Belfast Telegraph

Boyce gutted to miss Reds tie

By Graham Luney

This afternoon's Irish Cup clash at Solitude should have been the perfect match for John Boyce but the Immaculata frontman is on his honeymoon.

But as his manager Kevin Lawlor states, "The Mac never leaves you" and Boyce will take time out from his first few days in Mexico to discover if his pals have rocked Cliftonville in the fifth round.

John's brother Liam, who also honed his skills as a gifted youngster at Immaculata, went on to earn legendary status with the Reds, firing the club to back-to-back league titles before earning a move to Ross County.

The Amateur League Premier Division side will miss John's finishing power. "John's a bit older than Liam, who is 24 but they are both Mac men. The Mac never leaves you," said Lawlor.

"John got married in November but the honeymoon was arranged for this week and we did ask Cliftonville to bring the game forward to Tuesday but they said no.

"John is gutted and he's a big loss to us as he tortures defences.

"This is the biggest match in the club's history and he's missing it. I've known Liam since he was a little kid and even then you could tell the boy was special."

The teenage Lawlor was a huge Cliftonville fan and he stood on Windsor Park's old Spion Kop, wearing a red jumper, the last time the north-Belfast side won the Irish Cup in 1979.

"They lost to teams they should have beaten and hopefully it's the same story on Saturday," added Lawlor.

Friendships in football only extend so far.

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