Glenavon 2 Institute 1
Tony Grant’s love affair with the Irish Cup is stronger than ever after his last gasp strike clinched a quarter final tie against Ballymena United.
Grant was the hero of the 1997 showpiece final when he scored the only goal against Cliftonville.
And he hit the winner again against brave Institute at Mourneview Park on Saturday.
There were only three minutes left on the clock when Grant, suffering from a toe injury, left the bench to do the business.
Grant made the most of a moment of chaos, dragged the ball wide of keeper Gavin Cullen and clipped it home from an awkward angle.
Suddenly there was no way back for John Gregg’s battlers who fell behind to Trevor Molloy’s 32nd minute header but hit back to level before half-time thanks to Joe McCready’s vicious dipper from 30 yards.
Molloy was out of fortune on a second occasion when his 20 yard curler crashed against the woodwork.
Institute too were left to curse their luck when sub Kevin Ramsay also saw his effort hit a post.
Home boss Marty Quinn said: “Institute came with a game plan to stop us playing and it worked very well.
“They ruffled our feathers a bit and didn’t let us play the way we wanted.
“Credit to them for that but I suppose at the end of the day we’re still in the Cup and that’s the most important thing.”
Rival Gregg was gutted and moaned: “Personally I feel like I’ve just had a kick in the stomach.
“Marty Quinn said to me at the finish that it can be a cruel, cruel game and he isn’t wrong.
“He summed things up very well with those words.
“There are occasions when I have a go at the players but not this time. How could I when they’ve done everything I asked of them?”
Quinn was not only delighted at going through but well satisfied with a home quarter final tie against Ballymena United.
He said: "I don't think it mattered who came out of the draw as long as we were at home so I am quite pleased.
"We were always going to have a big test and that's what we're going to have but I'm delighted to have home advantage.”