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Kearney woe as his men repeat mistakes

By Stuart McKinley

Oran Kearney has put his team's Irish Cup quarter-final exit at the hands of Portadown down to a failure to heed lessons from the same experience 12 months ago.

The Bannsiders saw their semi-final hopes ripped apart by two Kevin Braniff goals and a Darren Murray penalty as the Ports progressed to a last four meeting with Glentoran next month.

After getting to the IRN-BRU League Cup final last season Kearney had set his sights on silverware this time around, but he will now have to put those aspirations on hold until the new campaign in August.

"We learnt at the quarter-final stage last year against Crusaders that the first goal is crucial in games like this," said Kearney.

"Things like that hurt you. The first goal leaves you chasing the game and against a side like Portadown that makes it very tough for you.

"Michael Hegarty has held his hands up he just couldn't get the ball out of his feet and they punished us by scoring."

Kearney will now attempt to bolster his Bannsiders squad, with one of the manager's main tasks involving trying to convince striker Curtis Allen that his future lies with the Bannsiders instead of seeking a move to cross-channel football.

• CRUSADERS and Lisburn Distillery will replay their drawn quarter-final at New Grosvenor next Tuesday, March 12, with a 7.45pm kick-off.

The winners will face Cliftonville in the semi-finals.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph