Belfast Telegraph

Semi memory haunts Linfield star Murphy

By Stuart McKinley

WILLIAM Murphy has clear memories of the last Irish Cup semi-final between Glentoran and Linfield — no matter how many times he’s tried to blank it out.

The last four meeting in 2000 was a typical Big Two battle, hard fought and with very little between the teams.

And it was a game that everyone who was there will instantly remember.

Sean Armstrong’s last-gasp winner for the Glens would have been dramatic in itself, but what made it ever more sensational was that it came just a matter of seconds after Murphy had levelled the scores and sparked preparations for a replay.

“I remember equalising late in the game. We were still celebrating, thinking we’d taken the game to a replay, when Sean Armstrong went up the pitch and won it for Glentoran,” said Murphy.

“I hadn’t played in an Irish Cup final at the time, it had been a while since Linfield had been in a final too and it was gut-wrenching.

“It wasn’t a memorable outcome, but it’s a game I’ll never forget, even though I’ve tried.”

Now, as the Glens and Blues prepare to do battle in another semi-final at Windsor Park tomorrow afternoon, Murphy has his sights set on a fifth Irish Cup winners medal.

At the turn of the year that looked an unlikely prospect, when Murphy was disciplined by the club and transfer listed. Now he is back in the team as the Blues go for a fifth double in six seasons.

“What I did was unacceptable and I let myself, my family, my team-mates, the manager, the committee and supporters down,” admitted Murphy.

“As I’ve got older my hunger for silverware has grown, if anything.

“I’ve started to think that my next medal could be my last and I want to repay the manager with some silverware this season.”

Belfast Telegraph


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