Kearney delighted to still be in the cup

Coleraine players celebrates winning a  penalty shoot-out against  Ballinamallard United during Saturday's Tennents Irish Cup 5th Round match at the Showgrounds.'Picture by Brian Little/Presseye
Coleraine players celebrates winning a penalty shoot-out against Ballinamallard United during Saturday's Tennents Irish Cup 5th Round match at the Showgrounds.'Picture by Brian Little/Presseye
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Coleraine boss Oran Kearney had a wry smile on his face when he was asked about his side’s Irish Cup sixth round draw.

The Bannsiders have been paired with Portadown following their enthralling penalty shoot-out win over Ballinamallard United on Saturday.

Kearney though said he didn’t mind who they got as at one stage it looked as though they wouldn’t be in the hat for the next round.

At 2-0 down with five minutes to go Coleraine looked to be crashing out.

But spectacular strikes from Steven Douglas and Ruairi Harkin took the game to extra time and then penalties.

The home side held their nerve and slotted home all four spot kicks as Ryan Campbell and Emmett Friars both missed from 12 yards.

It kicked off wild scenes of celebration at the end for everyone at The Showgrounds.

“I’m delighted with the draw if I’m being honest,” Kearney told Times Sport afterwards.

“At a quarter to four Ballinamallard were in the draw as far as I was concerned.

“I would have taken an away draw with anyone at that stage.

“We’ve had good battles with Portadown over the last few seasons and I’m sure this one will be no different.

“We’ve come through a monumental one today, and the last thing you want to do is come through a game like that and go out in the next round.

“Things are motoring nicely for us now. We had a good run in the cup up until the Ards game and I think there is a feeling we can go on and do some damage.

“We’ve a few games to play between now and then, but it’s great for the lads and for the season in all aspects that we’re still involved in the cup.

“It keeps us kicking on for another month.”

Kearney praised the fans for sticking with the team on Saturday and getting them over the line.

“We had a good crowd here today again and they played their part in the penalties as well,” he said.

“And when the winner went in and all the players go down there it was fantastic scenes.

“We’re as local a club as we’ve ever been, there’s probably friends and family of some of the players standing in the Railway End watching the games.

“They were shouting ‘Lyndon Kane, he’s one of our own!’ and we take great pride in that, and it’s great to see the fans are exactly the same.”

It’s back to league action this Saturday as the Bannsiders travel to Warrenpoint.

Kearney though joked needed some time to digest what happened in the cup first before thinking about that one.

“I just need to sit down and try and digest what happened out there today,” he said laughing.