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Ballinamallard United 0 Crusaders 5

Crusaders coasted past the challenge of Ballinamallard United to easily book their place in the last four of the JJB Sports Irish Cup on Saturday.

Three goals to the good before half-time, the Crues added a further brace to their tally after the interval to dispel any notions of back-to-back giantkillings by the men from Ferney Park.

Having ousted Premiership side Lisburn Distillery from the competition in the last round, hopes had been high that Ballinamallard could go one better and progress to the semi-finals, but Crusaders had other ideas.

They were on top from the first whistle and after Chris Morrow headed home David McMaster’s ninth minute corner, their victory never really looked in doubt.

The hosts came close to a leveller, though, when Andy Crawford rocked the woodwork with an acrobatic effort soon after, but Colin Coates’ 20th minute goal all but ended Ballinamallard’s challenge.

The Seaview skipper reacted quickest to nod into the net after United keeper Matthew Quinn had spilled Gareth McKeown’s free-kick.

Mark Stafford then had an attempt cleared off the line before the Crues extended their advantage further when Jordan Owens set Stuart Dallas up to convert.

A wayward cross from Stephen McBride made it 4-0 10 minutes after half-time and Owens’ header completed the day’s scoring.

“We had to be professional and our attitude was absolutely correct from the outset,” said Crues boss Stephen Baxter.

“Ballinamallard could have left us with egg on our faces, but I was pleased with how we went about our business and now we have a semi-final to look forward to. I suppose it was nice to avoid Linfield in the draw, but it’ll be a tough game regardless of who progresses from the Glenavon-Portadown replay.”

Belfast Telegraph


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