Preview : Crusaders v Glenavon

danske-logoOn Saturday we visit Seaview, the home of the newly-crowned Dankse Bank Premiership Champions Crusaders for the last league game of the season and what a season it has turned out to be for Glenavon fans. Andy McGrory’s dramatic last-minute penalty earned third place, qualification for Europe for a second season in a row and extended Glenavon’s winning run to seven games in succession.

Tomorrow Crusaders will be presented with the Gibson Cup and we’d like to congratulate everyone at Seaview on their wonderful achievement.

Sadly tomorrow will be William ‘Winkie’ Murphy’s last game before he retires from football after a marvellous career in which he won every trophy going with Linfield before ending his career on a high note with Glenavon, having picked up an Irish Cup winner’s medal last season and helping secure that important Europa League spot this season. During those two years Murphy, who will lead the Lurgan Blues out tomorrow, made a total of 53 appearances and scored four goals, including a goal on his debut in a 3-6 win against Ballymena United at the Showgrounds. Maybe he’ll chip in with another goal tomorrow 😀

William Murphy celebrates scoring on his Glenavon debut. Photo Lorcan Doherty / Presseye.com

William Murphy celebrates scoring on his Glenavon debut. Photo Lorcan Doherty / Presseye.com

“It’s Winkie’s day tomorrow,” Gary Hamilton told the website on Friday. “Wherever he’s played be it at Ards or Linfield and with us, he’s been a credit to himself and his family. He’s never let us down and he brought that winning mentality to the changing room and he’s passed that on to the younger lads. Maybe it’s no coincidence that since he left Linfield they’ve won nothing and we’ve won the Irish Cup and qualified for Europe through the league for the first time.

“He wanted to retire at the end of last season but I persuaded him to stay on, more to help the younger lads and I’m so happy he’s going out on a high tomorrow,” the Glenavon boss concluded.

Gary had intended giving some of the younger lads a game tomorrow but Andrew Drylie has injured his groin, Mark Sykes is on trial with Fleetwood in a game against Liverpool and Matty Lynch has been away with a NI Under-16 Development squad in the Faroes so it will be a strong Glenavon side as he tries to keep that winning streak going to the very last game.

30% Discount Offer at Seaview

Crusaders are offering a 30% discount off tickets bought online for Saturday’s match with Glenavon, the final league game of the season. With the new League Champions due to receive the coveted Gibson Cup, it promises to be a great day for all fans.

If you go to the Ticket Centre on the main Crusaders FC webpage you will directed to where you can buy your ticket. If you buy between now and Thursday midnight you will get your ticket at a 30% discount. An Adult ticket will cost £7 while a Concession will cost £4.90.

This is NOT an all-ticket game and payment at the turnstiles is still available but costs the normal price of £10 and £7 so the online offer is a really good deal :-D.

So go online now and make sure you get a ticket to what will be a memorable day for everyone. Here’s how to do it …

  1. Register an account or go to the ticket centre
  2. Add tickets to your basket
  3. Check out and pay at PayPal
  4. Visit the My Account Section and view Your Tickets – these can be printed or presented electronically at the gates.
  5. Job Done

Saturday Photo Gallery

Photos by Brian Bain, Alan Weir and Philip Hawthorne.

Result: Glenavon 3-2 Portadown

Scorer of the winning goal, Andy McGrory celebrates in front of the packed Geddis Stand. Photo by Alan Weir.

Scorer of the winning goal, Andy McGrory celebrates in front of the packed Geddis Stand. Photo by Alan Weir.

A dramatic Mid-Ulster derby game at Mourneview Park had just about everything today: a fabulous home support, goalkeeping howlers, a red card and a last-minute penalty winner for ten-man Glenavon to earn the three points and secure European qualification for the second season in a row. What a wonderful season it has been for Gary Hamilton’s Lurgan Blues. Congratulations to Gary, Paul Millar, Nigel Law, Reggie Hillen and all the players for an exceptional end to the season. See you somewhere in Europe on July 2nd and 9th 😀

No changes to the Glenavon starting line-up as both teams seem to be fielding their strongest starting elevens, with Portadown’s likely to represent their Irish Cup Final team.

6 min: 1-0 Rhys Marshall slotted the ball in from close range after David Miskelly made a mess of his attempt to punch Kevin Braniff’s in-swinging corner.

Rhys Marshall (on the ground) put Glenavon in front with his 9th goal of the season. Photo by Brian Bain.

Rhys Marshall (on the ground) put Glenavon in front with his 9th goal of the season. Photo by Brian Bain.

31 min: 2-0 Another horror show for Miskelly as he miss-controlled a back pass on the edge of his area and the ball ran to Eoin Bradley who walked it up to the goal before cheekily back-heeling it into the empty net.

He won't score an easier goal than this! Eoin Bradley celebrates after making it 2-0 to Glenavon. Photo by Brian Bain.

He won’t score an easier goal than this! Eoin Bradley celebrates after making it 2-0 to Glenavon. Photo by Brian Bain.

70: Singleton sent off for an off-the ball incident with Ken Oman. Gault and Oman are cautioned. Michael Gault had Singleton by the throat but escaped with a yellow!

Photo by Alan Weir.

Photo by Alan Weir.

79: 2-1 Peter McMahon fired into the top corner from 16 yards from a long Darren Murray throw.

