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Irish Cup quarter-final: Loughgall shock Glenavon after supporter effort to see match played

Glenavon 1-2 Loughgall

By Gareth Hanna

Loughgall are through to the semi-finals of the Irish Cup for the second time.

They saw off Glenavon 2-1 in a quarter-final that was one of, if not the only sporting event to survive the freeze in Northern Ireland.

The game had only been given the go-ahead because of a monumental effort from Glenavon supporters. Armed with a tractor, leaf blowers, shovels and running engines to melt the frozen pitch, they worked until 2.30am on Friday evening and returned at 8am the next morning, all to get the thumbs up shortly before 1pm.

But it was the visitors that profitted from their hard work, Dale Montgomery and ex-Glenavon forward Gary Liggett striking before a late Glenavon goal.

The visitors opened the scores shortly before the break via full-back Dale Montomery, lashing home at the back-post to save team-mate Gary Ligett's blushes. That's because the forward had seen a spot-kick saved seconds before, Montgomery converting from the resulting corner.

It came at the end of a strong period for the visitors, Andrew Hoey earlier testing Jonny Tuffey.

Glenavon started the second half strong and created a chance with a flowing move. Neat passes from Andrew Mitchell and Bobby Burns teed up Mark Sykes but, through one-on-one, Craig Robinson won the duel.

It was 2-0 on 79 when Liggett finished off after Jonny Tuffey had pulled off another top drawer save and the ball had come off the post in the resulting melee.

Tempers frayed soon after when an exchange on the sideline resulted in red cards for Loughgall substitute Stefan McMaster and Glenavon sub Simon Kelly, neither of whom had been used.

And Glenavon made it a nervy finish when a corner was bulletted into the back of the net by James Singleton.

Mitchell had the ball in the net in injury-time through Andrew Mitchell but it was ruled out by referee Tim Marshall for a foul in the build-up.

On Tuesday, March 13, Glentoran visit Coleraine, Linfield host Cliftonville and Ballymena United welcome Larne before the semi-final draw.

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