year-old reflected after this decisive quarter-final win. "We have a tough semi-final against Institute and we'll concentrate on that one first. But it would be great to go all the way and lift the trophy with Crusaders. The last time the trophy went to Seaview was the year before I was born, so it's been a long time!" 1968, to be precise.
The evergreen Smyth had quite a say in their trip to the final four. He scored the vital second goal just after the interval, and a minute later put in a superb tackle to rob Gary McCutcheon a leveller when he seemed certain to score.
"He's a superb professional," manager Stephen Baxter commented. "But this was a marvellous team effort. To come to Shamrock Park and beat a team like Portadown so decisively is tremendous. It's the best performance since I took over at Crusaders four years ago."
On the draw with Institute, the Crues boss said: "It's a tough one. John Gregg has made big strides up at Drumahoe. We've played them three times this season, won one and drawn two, so we'll be giving our all to get into the final."
Crusaders were by far the better side against a physically and mentally weary Portadown, whose tough games of late, including the Co-operative Cup Final the previous Saturday, have taken their toll.
Ports boss Ronnie McFall said: "The league title is our only goal now, and with 11 matches left we have a run and get back to the Premiership."
The first half of Saturday's game was even enough, as the 1-1 interval scoreline suggests.
Martin Donnelly cracked home on 38 minutes to put the Crues ahead after a great move up the right, and Tim Moucey smashed home a leveller from 18 yards five minutes later.
Smyth's decisive looping header put Crusaders ahead two minutes into the second-half, and goals from David Rainey (pictured) and sub Jordan Owens put it beyond doubt.
Aaron Baker pulled one back for the Ports five minutes from time, but it made no difference, and then Ross Arthurs gave the Crues their fifth in injury time.