JJB Sports Irish Cup: Glenavon 0 Portadown 3
Jordan Baker was the two-goal hero for Portadown as Ronnie McFall's marauders breezed into next month’s JJB Sports Irish Cup semi-finals.
The Ports were simply too good for their bitter Mid-Ulster rivals, with Matthew Tipton nicking the other goal in a convincing quarter-final victory to clinch a showdown with Crusaders on April 9.
It was a moment of madness at the back that gifted Portadown the crucial breakthrough.
Mark Haughey and goalkeeper Andrew Plummer got themselves into a tangle in trying to deal with Brian Gartland’s huge punt into the danger area and ended up red faced as Baker nipped between them to head the ball over the keeper and into the net.
After visiting goalkeeper David Miskelly made a wonder save to turn a 35 yard thunderbolt from Trevor Molloy, which took a wicked deflection off Tony Grant, the Ports went close to a second.
Mark Turkington lost possession leaving Tipton to race clear and whip over a low cross, but with Baker closing in Plummer made amends for his earlier blunder by making a brave block.
Then controversy as Tipton’s free-kick crashed against the crossbar and dropped on the line. The Ports claimed a goal, but neither referee Raymond Crangle nor his assistant Gareth Eakin was in a position to judge and waved play to continue.
There was no doubt about Tipton’s 58th minute strike, a flashing left footed volley from Keith O’Hara’s chipped free-kick.
And before Glenavon could catch their breath Portadown had scored again to ease their way into the last four.
It was another fabulous effort as Baker turned quickly on O’Hara’s cross and rifled a beautiful shot high into the net.
GLENAVON: Plummer; Shannon (King 76 mins), Magee , Haughey, Turkington; Molloy, Walsh, McDonagh, Neill (Costello 61 mins); Grant (Miskimmin 71 mins), Hamilton. Subs: O’Carroll, Harper.
PORTADOWN: Miskelly; O’Hara, Gartland, Breen, Redman; McCabe, Clarke (Cawley 87 mins), Mouncey; Baker, Tipton, Braniff. Subs: Ramsey, Armstrong, Mackle, Boyle.
Referee: Raymond Crangle (Belfast).