Belfast Telegraph

Irish Cup Final - Glentoran v Portadown: Ross Redman fired up to earn his day in the sun

By Graham Luney

When Portadown emerge from The Oval changing rooms this afternoon, Ross Redman will know the club are back where they belong but it's all about finishing the job.

Both squads have many potential match-winners but the players who aren't fazed by the occasion will triumph and Ronnie McFall's squad perhaps have the edge as they have more experienced performers familiar with the big stage.

Glentoran, though, will be roared on by nearly 6,000 of their own supporters and there is no hiding place with the glittering prize and European football on the line.

McFall's nephew Redman is hungry for his first Irish Cup winner's medal after losing out against Linfield in 2010.

"I watched the 2005 final (Portadown's 5-1 win over Larne) from the stand and unfortunately played in the 2010 final when we lost to Linfield," said the 25-year-old.

"I haven't too many happy memories from the competition but hopefully that will change.

"The Blues went 2-0 ahead through (Peter) Thompson and (Philip) Lowry and even though Kevin Braniff scored a great free-kick, we couldn't break them down and force an equaliser.

"We didn't play that badly but sometimes you need a little luck or the bounce of the ball to fall your way.

"But it's the biggest day in the Irish League calendar, with thousands of fans attending, and you want to perform and remember it for the right reasons. It's great for the young lads in the squad who are learning all the time and these big games should help their development."

In December, Portadown looked like a side that could push on and claim the title but their challenge faded.

"The thing that hurt our campaign was our number of draws," added Redman. "But spirits have been lifted after reaching the Cup final and we are where we believe we should be. Portadown should be challenging for trophies and it's been a long time since we won this one.

"I always thought we had the potential to do it and we realised we had to get our act together after PSNI took us to extra time in the fifth round. When you bring in Robbie Garrett, Michael Gault and Mark McAllister, who have experience of winning cups and titles, it lifts the squad and everyone is hungry for success."

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