Bannsiders show great spirit to comeback and win

Adam Mullan, James McLaughlin, Brad Lyons and Darren McCauley head to the fans to celebrate Saturday;'s Irish Cup triumph over Ballinamallard at rthe Showgrounds. wk0240mb
Adam Mullan, James McLaughlin, Brad Lyons and Darren McCauley head to the fans to celebrate Saturday;'s Irish Cup triumph over Ballinamallard at rthe Showgrounds. wk0240mb
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There’s something about the magic of the Irish Cup fifth round which seems to bring the best out of Coleraine and the players.

It’s only four years ago they staged the mother of all comebacks to beat Larne Tech Old Boys .

Coleraine players celebrate Saturday's Irish Cup win over Ballinamallard at the Showgrounds. wk0243mb

Coleraine players celebrate Saturday's Irish Cup win over Ballinamallard at the Showgrounds. wk0243mb

At 2-0 down with five minutes to go it looked like the Bannsiders were heading out, just as they did on Saturday against Ballinamallard United.

But just like four years ago Oran Kearney’s men showed their character to keep going and remarkably win a game when all seem lost.

They needed penalty kicks this time around, not that it mattered given the scenes when Michael Doherty saved Ryan Campbell’s crucial spot kick.

“Going in at half time I really struggled to see how we played how we would have any chance of being in the hat for the next round,” Kearney told Times Sport after the thrilling shoot-out.

“But credit to the lads, we spoke at half time, and it was by no means over the top or anything else, but we felt with them maybe not having won in 10 games the first goal after the break was going to be really important.

“The big aim was the earlier that goal would come it would give us a serious adrenalin boost to go and try and get the equaliser.

“We knocked at the door and created quite a few chances, but it had all the hallmarks of one of those days.

“But I said to the pLayers on days like this people have to step up to the mark, people have to show real courage.

“Steven Douglas pushed up into that area and took on the shot with his left foot, which we’ll be hearing about for years to come.

“That’s what the Irish Cup is all about, unless players step up and take responsibility then you will suffer.

“Ruairi Harkin stepped up as well on his weak side too. I’ve seen him pass when in a similar situation hundreds and hundreds of times.

“But probably the fact that there’s only a minute or so left he decides to shift it out of his feet and shoot.

“Those are the moments you need on days like this to progress.

“The fifth round of the Irish Cup is what it is, it comes down to who wants it on the day.

“For 45 minutes today we were left wanting.

“I’ve praised the lads after the game, the way we went about our business in the second half, and the way we kept believing was great.

“We could have easily downed tools with 25 minutes to go, but we kept going and we got our goals and our rewards from that.

“Credit to Ballinamallard too they came out and played us the way I wanted us to play them!

“They pressed us, they got around us, they were physical and got in our faces and we really struggled with the pitch, the occasion and all aspects of it.

“The fact that it was only 2-0 was the only blessing for us.

“Everyone in the ground knew the third goal was going to be a massive one.

“Ideally I think if we could have got it a bit earlier with the momentum we had in the second half it would have been nice, but we stuck to it right till the end.”