Belfast Telegraph

McDonnell sure Town can strike back after their Irish Cup misery

Warrenpoint Town boss Stephen McDonnell wants his team to bounce back from their Irish Cup disappointment in the Mid-Ulster Cup final tonight
Warrenpoint Town boss Stephen McDonnell wants his team to bounce back from their Irish Cup disappointment in the Mid-Ulster Cup final tonight

By Steven Beacom

Warrenpoint Town boss Stephen McDonnell wants his team to bounce back from their Irish Cup disappointment in the Mid-Ulster Cup final tonight.

Having been beaten by Championship side Ballinamallard on penalties on Saturday in the semi-finals of the Irish Cup, the Milltown men return to Mourneview Park this evening versus Glenavon in what for them is another big Cup occasion.

McDonnell said: "We know it's not the same as Saturday but we view the Mid-Ulster Cup final as very important for our club.

"It's a chance for us to win our first trophy as a group of players and staff, and we will be giving it our best shot.

"We may not be in the Irish Cup final but we still have a lot to play for. Our results have improved in the league lately and we want to finish strongly in that, and to win a cup would be brilliant for us in what has been a very good season."

While Glenavon have been known to use the Mid-Ulster Cup as a chance to blood young talent, McDonnell intends to go with his strongest possible side, though that may not include captain Simon Kelly who limped off against Ballinamallard.

"I know our back four were immense on Saturday but with Simon Kelly going off early we missed that extra bit of leadership on the pitch," said McDonnell.

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"Unfortunately on the day we didn't have enough playing to the best of their ability, but we are a young side and I'm a young manager and the defeat can be character building for us. It shouldn't break us.

"It would have been beautiful to reach the Irish Cup final but it wasn't meant to be, and when you go to a penalty shoot-out it is a lottery.

"We will dust ourselves down, accept it and move on. We will be stronger and have a real go at winning the final against Glenavon."

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