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Saturday 04 Feb 2023
Irish Cup | Sixth Round recap

What an afternoon that was! The Samuel Gelston’s Whiskey Irish Cup sixth round ticked every box in what turned out to be an astonishing day packed full of excitement, drama and heartache.

Two games went all the way to penalties as Larne and Cliftonville triumphed at the expense of Linfield and Coleraine.

MORE | Samuel Gelston’s Whiskey Irish Cup quarter-final draw

At Inver Park Kyle McClean gave Linfield the lead just before the break but this was cancelled out around the hour mark by Lee Bonis … and it was Bonis who went on to dump the Blues out of the competition with the winning spot-kick after Max Haygarth saw his effort saved by Rohan Ferguson.

Premiership leaders Cliftonville also made it through after Jamie McDonagh’s stoppage time equaliser at Solitude threw the Reds a lifeline.

Rory Hale had opened the scoring inside the opening quarter-of-an-hour but goals after the break from Jack O’Mahony and Stephen O’Donnell tipped the balance in favour of the Bannsiders.

Reds' goalkeeper Nathan Gartside then saved three times in the shoot-out before Levi Ives stepped up settle it.

Harland and Wolff Welders pulled off the shock of the round with a one-goal defeat of Premiership opponents Glenavon at Mourneview Park.

Scoreless at the break, Paul Kee’s side broke the deadlock on 56 minutes after Oisin Barr raced clear to face Rory Brown one-on-one and chip the ball over the keeper and into the net.

And it was almost a similar tale at Breda Park in the early kick-off as Knockbreda had their hearts broken by two late, late Dungannon Swifts goals.

Anto Burns had fired ‘Breda in front as early as the sixth minute, a lead they held until the 90th minute when James Knowles levelled from the spot. Then, as extra-time loomed, Padraig Lynch struck to spare Dungannon’s blushes and book their place in the last eight.

There were no such issues for both Glentoran and Ballymena United as they swept past Portadown and Newington respectively.

The Glens hit three goals without reply at Shamrock Park. Jay Donnelly helped himself to a double either side of a stunning Niall McGinn strike from around 30 yards out.

Ballymena United scored twice through Douglas Wilson and Ross Redman just before half-time but Patrick Downey hit back for the Swans early in the second half. However, Ryan Waide hit a double in the final quarter-of-an-hour to ultimately secure safe passage for the Sky Blues.

Meanwhile, at the Brandywell, Ballyclare Comrades squeezed past Institute. Conall McGrandles grabbed the only goal of the game just short of the hour mark with a glancing header beyond keeper Dylan Doherty.

Holders Crusaders kicked the weekend of cup action off on Friday night with a narrow 2-1 victory over Bangor at the Bangor Fuels Arena. Philip Lowry hit both goals for the Crues before Ben Arthurs pulled one back midway through the second half.

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