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Saturday 04 Jan 2020
Sadler's Peaky Blinder Irish Cup: Fifth round review

Sadler's Peaky Blinder Irish Cup fifth round day is always one of the most eagerly anticipated dates in the calendar, and this year most certainly did not disappoint.

Queen's University caused the undoubted shock of the round with a stunning 2-1 defeat of Danske Bank Premiership champions Linfield at The Dub.

The students, seventh in the Championship, grabbed the lead six minutes before half-time thanks to Marc McKenna's rifled effort low into the bottom corner.

As expected, Linfield came storming out of the blocks after the break in search of the equaliser duly levelling on the hour through Shayne Lavery.

However, with just 14 minutes remaining, Queen's were awarded a penalty following a Mark Stafford handball with Jonah Mitchell showing great composure to send keeper Rohan Ferguson the wrong way from the spot.

Linfield's great rivals, Glentoran, also came very close to crashing out to Championship opposition when they were taken all the way to a sudden death shoot-out by Portadown at The Oval.

Lee Bonis had given the Ports a 41st minute advantage, a lead they held until the fourth minute of stoppage time when Hrvoje Plum knocked home a dramatic late penalty.

Liam McKenna restored Portadown's lead a couple of minutes into extra-time but almost immediately Jonny Frazer levelled for the Glens and, with no further goals forthcoming, it took penalties to settle the tie.

In the end, with the sides still in deadlock after five kicks each, a Christopher Crane miss coupled with Gavin Peers scoring booked a spot in the next round for the Glens.

Larne were top scorers with an eight-goal salvo past Belfast Celtic at Inver Park. David McDaid bagged two to bring his tally for the season to 11 with Martin Donnelly, Jonny McMurray, Albert Watson, Conor McKendry, Sean Graham and Harry Flowers also joining him on the scoresheet.

Cliftonville also got amongst the goals, hitting six without reply past Hanover through Thomas Maguire (2), Aaron Donnelly, Joe Gormley, Ronan Doherty and Ryan Curran while top individual performance of the day went to Warrenpoint Town's Alan O'Sullivan who grabbed a hat-trick in the 3-1 defeat of PSNI at Milltown.

Of the two all Premiership clashes on offer there were victories for Dungannon Swifts and Coleraine over Institute and Glenavon respectively.

Michael Carvill fired home an injury time winner for the Swifts at the Brandywell after they had twice held the lead and been pegged back by 'Stute while Jamie Glackin and Eoin Bradley found the net for the Bannsiders at Mourneview Park.

Holders Crusaders kicked off their defence of the trophy with a 3-0 defeat of Dundela at Seaview courtesy of finishes from Philip Lowry (2) and David Cushley while Nathan Cashel's strike just before half-time was enough to see last season's losing finalists Ballinamallard United through at the expense of Dollingstown at Ferney Park.

Of the remaining top flight sides, Ballymena United had a tough afternoon at home to Crumlin Star before Declan Carville and Cathair Friel ensured safe passage for the Sky Blues but it was more straightforward for Carrick Rangers after goals from Mark Surgenor, Caolan Loughran and Lloyd Anderson helped Niall Currie's side beat Ards.

Elsewhere, Mid-Ulster Intermediate side Rathfriland came from a goal down to upset Loughgall at Lakeview Park while Banbridge Town squeezed past East Belfast on penalties at Crystal Park.

And it was afternoon to remember for Joshua Connery who, on his debut, scored the winner as Knockbreda got the better of Dergview after extra-time with Ballyclare Comrades, thanks to Adam Gray's stoppage time goal, and Newry City (Darren King, Stefan Lavery and Adam Foley) making up the last 16.