Ciaran O'Connor gazed towards the sky and asked for some divine intervention. He didn't want to suffer the agony of shoot-out defeat in an Irish Cup semi-final again.
Last season it was his Warrenpoint Town side losing to Ballinamallard on penalties. On Monday night, after a gripping 1-1 draw at Windsor Park, O'Connor's Glentoran were one kick away from being defeated by Cliftonville when Conor McMenamin stepped up to take on Elliott Morris.
O'Connor, who netted his kick with aplomb, said: "Before McMenamin hit his penalty, I looked up to the sky and I was thinking 'is this going to happen again, losing another Cup semi-final in a shoot-out?' and, to be honest with you, I asked God for some help and thankfully he helped us out and Elliott came up with a fantastic save."
Morris would continue his heroics and deny Conor McDermott, sending the Glens to a 7-6 shoot-out success and into tonight's final versus Ballymena United.
"Elliott has been an unbelievable goalkeeper for Glentoran over the years and I have to say he is an even better person," O'Connor added.
"He is a great man and brilliant for the dressing room and his saves on Monday were sensational.
"We were all really pleased for him to have a night like that."
It was also a fantastic evening for playmaker O'Connor, who was outstanding having come on as a second half substitute. Post match, manager Mick McDermott made a point of speaking about the ex-Dundalk ace's contribution.
"I have been part of some big European nights with Dundalk and, even though I wasn't playing and was on the bench, I felt the pressure of the lads and I used that in our semi-final, believing in myself that I could play well," explained the 24-year-old.
"It was brilliant to beat Cliftonville but we can't take anything for granted against Ballymena.
"We have to put the work in and really believe that we can win it."
In the past year, much has happened to O'Connor, who is one of the island's most natural football talents. He left Warrenpoint earlier in the season, considered his future in the game before deciding to continue and then Glentoran came calling.
Off the pitch, he became a father and during the lockdown loved spending quality time with nine-month old-twins Ava and Mia.
"Being with the babies in lockdown has been fantastic. I also looked at myself to see what I can do better so it has been time well spent," said the 24-year-old.
"I am so excited to be part of what is happening at Glentoran. After I left Warrenpoint earlier in the season, I was thinking do I pack in the football altogether and decided I wasn't going to give it in this easy and would keep going until I got it right.
"I was lucky enough for Glentoran to sign me. They knew I wasn't fully fit and had been struggling with weight but the full time training has been good for me and Mick McDermott has got me a lot fitter than I was.
"I haven't played in many league games yet but have been part of the Cup run which has been great. I have given everything and will do that again if I get a chance in the final."