Clearer Water Irish Cup: Fifth Round

Coleraine 0 - 3 Cliftonville
05 Jan 2024 - 19:45The Showgrounds

COLERAINE were knocked out of the Irish Cup as a Ronan Hale inspired hat-trick helped Cliftonville earn an extra-time win at The Showgrounds…

By: Charlie Cooke

Oran Kearney handed starts to new signings Rory Brown and Jack Scott, with the game getting off to a frantic start as Ronan Hale saw a deflected strike being held whilst Lee Lynch tested the gloves of David Odumosu at the other end.

On five minutes, Cliftonville thought they had taken the lead as tenacious work by Ben Wilson on the right-hand side allowed the former Brighton loanee to cross the ball into the box which was flicked wide by the onrushing Sean Stewart.

After Shea Kearney had a fierce effort palmed away by Brown, the Stripes would have a big chance of their own as Jamie Glackin regained possession after a loose pass by Jonny Addis and he picked out Lee Lynch. The midfielder was well-placed inside the box and his pass was just behind Jack Scott who struggled to adjust his feet as the Reds cleared their lines.

The second-half started with sustained pressure by the visitors as Luke Turner had a strike blocked by Jack Scott, before Joe Gormley teed up strike partner Wilson who drilled harmlessly over the crossbar.

At the other end, Coleraine worked the ball well to Lynch on the right-hand side and his cross looked certain to find the feet of McDaid but Odumosu rushed off his line to smother the ball.

However, the game would end with two red cards in a matter of ten minutes with the first seeing Cliftonville substitute Sam Ashford dismissed for a tackle on Dean Jarvis. Soon after, Lyndon Kane – who was already cautioned – received a second booking for an alleged foul on Ronan Hale as the game entered extra-time.

Jim Magilton’s side made a good start to the extra-time period as Wilson laid the ball back to Rory Hale at the edge of the area. The energetic midfielder let fly with a strike from just outside the box which was palmed away by Brown.

However, the deadlock would be broken on 104 minutes as Ronan Hale made the breakthrough. A loose pass was seized upon by the attacker and his instinctive strike from 25 yards would sail beyond Brown and into the back of the net.

On 116 minutes, the contest was put to bed as hesitancy at the back was seized upon by Ronan Hale yet again as he calmly rolled the ball into the back of the net, before completing his hat-trick two minutes later with an emphatic finish after being picked out by Chris Curran.

Irish Cup dreams are now over as the Bannsiders return to Sports Direct Premiership duty next weekend at Glentoran.

COLERAINE: Brown, Kane, D. Jarvis, A. Jarvis, McDaid, Farren, Lynch (O’Hara ’61 mins), Glackin (Cole ‘102 mins), J. Scott (McLaughlin ‘106 mins), O’Mahony (Devine ‘106 mins), A. Scott (Lowry ’91 mins).

Subs Not Used: Gallagher (GK), O’Donnell.

CLIFTONVILLE: Odumosu, Stewart (McGuinness ‘105 mins), Addis, Rory Hale, Doherty, Gormley (Ashford ’66 mins), Casey, Turner (Pepper ‘111 mins), Ronan Hale, Kearney, Wilson (C. Curran ’96 mins).

Subs Not Used: Gartside (GK), McDonagh, Jordan.

Referee: Raymond Crangle