Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Cliftonville 3-1 Linfield: Reds’ captains key to Irish Cup success

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The fairytale didn’t extend as far for Cliftonville’s record goal scorer and vice-captain Joe Gormley, who despite also completing his set by lifting the Irish Cup, didn’t make it on to the pitch during the pulsating final.

David Odumosu, Odhran Casey and Sean Stewart were all forced off with injury, with Curran and Ben Wilson also introduced ahead of Gormley as the Reds looked for pace in behind.

That didn’t dampen his spirits much, evidenced in the fact that he was the first player to charge from the bench to celebrate with Ronan Hale after he converted the third goal.

Gormley did admit he was getting bad flashbacks to the 2013 final the Reds lost against Glentoran when the spate of injuries hit.

“When David and Odhran went off injured it reminded me of the Irish Cup final in 2013, [Liam] Boyce had a shoulder knock and it basically ruled him out of the game, so I was fearing the worst,” he conceded.

“No one ever gives us a chance, but the Irish Cup is coming back to Solitude. It means so much to the people at Cliftonville.”

Gormley was also able to lift the trophy alongside Curran and credited captain on the day Rory Hale for the kind gesture on such a big day.

“I wasn’t expecting to lift it, Chris is the captain and Rory was the captain on the day, but Rory said ‘Joe, I want you to lift it’ and it’s an honour.

“I appreciate that he did and that’s Rory Hale in a nutshell.”

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