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'We're climbing back': Mick McDermott hails Glentoran stars after Irish Cup semi-final win over Cliftonville

 

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Penalty hero Elliott Morris celebrates with Jony Frazer and Robbie McDaid.

Penalty hero Elliott Morris celebrates with Jony Frazer and Robbie McDaid.

PMAKER

Penalty hero Elliott Morris celebrates with Jony Frazer and Robbie McDaid.

Glentoran manager Mick McDermott says he's confident the club are on the right track after their Irish Cup semi-final victory over Cliftonville.

In a stunning encounter, the Glens eventually edged past their Belfast neighbours 7-6 on penalties to reach their first Irish Cup final since 2015.

"I said we wanted to be competitive and to keep climbing back to where Glentoran were before," McDermott said. "I've no doubt we're climbing back to where Glentoran were before.

"Credit to Cliftonville, they were excellent. I'd like to congratulate Paddy McLaughlin and his players as well as Ballymena and Cliftonville.

"It's all about the players, fans and community and ours is a happy community tonight."

In the end, two penalty saves from 39-year-old goalkeeper Elliott Morris helped edge the narrowest of victories, with the stopper now gearing up for his sixth Irish Cup final.

"He's massive," said McDermott, who brought Morris back into the starting line-up at the expense of Marijan Antolovic not long before lockdown. "It's not just his age but it's his longevity with Glentoran. He's coming into his 19th season and he's going to reach 20.  I'm proud of Elliott and all the players.

"We knew after watching the first semi-final that what cup football's about. You can't give up until the final whistle and after that, it's in the hands of the gods.

"Two penalty shootouts this evening - it's a great advertisement for the Irish League."

The Glens will face Ballymena United in Friday's decider.

Belfast Telegraph