Irish Cup: Jim Magilton praises ‘magnificent’ Cliftonville display in Larne win

    Cliftonville manager Jim Magilton praised his side’s “magnificent performance from start to finish” in their 2-0 Irish Cup semi-final win against Larne.

    Goals from Jonny Addis and Ronan Hale sealed the Reds’ passage to the decider against Linfield on 4 May.

    Magilton believes they thoroughly deserved the victory, which brought to an end Larne’s 18-game unbeaten streak.

    “I can’t praise the players enough,” he said.

    “To be in an Irish Cup final, I’m emotional actually. I’m so proud of everyone associated with the club, but especially the players and the shift they put in, they were just magnificent.”

    It was a tentative start to the game at Windsor Park from Cliftonville, before Addis towered above Cian Bolger to guide Rory Hale’s cross beyond Rohan Ferguson and open the scoring on 34 minutes.

    The north Belfast side dominated proceedings after the break, with Ronan Hale sealing the win with a deflected strike after they had spurned a number of opportunities to extend their lead.

    Magilton was pleased with the control Cliftonville exerted in the second half after an inspired half-time team talk, as they reached their first Irish Cup final since 2018.

    “We came with a game plan and the players carried it out to the letter. We worked on a set plan on playing on the counter attack because we had that pace up front and we knew if we could expose it in the right areas, we had the chance of winning,” he explained.

    “We told the players [at half-time], remember who they are and how they play, to stick to our beliefs and be composed enough to play through pressure and take the opportunities when they come our way, and we won a fantastic game.”

    ‘It was a real team effort’

    Jonny Addis
    Addis’ first half header helped Cliftonville on their way to victory against Larne

    Goal scorer Addis praised the impact of Cliftonville’s large crowd on helping the players to see out the victory.

    “The support was massive and us as players, we have to respond to it. We got the first goal and from that point on, the fans were magnificent, they backed us enormously,” he said.

    “We had to work hard for the win, Larne are top side and we knew we were in for a tough game. It was a game of few clear cut chances but we’re just delighted to get out on top and I’m just glad it’s over!”

    Addis believes that the collective effort, including contributions from substitutes, helped to get Cliftonville over the line as they now chase their first Irish Cup success since 1979.

    “We struggled to play through Larne, but it was just a matter of keeping going and being switched on defensively.

    “We got the first from a set piece and we knew we would get the second at some stage in terms of getting another to kill the game, thankfully we did that.

    “David [Odumosu] then makes a brilliant save at 2-0 that could have made for a squeaky last five minutes if that went in, so it was a real team effort.”


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