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Cliftonville Defeat Larne To Go One Step Closer To Irish Cup Glory

Cliftonville Defeat Larne To Go One Step Closer To Irish Cup Glory

By Callum McFadden at Windsor Park

Cliftonville 2-0 Larne

Addis, 35

Hale, 85

Jim Magilton was overjoyed by his Cliftonville side as they defeated reigning Irish Premiership champions Larne to set up an Irish Cup final showdown with Linfield.

Cliftonville dominated possession in the opening half hour without either side creating a clear-cut opportunity.

The pendulum swung in Cliftonville’s favour thirty-five minutes into the game when defender Johnny Addis headed the Reds in front from a Rory Hale cross.

The best opportunity Larne could muster in the first half came from a deflected Chris Gallagher effort that David Odumosu tipped over the bar.

Tempers flared the longer the first half went on as Larne players Andy Ryan and Chris Gallagher got booked for poor challenges on Rory Hale and Kris Lowe.

The challenge on Lowe led to him being substituted at halftime and replaced by Chris Curran for the second half.

Larne continued the second half in the same vein as they played in the first by lacking their usual tempo and composure.

Cliftonville on the other hand, pushed to score a second goal, and really should have had a second, when Rory Hale dragged a shot wide in the 62nd minute from inside the Larne penalty area.

Larne’s day went from bad to worse when Levi Ives was stretched off in the 73rd minute after an awkward landing.

Their best opportunity to level the game came via Joe Thomson in the 83rd minute but he could only smash an effort into the side netting after being played in behind by Tomas Cosgrove.

Ronan Hale then put the game behind all doubt when he fired Cliftonville’s second of the game with a half volley past a helped Rohan Ferguson.

Victory for Cliftonville puts them one game away from winning the Irish Cup for the first time since 1979. It is remarkable to think that a team of The Reds’ standing is on a run of forty-five years without lifting the trophy.

It will be down to Jim Magilton to try and change that when his side face David Healy’s Linfield in May’s showpiece final back at Windsor Park.

WFi Player of the match: Shea Kearney (Cliftonville) An excellent display in both halves of the pitch for the Reds today.

Cliftonville: Odumosu, Stewart, Addis, Rory Hale (Mallon, 90+5), Lowe (Curran, 45), Doherty, Burns, Casey, Ronan Hale, Kearney, Wilson (Gormley, 76).

Substitutes: Gartside, Pepper, Kenny, Curran, Mallon, Gormely, Graham.

Larne: Ferguson, Donnelly, Randall (Thomson, 67), Bonis, Ives, Bolger, Millar (Sloan, 67), Cosgrove, Gallagher, Ryan, Williams.

Substitutes: McAdams, Thomson, O’Neill, Westendorf, Glynn, Sloan, Orozco.