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Cliftonville players still hurt from 2013 Irish Cup final defeat: McGovern

By Graham Luney

Jaimie McGovern admits he has unfinished business with the Irish Cup after Cliftonville's attempt to taste glory in 2013 came agonisingly short.

Two goals from Andy Waterworth helped Glentoran win the glittering prize for the first time since 2004 with a 3-1 victory, and it prolonged the agony for the north Belfast men, who haven't lifted the famous trophy since 1979. Joe Gormley had given the treble-chasing Reds a first-half lead, but they ran out of steam with Jimmy Callacher also on target for the Glens.

After winning the League Cup and Premiership title, Tommy Breslin's side were expected to make it a very special hat-trick, but it wasn't to be and former Glentoran defender McGovern admits he has a point to prove as the Reds bid to return to the showpiece with a semi-final victory over Championship side Loughgall at The Oval tomorrow.

"We had a great chance to win the Irish Cup that season but we blew it," said McGovern.

"I felt we lost it rather than anyone else winning it. I wasn't born in 1979, and of course we want to put that right, but we let ourselves down in 2013 and I want an opportunity to make it a happy ending this time.

"It's the only medal that I haven't got and I'm not the only Cliftonville player who is still hurting from that day. It would be nice to win it this season but Loughgall will be tough opponents in the semi-final."

Of the players who featured in that 2013 final, Tomas Cosgrove, Ryan Catney, Stephen Garrett and Gormley are the other Reds aces still at Solitude, while Martin Donnelly, Ciaran Caldwell and goalkeeper Conor Devlin are now hoping to progress to the final with Larne.

"There's a big hurdle in front of us but if we can get over it a Cup final awaits," added McGovern. "We have been inconsistent this season but when we click we could give someone a real tanking. We have players who probably should be playing at a higher level but we are now focused on what is one of the most important games in our careers."

It's been a season of highs and lows for the Reds and a thrilling finish could be on the horizon.

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