Kick off was delayed five minutes as there were still long queues at the turnstiles as kick off time approached.
Seven changes for Glenavon and four for Glentoran from the sides that started the weekend league games.
After a slow start Glenavon came into the game more after early chances for the home side with Jim O’Hanlon failing to test James McGrath and David Scullion firing over.
Tiarnan Mulvenna was flagged offside as he got on the end of a pass inside the Glens box after a great cross field pass by Gareth McKeown picked out Guy Bates on the left and he cut inside. Mulvenna then crossed to Andy McGrory and Elliott Morris fumbled his header on the goal line but was able to recover in time.
Guy Bates holds off Jay Magee. Photo by Alan Weir.
In the 42nd minute McKeown’s free kick from 25 yards flicked up off Shane McCabe who was on the end of the Glens wall and Mulvenna was in quickly with a shot but it was smothered bravely by the Glens keeper.
In first half stoppage time, an unfortunate slip by Rhys Marshall allowed Scullion the chance to get on the ball and he slipped it into the run of Jordan Stewart who was adjudged to have been brought down by James McGrath.
Was it a penalty? Photo by Alan Weir.
After Referee Raymond Crangle awarded the Glens a penalty he showed the Glenavon keeper a yellow card. Former Glenavon defender Jay Magee stepped up and smashed the spot kick home with effectively the last kick of the half, the whistle going as soon as Glenavon kicked off for the restart.
Both managers seemed to have words with the referee as they left the field for the half time interval.
Glentoran failed to force McGrath into any serious action in the entire second half and Glenavon pressed for an equalizer. Shortly after Gary Hamilton replaced Mulvenna he had a close range shot brilliantly pushed round the post for a corner from which James Singleton had a goal-bound shot blocked. Bates then sent over a perfect cross but Niall Henderson got his head to it and diverted it for a corner as Hamilton waited at the far post for what would have been an easy finish. Morris punched the corner out for a throw in and McKeown’s trademark long throw found its way via a flick on to Hamilton who drove a powerful shot against the chest of the Glens keeper and the ball rebounded to safety.
With less than five minutes remaining on the clock and Morris in inspired form, tipping efforts from Hamilton and McGrory round the post and, when he was finally beaten, Henderson clearing Davy Rainey’s shot for a corner, it looked like Glenavon’s Irish Cup dream was over. Kris Lindsay thought otherwise and he nodded in from Hamilton’s 88th minute corner to send the large and vocal Glenavon support into raptures.
James Singleton celebrates with Kris Lindsay after the Glenavon skipper equalized for Glenavon. Photo by Alan Weir.
Their relief turned to joy two minutes later when goal machine Guy Bates stroked in the winner from Marshall’s cross in the final minute of normal time to take the Lurgan Blues to an April 5th Semifinal date with Crusaders.
Gary Hamilton shows his delight at the final whistle! Photo by Alan Weir.
Glentoran: Morris (c), Bradley, Magee, Addis, Henderson, Nelson (Boyd 80), Scullion (Kerr 59), Stewart, McAlorum, Allen, O’Hanlon (Miskimmin 90+2). Subs not used: Hogg (GK), Hughes
Glenavon: McGrath, Marshall, McKeown, Lindsay (c), Singleton, McGrory, Martyn (Rainey 85) , McCabe, Neill (Patton 62), Mulvenna (Hamilton 62), Bates. Subs not used: Kilmartin, McCaul
Cautions: McKeown 14, McGrath 45+2, Singleton 64, McAlorum 76
Referee: Raymond Crangle