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Sunday 03 Mar 2024
Clearer Water Irish Cup | Quarter-finals recap

The semi-final line-up in this season's Clearer Water Irish Cup is now known following Linfield's victory over Institute on Sunday afternoon at the Brandywell.

The Blues joined Cliftonville, Glentoran and Larne in the last four after a long and intriguing weekend of cup action that pitted the four remaining Premiership sides against four opponents from the Championship.

Portadown 0-2 Cliftonville
Although scoreless at the break, both sides had their chances to take hold of the game in the first half.

Cliftonville were first to hit the woodwork when Ronan Doherty teed up Sam Ashford only for his effort to ricochet back off an upright whilst Rory Hale couldn't make the most of the follow up.

Then, a short time later, Portadown also sent an effort against post when Eamon Fyfe sent an impressive strike goalwards with Reds keeper David Odumosu beaten.

The visitors hit the woodwork for a second time just before the hour when Ronan Hale offered up a thundering effort from just outside the area only for the ball to cannon off the underside of the bar.

But the deadlock was finally broken on 63 minutes when unfortunate Portadown defender Luke Wilson inadvertently turned the ball into his own net whilst attempting to deal with a Sean Stewart cross.

Portadown thought they had levelled seven minutes later, however, by Fyfe's finish was ruled out by the assistant referee for offside.

However, Cliftonville made sure of their place in the last four when Ashford nutmegged Hogg from the edge of the six yard box after Rory Hale sent a low cross over from the right.

Glentoran 2-0 Ballyclare Comrades
Glentoran edged past Ballyclare Comrades at The Oval to secure their place in the last four.

David Fisher opened the scoring for Warren Feeney's side just before the half-hour mark after rising highest to connect with Seanan Clucas' delivery into the box to direct his header into the top corner.

The Glens might have extended their lead before the break with Fisher finding himself through on goal only for Comrades keeper Declan Breen to deal with the threat while, a short time later, Clucas looked to have found the bottom corner but was thwarted by a fingertip save from the visiting keeper.

But Breen was beaten again barely moments after the interval after Charlie Lindsay doubled the home advantage with a lobbed finish.

There might have been a third soon after but Junior's strike from Niall McGinn's cross was ruled out by the officials.

Larne 4-1 Newington
Larne produced a strong second half performance to sweep past Newington at Inver Park.

Tiarnan Lynch's side dominated the opening 45 minutes but couldn't find a way past an excellently marshalled Newington defence.

But that all changed early in the second half when goals from Levi Ives and Lee Bonis saw Larne make their mark on the tie.

Ives broke the deadlock on 47 minutes with an inswinging free-kick that caught everyone out, including Swans keeper Marc Maybin.

Then, a couple of minutes after that, Bonis doubled Larne's lead with a back post header after another Ives delivery went beyond Maybin's reach.

Bonis could have doubled his tally around ten minutes later but saw a half volley ruled disallowed, although he did get his name on the scoresheet again midway through the second half after Mark Randall found him with a well delivered pass.

Eamonn Hughes pulled one back for Newington with an 80th minute spot-kick, but Larne restored their three goal cushion deep into stoppage time when the unfortunate Aodhfionn Casey turned the ball into his own net whilst attempting to deal with another Ives cross.

Institute 1-3 Linfield
Linfield wrapped the weekend up with an ultimately comfortable defeat of Institute at the Brandywell.

The Blues moved in front just after the half-hour mark when Ethan McGee volleyed past Gareth Muldoon from just outside the area.

And two goals just before the hour effectively settled the tie in favour of the visitors.

Matthew Fitzpatrick made it 2-0 on 56 minutes with a glancing header after connecting with a Kirk Millar.

Then, barely two minutes after that, Millar got on the scoresheet himself with a lovely, clipped finish into the top corner.

Shane McGinty pulled one back for 'Stute with four minutes remaining.