Willie Garrett admits ‘I may have got away with it’ after Irish Cup controversy

Willie Garrett turns away after tripping Portadown's Michael Gault
Willie Garrett turns away after tripping Portadown's Michael Gault

Defender Willie Garrett partied with the rest of his victorious Glentoran team mates on Saturday night, but deep down he knows he may well have hoodwinked referee Ross Dunlop in the soggy Irish Cup final at the Oval.

The 24-year -old was the centre of the game most controversial moment when he appeared to leave a foot to trip up Michael Gault, who was about to gobble up a woefully short back pass by Garrett.

Even though the Portadown midfielder went down in a heap, referee Ross Dunlop wasn’t impressed. Within seconds, the Glens swept to the other end with David Scullion drilling home the only goal of the game.

“I think there was a bit of contact, but at the time I genuinely thought Michael had clipped me, “ said Garrett.

“Having watched it on TV, there is some doubt but I will take that little bit of luck. Some Portadown players were too busy complaining in the referee’s ear and they switched off.

“Then 20 seconds later we have gone up the pitch and scored the winning goal.

“This is the best feeling ever. I missed out on the final two years ago as I had just come back from a loan spell at Lisburn Distillery. I was delighted for the lads that day but this feels incredible.

“We only conceded one goal in the Irish Cup this season, so I don’t think anyone can argue with is winning it.”

Meanwhile, burly Kym Nelson insists the cup win can help propel Glentoran to better things next season.

The big teenager was faced with the disappointment of being left out of the starting XI, but he made a brief appearance late on, replacing the limping Jordan Stewart.

“This will just give us a taste of what winning trophies is all about,” said Nelson. “This is what everyone in our dressing room wants – we want to be up there challenging for the league and other major honours.

“Hopefully, that’s all in front of us.”

On his omission from the team, he added: “It was tough being left out, but it was great seeing the lads go on and win the cup. I am just happy to be part of it.

“I’m still young, so hopefully, there will be many more final up ahead that I’ll be involved in. “It’s a young squad – we are all lively and energetic. Everything is geared for the future. Winning the cup can only be good for the team – it will help drive them on again next season.

“We now can also look forward to playing in European football next season.”

Nelson added the supporters played a big part in the success, adding: “The fans have been fantastic. I know quite a lot of them from where I live and they hype and the build-up all week was brilliant. They gave us fantastic backing in the final.”