Belfast Telegraph

Warrenpoint now have golden opportunity after hitting new heights of Irish Cup quarter-finals

Warrenpoint Town 2-0 Queen's University

Key role: Eamon Scannell’s free-kick led to an own goal
Key role: Eamon Scannell’s free-kick led to an own goal

By Steven Beacom

They are starting to dream at Warrenpoint Town. Stephen McDonnell's men saw off Queen's University at Q Radio Arena last night to reach the Irish Cup quarter-finals for the first time.

With Amateur League outfit Larne Tech Old Boys to come, McDonnell's men are now favourites to go even further and make it into the last four.

What a season they are enjoying. Already looking safe from relegation and in the Mid-Ulster Cup final, could an Irish Cup decider be on the horizon?

There's a long way to go yet, but with the astute McDonnell at the helm and his players determined to create more history, anything is possible.

Philip Donnelly set them on their way in the first half with a clever finish before an own goal from Queen's ace Matthew Torrans shortly after the break following Eamon Scannell's dangerous free-kick sealed the deal.

Queen's can feel proud of their efforts and showed why they are top of the Premier Intermediate League, but missed chances and some ill-fortune ensured their journey ended at the sixth round stage.

With just one minute gone they should have taken the lead after a brilliant run down the right flank and perfect cross from Chris Middleton set up Ciaran O'Hare for a golden opportunity. Instead of finding the net, O'Hare's close-range strike was comfortably saved by Jared Thompson.

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It was a huge early let-off for the home side, who gradually grew into the game with Mark Griffin off target twice and Donnelly shooting wide prior to a rasping 30-yard drive from Deane Watters being tipped onto the bar and over by Queen's goalkeeper Declan Brown.

On the half-hour mark at the other end, Simon Kelly headed Ryan McCready's effort off the line after a corner from the dangerous Middleton.

Town were far from their best but produced a touch of quality on 36 minutes to take the lead when Watters won a crunching tackle. Alan O'Sullivan passed to Lee Duffy, whose low cross was turned into the net by Donnelly after he turned sharply inside the box.

The students would have felt hard done by to trail at the break, especially when just before it Lorcan McIlroy had a goal ruled out for offside.

McDonnell's side started the second half with more urgency. O'Sullivan was denied by a fine Brown save but 60 seconds later Town doubled their lead when Scannell's wicked free-kick was turned into his own goal by Torrans.

Young full-back Scannell, having a major influence, was then denied by a brilliant Brown save.

Queen's refused to give up, with substitute Ronan Young hitting the bar with his first touch from a free-kick. That summed up their evening. In contrast, Town march on.

WARRENPOINT TOWN: Thompson, Foster, Reilly, Kelly, Griffin, O'Sullivan, M Lynch, Watters (J Lynch 45), Scannell (Wallace 71), Donnelly, Duffy (Moan 81).

Subs not used: Turker, McGrandles, Hughes, Macedo Marques.

QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY: Brown, Corry, Robinson, Hanna, Torrens, Walsh,, Middleton, O'Hare (Mulholland 78), McCready (Traynor 78), Bonnes, McIlroy (Young 71).

Subs not used: Foster, Wright, Orr, Henderson.

Referee: Ian McNabb

Belfast Telegraph


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