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Paddy McCourt shows star quality on and off the pitch at Glenavon Charity Shield win

By David Mason

Generous Paddy McCourt made one young Glenavon fan very happy by presenting him with his winners' medal after the NI Hospice Charity Shield game at Mourneview Park.

The Northern Ireland midfielder was politely asked to pose for a picture with the kid, before Paddy draped his first Irish League medal around the neck of the beaming Zach McCann.

McCourt, who wore the captain's armband, may have lasted just over an hour, but there was enough time for him to show glimpses of what Glenavon fans can expect when the serious stuff starts next week.

"It's another 60 minutes and it's only my second game in three-and-a-half months, but it was good to play for an hour," said the former Celtic man.

"I got tired a wee bit at the end because the plan was to play 45, but the extra 15 will do me the world of good. I know it was only the Charity Shield, but it was great to get the win and start the season off with some sort of silverware."

McCourt wasn't surprised the contest developed into a feisty affair with the Crues losing three players due to injury and Glenavon playing for over 60 minutes with only 10 men, having Mark Patton dismissed.

It was a tough introduction to the Irish League for any player.

He added: "There were a few tackles flying in, but I think it was played in good spirit. There were a few clashes of heads, but they were genuine attempts to get the ball.

"Our red card was one of those when the referee had no option because it was an obvious goal-scoring chance.

"It was a good game with a few tasty challenges, but I certainly don't think it was a dirty game.

"That was more like a proper league game than a friendly and both teams went for it.

"There was no holding back and that is great preparation going in to next week."

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