Knockout delight for Glentoran, Glenavon and Portadown
The Glens defeated Carrick Rangers in the Toals Co Antrim Shield semi-finals, with Glenavon too strong for Limavady across the BetMcLean Cup and Portadown home in front of Loughgall during the Euro-Electrix Mid-Ulster Senior Cup.
Glentoran finished with Shay McCartan, Junior, Rory Donnelly and Paddy McClean on the scoresheet in the 4-0 defeat of Carrick.
Carrick finished with 10 men following a second-half red card for Kurtis Forsythe.
McCartan kicked off the scoring for Glentoran by heading home with a close-range finish after James Singleton knocked down a Cameron Palmer free-kick delivery.
McCartan’s effort proved the only goal before the break but the semi-final served up a second in the second half off Junior as he reacted quickly to intercept Albert Watson’s attempted backpass and produce a composed finish.
Carrick’s problems increased with the dismissal of Forsythe by referee Shane Andrews for a foul on Palmer.
The Glens increased the level of control late on as Donnelly converted from inside the area after stepping off the sidelines to cap Junior’s right-wing delivery on 88 minutes.
With 91 minutes gone, defender McClean wrapped up the scoring with a volley attempt which hit the ground and bounced over Ross Glendinning.
Larne face either Ballymacash Rangers or Knockbreda in the other Shield semi-final.
Aaron Prendergast settled success on the road for Glenavon over Limavady United thanks to his single strike on 17 minutes.
A low drive by the forward – following good approach play from captain Niall Quinn – left the top-flight Lurgan Blues on top over Playr-Fit Premier Intermediate League-based Limavady in the BetMcLean Cup second-round clash.
The tie was rearranged due to floodlight issues on the original date and now Glenavon face Coleraine in the quarter-finals.
In the Euro-Electrix Mid Ulster Senior Cup semi-final, Portadown secured a showdown with Dungannon Swifts thanks to success over Loughgall.
The clash at Lakeview Park delivered five goals as the Ports – now playing in the Playr-Fit Championship following relegation last season – edged out a Loughgall side promoted to the Sports Direct Premiership top flight over the summer as winners of the second tier.
Dean Smith’s Loughgall held the upper hand on two occasions in the last-four tie as Pablo Andrade broke the deadlock on seven minutes then Andrew Hoey restored the advantage before the hour mark.
Mark Russell left the visitors on level terms by finding the net with 11 minutes on the clock.
Ryan Mayse then bagged two goals inside six minutes from the 62 mark to make it 2-2 then hand Portadown the decisive lead.
Dungannon recently won the other semi-final after extra-time at the expense of Glenavon.