Loughgall boss Boyle puts league reality ahead of any cup romance

Loughgall will turn to Marcus Dallas for inspiration this weekend at Mourneview Park.
Loughgall will turn to Marcus Dallas for inspiration this weekend at Mourneview Park.
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Victory over top-flight Glenavon in Mourneview Park would serve as a special moment in the Villagers’ proud club history.

Inspiration may arrive from the 1997 defeat of Coleraine at the same stage of the Irish Cup but Loughgall manager Gerald Boyle remains pragmatic.

“It is going to be a great day out and it is a brilliant occasion for the club,” said Boyle. “We can dream of a win over Glenavon but, as manager, I am looking to take as many positives out of the experience irrespective of the result.

“It is about using the positives from this weekend to continue the progress of the squad and our priority remains a league run.

“Our younger players will learn from playing at Mourneview Park in front of a big crowd and against some quality players.

“We have guys like Steven Ferguson, Gareth Buchanan, Ricky Copeland, Aaron Walsh, Marcus Dallas and Warner Mullen with senior or big-game experience.

“We need our big guns to produce on the day and the young lads to go out and let the occasion bring out the best.

“Glenavon have real quality and I remember watching someone like Joel Cooper, who has made such wonderful progress at Mourneview Park, develop around the junior international set-up.

“However, we cannot get caught up in the fact that it is the Irish Cup quarter-final and must instead approach the match in the same way as any other game.

“The bottom line is the league still stands as our main focus.”

Confirmation of Loughgall’s commitment to league progress was evident in the risk within the line-up last weekend to secure full points against Donegal Celtic.

“In this league, one wrong result can knock you down the table a few places and it is so congested, especially with the increased relegation zone this season,” said Boyle. “We cannot afford to take our eye off the league and really made a choice to field senior players last weekend despite the risk of injury or aggravating existing knocks.

“We had to focus on the league game and it worked out well with the reward of three points.”

Warner Mullen - who scored the only goal against Donegal Celtic - will fly out after the Glenavon game to spend a month in Australia.

Kick-off tomorrow (Saturday) will be 3 o’clock.