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Philip Lowry will fight to enhance his majestic record

By Stuart McKinley

Published 05/03/2016

History: Philip Lowry never lost an Irish Cup tie in his first three years at Linfield and has hit over 20 goals in the tournament
History: Philip Lowry never lost an Irish Cup tie in his first three years at Linfield and has hit over 20 goals in the tournament

Philip Lowry doesn't expect to pull on a Portadown shirt again once their interest in this season's Irish Cup ends.

And the man who scored Linfield's winner against the Ports in the final six years ago is determined that it won't be today.

Championship 1 side Lurgan Celtic are eyeing a shock at Shamrock Park as they believe the Ports are vulnerable after picking up just four points from their last 10 league games.

Lowry, however, has a proud Irish Cup record that he is determined to protect.

"The cup run keeps the season going for us," said Lowry.

"If we'd have lost in the last round I don't even know what would have happened. I don't know if there'd have been much point flying me in and making sacrifices to fight it out in the bottom six."

Not only did Lowry bag that winning goal in 2010 - in his first season with Linfield - he never lost an Irish Cup match in the first three campaigns he played for the Blues and even with Institute he was a regular goalscorer in the competition.

After a sublime strike in the Ports' 3-1 win over Coleraine in the last round, Lowry is in the mood again and with manager Ronnie McFall set to bow out at the end of the season, that is also a motivating factor.

"I had three winners' medals in my first three years at Linfield and I think I've scored over 20 goals in the Irish Cup now as well - including one in the final," said Lowry.

"It seems to be one of those things, when I play I score.

"Hopefully I'm a bit of a lucky charm at Portadown - I think they have forgiven me for that goal in the final.

"We couldn't have asked for a better draw and it gives us a great chance of progressing into the semi-final.

"It might be a wee bit early to think about what might happen after that, but it is only natural when you get to this stage of the competition that thoughts of reaching the final start to come.

"I would love to get there again and it would be nice to send Ronnie out with a nice leaving present."

McFall recently stated that the club was left mentally scarred after last season's Irish Cup final defeat to Glentoran, when David Scullion scored the winner just seconds after Michael Gault appeared to have been fouled and Elliott Morris handled a back-pass at the other end.

There is a strong desire to get back to the final this season, but the experienced boss is well aware of the challenge that awaits his team today.

"In cup football all you can hope for is a home draw. We're delighted we got that," said McFall.

"We played them pre-season and they gave us a hard match so I know it is going to be like that again.

"It won't be an easy tie by any stretch of the imagination.

"We can't underestimate anyone. Experience has told me that you can't do that in any competition.

"I've been in that position myself and underdogs always come out fighting.

"They've a few players who have been with us, they are decent players and they'll be motivated with a point to prove - no doubt about it."

Belfast Telegraph

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