Belfast Telegraph

Seamus Sharkey late show extends Glenavon's Mid-Ulster reign with win over Warrenpoint

Glenavon 4-3 Warrenpoint

Party time: Glenavon celebrate their dramatic Cup win last night
Party time: Glenavon celebrate their dramatic Cup win last night

By Gareth McCullough

Glenavon retained the Mid-Ulster Cup on home turf as they came from two goals down to edge out a Warrenpoint Town side who tasted cup heartbreak at Mourneview Park for the second time in four days.

Seamus Sharkey scored his first two goals for the Lurgan Blues, with his second - which proved to be the winner in what was a superb game of football - coming on 89 minutes.

It was hard on Warrenpoint, who were much the better side for large spells of the game and who suffered Irish Cup semi-final woe at the same ground against Ballinamallard at the weekend.

In what was a lively start, both sides had chances in the opening six minutes, with the first going to Warrenpoint.

Fra McCaffrey and Lee Duffy played a one-two on the edge of the Glenavon box before 'Point skipper McCaffrey side-footed wide from 18 yards.

That was in the third minute, and three minutes after that it was the Lurgan Blues who went close when Stephen Murray teed up Conor McCloskey, whose rasping 25-yard drive was tipped over the bar by Berraat Turker.

But less than a minute later, Warrenpoint took the lead and it was Turker's opposite number James Taylor who was at fault.

As Ciaran O'Connor chased down a long ball over the top, the danger seemed to have gone when Taylor controlled 10 yards outside his box. However, he delayed and allowed the Town striker to muscle him off the ball and it was slotted home.

'Point deservedly doubled their lead in the 18th minute. A raking diagonal ball from McCaffrey sent Duffy scampering down the right-hand side and he cut inside makeshift full-back Aaron Harmon before cracking in a low left-foot drive that took a deflection off Sharkey to wrong-foot Taylor and find the net.

However, rather than go on and ram home their superiority, Warrenpoint let the Lurgan Blues back into it and Glenavon halved the deficit less than two minutes later when Stewart drilled home into the bottom left corner.

Gary Hamilton's side then levelled against the run of play a minute after the half-hour when McCloskey's seemingly mis-hit shot rolled into the bottom corner with Turker appearing to let it go.

Warrenpoint could have made it 3-2 four minutes before the break when the excellent McCaffrey slid the ball through to O'Connor. His effort was stopped by Taylor, and Eamon Scannell could only volley the rebound wide.

Only an excellent piece of goalkeeping by Taylor prevented Warrenpoint regaining the lead four minutes after the restart when O'Connor pounced to dispossess Eoin Wearen, but his low shot was well saved by the keeper's outstretched left leg.

But it was the hosts who went in front just after the hour mark when Sammy Clingan's free-kick from the left saw Sharkey get the better of Danny Wallace to head in off the right-hand post.

Warrenpoint deservedly drew level 13 minutes from time when brilliant work from O'Connor on the left saw him pull the ball back, and when it was only half-cleared Scannell rifled home.

Sharkey then won it for the Lurgan Blues a minute from the end of the 90 when McCloskey's driven corner from the right saw Turker come off his line to claim but get nowhere near the ball and the defender was on hand to head home.

GLENAVON: J Taylor, Jameson, Harmon, Wearen, Sharkey, Clingan (Barr 70), Jenkins (Conlon 82), Hamilton (O Taylor 77), Stewart, Murray, McCloskey.

Subs not used: Parker, Carson.

Warrenpoint Town: Turker, Young (Foster 35), Hughes, Reilly, Wallace, Magowan, M Lynch, McCaffrey, Scannell, O'Connor, Duffy (Copes 68).

Subs not used: McGrandles, J Lynch, Marques.

Man of the Match: Francis McCaffrey

Match Rating: 8/10

Referee: Neil Robinson

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