IRISH CUP: Lowry gets the job done for Linfield

Linfields Stephen Lowry celebrates scoring the winner. Pic by PressEye.
Linfields Stephen Lowry celebrates scoring the winner. Pic by PressEye.

Stephen Lowry was a happy man after going from villain to hero in Saturday’s Irish Cup semi-final victory against Dungannon Swifts.

The former Coleraine midfielder - who will meet his old team in the final - missed a penalty just after half-time before redeeming himself by hitting the winner in the 89th minute to seal his side’s place in the final.

And Lowry admitted afterwards that he was just relieved to have made amends for missing from the spot against a determined Swifts outfit.

“It was a roller coaster day for me. Obviously, I was delighted to get the winner.

“To get two late winners in our last two games is a great feeling.

“It was a mentally challenging day for me after missing the penalty in such a big game.

“It looked like we weren’t going to score in normal time.

“I’m just glad I showed a bit of character and a cool head to score with time running out.

“I’m just pleased I managed to put it in the back of the net.

The result is massive. That’s what the Linfield teams of old did, they scored late goals.

“They were always known for coming back and scoring important goals.

“That’s what we’re trying to achieve here.

“I had a funny feeling in the back of my mind we were going to nick one.

“The more the game went on, it was looking less and less likely.”

And Lowry paid tribute to the effort and commitment Dungannon put in to the encounter.

“To be fair to Dungannon, they played well today and frustrated us at times.

“In terms of overall chances, we had the more clear cut opportunities.

“Dungannon had one shot which Roy Carroll made a fantastic save from.

“Roy’s been massive for us this season.

“He has added something to our changing room and keeps us on our toes.

“That save and the flexibility of it was unbelievable for a goalkeeper in his late-30s now.

“There are no two ways about it, he is top class.

“Roy kept us in the game and gave us the chance to go up the other end and win the game.

“We’re just delighted to get over the line and get into the final,” said Lowry.

And Lowry says he can’t wait to face is old club in the final.

“I would like to have got some revenge on Glenavon, but I’m glad Coleraine are there.

“I had a great time there and it’s great to see them in a final.

“We’ll probably be favourites in the final but we’ll just have to deal with that tag.

“Last year, we were favourites, but ended up with egg on our face.

“We’ve put ourselves in a great position. Since Coleraine beat us (on January 3), we haven’t lost a game in all competitions.

“We’re on a great run and credit to the players.

“We’ve had a consistent team the last 14 or 15 matches. When you’re at Linfield, you’re there to be shot at.

“When you lose one game, it’s a crisis. We are looking forward to the final.”