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Cooper: Lurgan Blues were determined to perform for Windy

Portadown 0 Glenavon 5

By Stuart McKinley

On another day, all the talk would have focused on the virtuoso performance of man-of-the-match Joel Cooper.

His outstanding display paled into insignificance, however, even though the winger was instrumental in giving Glenavon their biggest derby victory over Portadown in 21 years.

The death of the club's assistant manager Paul Millar's son Philip, aged just 27, on Friday, has led to an outpouring of sympathy from the football family towards the larger than life character known throughout the game as 'Windy.'

Those closest to him wanted to let Millar know how much they care. Manager Gary Hamilton dedicated the win to his friend and ally and there were hugs for Millar when he appeared in the dressing room after the match.

"We had the sad news before the game about Paul Millar's son. There wasn't much said before the game other than just go out and do him proud and get a result for him," said Cooper, who scored twice in the 5-0 win just a few days after his 21st birthday.

"I think that showed in the performance; the heart, the hunger.

"He's a stand up guy and he means so much to us at this club so it was good to give him something.

"It was a brilliant performance, 5-0 in an Irish Cup quarter-final derby, you can't ask for much more than than."

A disallowed goal from Guy Bates, a missed penalty from Greg Moorhouse and an effort from Ciaran Martyn that crashed off the crossbar preceded Glenavon's opener, which came from Martyn just before half time.

It was in the second half that Glenavon ran away with the tie.

Cooper scored the second and third goals, James Singleton netted the fourth and Cooper then crossed for Mark Sykes to head home the fifth to set up a semi-final with Coleraine at the Ballymena Showgrounds on Saturday April 1.

There Glenavon will come up against their former striker Eoin Bradley, who scored twice in the Bannsiders' 4-0 win over Ballymena United.

"I hope he doesn't come back to haunt us," said Cooper.

"People might think that we would know how to handle him, but I don't know if you can handle him."

After failing to back up impressive performances against Linfield and Crusaders in their last two league games Portadown are now left to try to claw back 11 points on Carrick Rangers in their final eight games if they are to pull off an amazing escape from relegation.

"We bottled it. Simple as that," said Ports boss Niall Currie.

PORTADOWN: Duffin, Carson (Holmes, 74 mins), Larkin, Shannon, Hazley, Foley (Gardiner, 67 mins), Henderson, Garrett, Mackle (Dolan, 64 mins), Garrett, McGerrigan, Soares. Unused subs: Mulvenna, Lyttle.

GLENAVON: Tuffey, Canning, Marron, Elebert, Singleton, Hall (Sykes, 65 mins), Marshall, Martyn, Cooper, Bates (Gray, 84 mins), Moorhouse (Hamilton, 74 mins). Unused subs: Neill, Kilmartin.

Man of the Match: Joel Cooper

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Raymond Crangle (Belfast)

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