Belfast Telegraph

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Joe Gormley says 'more to come' from deadly duo

 

By Alex Mills

Deadly Joe Gormley sent out a chilling warning to the rest of the Irish League by stating his strike partnership with Rory Donnelly has yet to peak!

The Cliftonville front men demonstrated their predatory instincts with a clinical display of finishing in Saturday's Tennent's Irish Cup semi-final that turned Loughgall's biggest day of the season into 90 minutes of misery at the Oval.

Gormley and Donnelly hit two goals each, bringing their combined total for the season to 40.

The former Peterborough United man's second strike was not only a goal of the season contender, but his 150th in a Cliftonville shirt.

Significantly, Gormley believes there is still a lot to come from their partnership: "Although both of us were at Cliftonville before we left for England, we were not at the club at the same time . . . we never played together before," he said.

"We have to keep adapting to each other, but I think it's beginning to pay dividends. We are getting there. I still think there is more to come. That's 28 so far for me. I'd like to think I'll reach 30 before the end of the season. I always try to better the previous year's tally.

"It would be nice to hit 30, but I'll look for 29 first."

It was Gormley who got the party started in east Belfast, bagging his opener after only 20 seconds. He added: "We wanted to hit them early, but we probably didn't realise we'd score after only 20-odd seconds. Once the ball fell for me, I knew I had to get a shot away. I think it helped settle the nerves a wee bit. We just kicked on from there."

And, on his delightful second goal, a 30-yard low following a cute inter-change with Rory Donnelly, Gormley went on: "That's what I'm in the team for.

"Hopefully, I can keep doing that for the rest of the season. Rory and I are still learning from each other . . . but the partnership is growing every week."

Reds boss Barry Gray believes the hard work on the training ground is beginning to pay a rich dividend for his boys."We've built a new team and we've done things differently," said Gray. "There has been massive change from where we were five months ago."

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