A wonderful midfield display by 'young' Andy Kilmartin earned him the Glenavon Man of the Match award. Photo by Brian Bain.

A wonderful midfield display by ‘young’ Andy Kilmartin earned him the Glenavon Man of the Match award. Photo by Brian Bain.

84: 2-2 The ball somehow snuck in at the back post after the Glenavon defence couldn’t clear a Casement corner with Garry Twigg’s header adjudged to have crossed the line.

90+1: 3-2 More drama at MVP as Bradley is tripped in the box by Ross Redman and Andy McGrory smashes the penalty into the bottom corner.

Eoin Bradley is brought down in the box by Ross Redman. Photo by Alan Weir.

Eoin Bradley is brought down in the box by Ross Redman. Photo by Alan Weir.

Andy McGrory's 200,000 euro spot kick hits the back of the net. Photo by Brian Bain.

Andy McGrory’s 200,000 euro spot kick hits the back of the net. Photo by Brian Bain.

 Photo by Alan Weir.

Photo by Alan Weir.

Glenavon: McGrath, Marshall, Lindsay (c), Kelly, Singleton, McGrory, Kilmartin, Martyn, Patton, Bradley, Braniff. Subs: McKeown, Neill, Hamilton, O’Brien, Elebert

Cautions: Hamilton 25, Kilmartin 27, Martyn 51, Singleton s/o 70

Portadown: Miskelly, Casement, O’Hara (c), Oman, Redman, McMahon, Gault, Garrett, Mackle, Twigg, McAllister. Subs: Brennan (GK), Murray, Conaty, Lyttle, Ramsey.

Cautions: McAllister 25, Gault 70, Oman 70

Referee: Raymond Crangle

Preview: Glenavon v Portadown

danske-logoFans of both Glenavon and our visitors tomorrow, Portadown, are understandably excited about the prospect of what could be the most significant Mid-Ulster derby in years as both clubs compete, along with deposed Champions Cliftonville, for a lucrative European qualifying place. The third-placed Lurgan Blues are two points ahead of neighbours Portadown with the Wee Reds a further point back.

Gary Hamilton looks to extend a six-game winning run of league games to seven in Glenavon’s final home game of the season, a result which, depending on other results, could clinch that coveted third place.

The Glenavon manager has called on all Lurgan Blues fans to turn out in numbers and be the ‘extra man’ tomorrow. “The fans have really got behind us and were magnificent on Saturday against Linfield. It was great to see and hear them,” Gary told us as he looked ahead to the game. “Everybody at the club, fans, officials and players is really looking forward to the game; we can’t wait for what is probably the club’s biggest game in years. It’s all credit to the boys who have been excellent the last 4 or 5 weeks and have got us to this point and hopefully we can see it out tomorrow. It won’t be easy with two very good sides involved but we’ll be giving it our all to try to get to where we want to be.”

With ‘Kids go FREE’ again tomorrow there really is no excuse for not getting along to cheer on the Lurgan Blues.

Remember, it’s YOUR club, YOUR support! Get out in force on Saturday and back the boys in Blue as they strive towards @EuropaLeague.

Souvenir Programme

Ports Programme Cover

On Sale tomorrow price £2 – could become a collector’s item!

Statistician’s Corner

The current winning sequence has had fans and armchair statisticians searching their memories and the record books to find the last time such a run of results happened. Considering the fact that the recent results include beating three top-six teams including Cliftonville (2-3 and 5-0) and Linfield (1-0 and 0-2)  twice each and vanquishing Glentoran 4-0 it’s an achievement of real significance.

Ballinamallard Utd A 3 1 W
Cliftonville A 3 2 W
Linfield H 1 0 W
Glentoran H 4 0 W
Cliftonville H 5 0 W
Linfield A 2 0 W

In fact you have to go back to the beginning of the 1993-94 season to find an equal or better sequence, when Glenavon, after drawing on the opening day of the league, went on to win the next 12 league games.

Match Officials

Referee 1st Assistant 2nd Assistant 4th Official
Raymond Crangle Kristian Hanna Tom McKnight Raymond Hetherington

Mega Draw

A reminder that the first winners in the 125th Anniversary Mega Draw will be drawn at tomorrow’s game. If you haven’t got your ticket yet there’s still time: The Club Shop Blue Zone is open tonight (Friday) from 7-8:30 pm and tomorrow prior to the game for sale of Mega Draw tickets and Club merchandise.

Post-Match

The Annual Player awards will be made in the Bedeck Suite after the game and this will be followed by an evening of entertainment featuring music by the ever-popular Ronnie Mac and Margo.

Our Sponsors

Match Sponsor tomorrow is MP for the local Upper Bann constituency, David Simpson.

The Ball is sponsored by a quartet of fans comprising of George McNally, Brian Odgers, Laurence Davidson and Brian Odgers Jnr and Milne Funeral Services.

The Glenavon ‘Man of the Match’ sponsor is Craigavon Koi and Aquatics, located 3 miles from Lurgan heading towards Gilford in the village of Bleary. The company’s aim is to offer a wide range of fish and pond supplies all under one roof.

Match Sponsor Ball Sponsors Man of the Match Sponsor
David Simpson MP George McNally, Brian Odgers, Laurence Davidson, Brian Odgers Jnr + Milne Funeral Services Craigavon Koi and Aquatics