History maker Haire sees Hoops into last eight

Lurgan Celtic's Aaron Haire stays on his feet as his Knockbreda opponent trips up. INLM06-616AM
Lurgan Celtic's Aaron Haire stays on his feet as his Knockbreda opponent trips up. INLM06-616AM

Aaron Haire was the history making hero for Lurgan Celtic as his goal saw the Hoops reach the last eight of the Irish Cup for the first time.

Played in blustery conditions both sides struggled to play any cohesive football but it was Knockbreda who enjoyed the majority of possession in the opening exchanges.

On 30 minutes Knockbreda’s striker blasted a shot just over the bar and Conor McCorry pulled off an excellent double save shortly after to keep the hoops level.

Knockbreda for their dominance in the first half had nothing to show with Celtic holding firm content going in at the break on level terms playing against a strong wind.

Celtic started the second half with a lot more urgency and both strikers seeing more of the ball in an attacking sense.

On 65 minutes Haire was shoved off the ball in the box while lining up a header from a Dale Malone cross and the referee award a spot kick. Up stepped Malone who struck the ball low to the keeper’s right but McBride pulled of a great save to deny Celtic the lead.

With 20 minutes left Sean Devlin replaced McCabe with O’Hara slotting in at left back.

On 78 minutes Celtic broke the deadlock when Aaron Haire headed in a Malone corner to give Celtic the upperhand in the tie.

The remaining minutes were tense on the pitch and within the sizable crowd, but Celtic’s defence stood firm, particularly John Cochrane who was having a wonderful game.

To the relief of Celtic fans the referee blew the whistle after 94 minutes and Lurgan Celtic created history qualifying for the quarter-finals of the Irish Cup for the very first time.

McLeans Bookmakers Man of the Match was John Cochrane.