Samuel Gelston’s Whiskey Irish Cup, Round Five

Dundela 0–5 Cliftonville 

Cliftonville avoided the potential upset and advanced into the last 16 of the Samuel Gelston’s Whiskey Irish Cup with a comfortable 5-0 win over Dundela at Wilgar Park on Friday evening. 

A quickfire double from Sean Moore and Ronan Hale gave the Reds a 2-0 lead at the break and a Joe Gormley penalty early in the second period was followed by two further Hale goals as the former Larne striker bagged his second Cup hat-trick of the season. 

Boss Paddy McLaughlin was delighted to see his side avoid the potential giant-killing and praised their temperament and attitude throughout. 

“We’re delighted, it was important that we got through and into the hat for the next round,” he reflected. 

“It was important that we came here and won because we know how difficult it is. They’ve lost a couple of players recently, but they’ve signed well with some good Irish League and Premiership experience. 

“We knew it was going to be difficult, but I can’t give the boys enough credit. Their attitude and their efficiency in what they did throughout the game was excellent - a clean sheet and five goals in a dominant display. Their temperament was tested coming here tonight, but they passed it with flying colours, and it was key that we did that. 

“We didn’t come here with the wrong attitude because there was the massive potential for a banana skin and that’s why the cameras were here because I think people might have thought that as well. Fair play to our boys, their attitude and their temperament was excellent.”

McLaughlin made one change from Monday’s victory over Larne as captain Chris Curran made a start in place of Ronan Doherty who dropped to the bench. 

It was a tame and uneventful opening quarter in East Belfast as both sides struggled to create anything of note. 

Levi Ives let fly with an effort from distance but was well wide of the target and then Rory Hale played a one-two with Joe Gormley. 

The midfielder’s initial effort was blocked and Dun’s Ryan McKay ensured that his second attempt wouldn’t force Sam Johnston into action. 

Cliftonville made the breakthrough after 25 minutes as Chris Gallagher played a long ball out of defence, picking out the run of Sean Moore on the left flank and the 17-year-old squeezed an effort past Johnston despite the best efforts of Sam Dinu on the line to score his second goal in four days. 

The Reds doubled their advantage just three minutes later when Rory Hale flicked a long pass into the direction of younger brother Rory who chested it down on the edge of the area. 

Chris Curran slipped Hale in and he spun away from Dinu and steered a low shot past Sam Johnston at his near post to make it 2-0. 

Rory Hale went close with a snapshot before the break and Dundela almost halved the deficit themselves. 

Ryan McKay scampered away from Jonny Addis and pulled the ball across the area to Willie Faulkner who sliced wide from a very promising position, and it remained 2-0 at the interval.

It took Cliftonville three minutes to extend their lead after the break as Tony Kane chopped down Sean Moore inside the area and referee Tony Clarke pointed to the spot. 

Joe Gormley took responsibility and made no mistake, hammering coolly down the middle to put the game beyond doubt. 

Joe Gormley celebrates netting his penalty

Joe Gormley celebrates netting his penalty

The Reds added a fourth before the hour mark when Moore cut back for Gormley whose effort was parried by Johnston and Ronan Hale fired the rebound home for his second of the evening. 

Johnston had to turn away a Chris Curran shot moments later as Cliftonville threatened a fifth. 

It would arrive with a quarter of an hour remaining: Jamie McDonagh’s corner was met by Colin Coates and Ronan Hale turned home from close range to secure the hat-trick and wrap up a comfortable 5-0 win and ensure a safe passage to the last 16 of the competition. 

DUNDELA: Johnston, Lewis, McGovern, Dinu, McKay, McMaster (Beattie 83’), Faulkner, Kane, Hall (Igehon 63’), Dobbin, Annett. 

CLIFTONVILLE: Gartside, Lowe, Addis (Robinson 68’), Turner, Ives (Coates 46’), Gallagher (Casey 63’), C Curran, Rory Hale, Ronan Hale, Moore, Gormley (McDonagh 63’). 

REFEREE: Tony Clarke