An early goal blitz saw Cliftonville book their place in the Tennent’s Irish Cup Final, and see off the challenge of battling Loughgall.
The Reds were ahead after only 22 seconds when an attacking move culminated in Chris Curran’s cross from the right flank being finished by Joe Gormley through a crowded penalty area.
A disastrous start for the Villagers was made even worse in the 6th minute when Gormey set-up Rory Donnelly for a low finish inside the penalty area.
Cliftonville netted their third in the 25th minute when a one-two involving strikers Gormley and Rory Donnelly resulted in the former sublimely chipping Loughgall goalkeeper Gareth Buchanan from 25 yards.
The Villagers pulled a goal back on 31 minutes when Andy Hoey smashed home from close range after Gary Liggett’s effort crashed off the crossbar.
Loughgall were beginning to enjoy a good spell in the game however they were undone when a poor clearance from Buchanan, as the ball bobbled in front of him, was taken advantage of by the Reds. Jay Donnelly expertly set-up his brother Rory who cooly finished on 36 minutes to complete a rampant first-half performance.
The second half provided little in the way of clear cut chances for either side. Loughgall did have the ball in the Reds’ net in the 64th minute through Andy Hoey however he was adjudged to have been in an offside position.
The Villagers were reduced to ten men with ten minutes remaining after referee Keith Kennedy showed Peter Campbell a straight red card for dissent.
Cliftonville: Neeson, McGovern (Grimes 78m), Ives, Harney, Curran (Lavery 74m), Bagnall, Gormley, J Donnelly, Cosgrove, McDonald, R Donnelly (Winchester 63m). Unused subs: Mooney, Garrett, G Donnelly, A Donnelly.
Loughgall: Buchanan, Montgomery, Rea, Copeland, Stewart, Dallas, Ferguson, Mullen (Ferris), Campbell, Hoey (McConnell), Liggett. Unused subs: Ballard, Stretton, McMaster, Neill, Robinson.
Watch highlights of the game on BBC’s website.