On an already soft and cut-up Oval pitch on Saturday, Glentoran and Dungannon fought for a place in the semi-finals of the Irish Cup through torrential rain and gale force winds, with the east Belfast side showing their class to come out 3-0 victors. Manager Eddie Patterson saw the in-form Stevie Gordon and Jordan Stewart ruled out through suspension, though Willie Garrett started in defence and Jim O'Hanlon made the bench as they both returned from lengthy injury spells.
It was the hosts who were fastest out of the blocks with Marcus Kane's improvised lob forcing Alvin Rouse to scramble the ball away with just sixty seconds on the clock. However, five minutes later and Dungannon wasted an excellent chance of their own as Matt Hazley blazed over when well placed on the edge of the area. Shortly after that Elliott Morris shocked the enire ground (including Rouse) after slamming a 70-yard effort from inside his own half goalwards with the Swifts' shot-stopper only able to tip the fizzing effort over the bar. From the resulting corner, the Glens took the lead. The ball worked its way to David Scullion who curled it towards the top corner. Rouse tipped the strike onto the post and Curtis Allen pounced to turn the loose ball into the back of the net.
On a worseining pitch neither side could create any more real clear cut opportunities and the half sort of fizzled out. 13 minutes into the second half and Stephen McAlorum saw a header sail just wide, before Dungannon's best opportunity of the game arrived with David Amrstrong ghosting unmarked to the back post and meeting Hazley's corner only for Morris to save. With a little under half an hour of the game left the Glens doubled their advantage. Scullion won a corner, Henderson whipped it in and Kym Nelson met it with aplomb - but Rouse saved brilliantly. However Kane waa first to react and buried the loose ball into the bottom corner to all but send the Glens through to the semi-finals.
With the clock ticking down Allen was sent through on goal only to be hacked down in the area, with the defender being brandished a red card. Henderson stepped up and cooly dispatched it into the bottom corner to send the Glens into a semi-final showdown on the 21st March.
A great result on a terrible pitch for the Glens then and they march into the quarter finals to play Crusaders, venue TBC. The other semi final is Portadown v Ballymena, and Glentoran travel to mid-Ulster and Shamrock Park next weekend to play the Ports - kick off is 3pm.
Photographs by Thomas Sewell.
Highlights on BBC Sport NI HERE
Glentoran: Morris (capt), Holland, Kane, Addis, Garrett, McAlorum, Henderson, Nelson, McCaffrey, Scullion & Allen.
Subs: McKee for McCaffrey and Birney for Garrett. Unused: Hogg, O'Hanlon & McCullough.
Little Lily's Bistro 'Man of the Match' - Barry Holland