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H&W Welders boss Paul Kee relishing Larne Irish Cup test after creating "a little bit of history"

News Letter logo News Letter 06/02/2023 Alex Mills
© H&W Welders match winner Oisin Barr enjoys his moment at the final whistle

​The Championship side again defied the odds when dumping out Gary Hamilton’s Glenavon at Mourneview Park on Saturday.

Ironically, it was former Glenavon player Oisin Barr who produced the game’s outstanding moment, lobbing home a beauty just after the interval – although the 21-year-old looked in a suspiciously offside position when he picked up Jack Kinner’s pass.

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Although Glenavon tried desperately to repair the damage, they just couldn’t break down a stubborn Welders defence, superbly drilled by Kyle Owens.

The Welders will now make a little piece of history by appearing in an Irish Cup quarter-final for the first time when Tiernan Lynch brings his team to their plush new venue in East Belfast.

“I’m really chuffed for the people behind the scenes, the boys that have worked tirelessly to get this club where it is today, I’m delighted for the chairman, Thomas Flynn and the Committee,” beamed Kee.

“It’s a little bit of history as well, the first time the club has reached the Irish Cup quarter-finals. We were hoping for a home draw, it will be a massive day for the club.

“It’s what the club deserve, we now have a fantastic facility at the Blanchflower Stadium. We are thrilled Larne will be coming to our place and, hopefully, we can give them a game on the day.”

Kee insists his team’s win at Mourneview Park was fully deserved.

He added: “We had to up our game against Glenavon, because they are currently playing at a higher level than we are. We managed to do that physically and I think that’s what got us over the line.

“For effort and commitment, it was definitely a deserved result. We had to dig in for the last 15 minutes when Glenavon threw the kitchen sink at us.

“The boys’ attitude and application has been fantastic since the turn of the year. There is no great secret, they all work hard in training, and they are prepared to graft.”

Glenavon boss Gary Hamilton pulled no punches in his post-match assessment, claiming his team lacked quality in the final third of the pitch.

“I thought we were dominant in the first half and created a few decent chances,” he said. “The longer it went on (without scoring) the more I began to worry. I told the boys at half-time we needed a bit more composure on the ball, especially in the final third.

“When we conceded early in the second half, that gave them (Welders) the lift they needed. We began to panic and started snatching at things.

“For me the Welders’ goal was offside – quite a bit offside, which makes it even more frustrating. That’s what happens in cup football.

“The Welders came with nothing to lose, they gave everything, and they got a bit of luck with the offside decision. The reality is, we had more than enough chances to win the game.

“I’m totally gutted, devastated, we’ve let down a lot of people at the football club.”

GLENAVON: Brown, Kerr (Hamilton 85), Birney, Snoddy (Baird 58), O’Connor, Fitzpatrick, Campbell, Prendergast (Bradley 58), Wallace, Rogers (Ward 58), Garrett (Doran 78).

Unused subs: Doyle, Matthews.

H&W WELDERS: Argyrides, Patterson (Farren 58), McCarthy, Byers, Owens, Kinner, McClay (McGuiggan 90), Harris, Ferguson, McLellan, Barr (Flynn 85).

Unused subs: Lanouette, McMurray, Akassou, Frazer.

REFEREE: Jamie Robinson


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