Slack Glenavon pay the penalty in quarter-final exit

Niall Henderson fires goalwards for Glenavon.INLM15-710
Niall Henderson fires goalwards for Glenavon.INLM15-710
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MID-ULSTER CUP 
(QUARTER-FINALS)

GLENAVON 2 
BANBRIDGE TOWN 2
(GLENAVON LOST 
3-2 ON PENS)

PAUL Walsh - the former Glenavon winger - scored the decisive penalty kick to send Banbridge Town marching into the Mid-Ulster Cup semi-finals at Mourneview Park on Saturday.

Banbridge battled back from a 2-0 deficit over the closing 20 minutes to force extra-time and, ultimately, come out on top across the penalty shoot-out.

In fact, Banbridge gained a 3-2 extra-time lead before Glenavon levelled to send the tie towards the spot-kick lottery.

Andrew Mitchell was forced to step in between the posts as an emergency goalkeeper following the dismissal of Davy O’Hare across extra-time.

Goals by Mitchell and McDaid - the latter one of the club’s promising prospects on show - left Gary Hamilton’s men in a commanding position.

Mitchell played the captain’s role by heading home a Kyle Neill corner-kick on 25 minutes to break the deadlock during a dynamic display.

A second was scored by Glenavon moments later as Mitchell won back possession then slipped a pass for McDaid to convert with a close-range finish.

Hamilton headed wide before the break and Matthew Rooney forced Nathan Morley-Hillen into a smart stop ahead of the interval.

Mitchell forced the Banbridge goalkeeper into fine stop early in the second half before Niall Henderson directed a volley just wide of the target.

Timmy Grant sparked the Banbridge fightback by firing narrowly over the target before smashing the ball into the top corner of the net.

It was 2-2 on 81 minutes thanks to Grant’s second of the afternoon at the second attempt - with Chris Kingsberry also having an effort on goal during the scramble.

Stephen O’Neill came close to securing victory for Banbridge in normal time but eventually found the net across extra-time.

Glenavon’s problems increased with O’Hare’s red card for handling the ball outside the area but another Neill corner-kick helped the hosts hit back as Jude Ballard celebrated his introduction off the substitutes’ bench by smashing in a volley from distance.

Mitchell, who has previously represented Waringstown Cricket Club as wicketkeeper, produced two fine saves during the shoot-out before Brendan Shannon’s attempt was stopped.

Hamilton and Neill both scored but Mitchell and Ballard failed to convert as Banbridge picked up a morale-boosting win.

GLENAVON: O’Hare, Neill, McCashin, Dane, Hagan, Rooney (Shannon, 105 mins), Henderson (Ballard, 67 mins), Corrigan, Hamilton, McDaid (Taggart, 61 mins), Mitchell. Unused Subs: Brown, Lindsay.