Football: Harpur in fine tune as Dungannon Swifts hit five on the road to Moyola Park in Irish Cup

TRACKS... Moyola Park's Steven McQuillan tracks  Dungannon Swift's player Dermot McCaffery during Saturday's Irish Cup clash at Mill Meadow.INMM0314-339SR
TRACKS... Moyola Park's Steven McQuillan tracks Dungannon Swift's player Dermot McCaffery during Saturday's Irish Cup clash at Mill Meadow.INMM0314-339SR

An all-Premiership tie at Coleraine or Cliftonville awaits Dungannon Swifts in the last 16 of the Irish Cup after they ended Moyola Park’s dreams.

Five days after they were beaten 5-1 by Crusaders, Darren Murphy’s men were on the other side of the same score at the Mill Meadow.

A hat-trick from Ryan Harpur – his first in senior football – a debut goal from Gary Liggett and a Stefan Lavery strike avoided an upset against the Championship Two outfit.

And it could have been even more convincing, with Dungannon hitting the woodwork on three other occasions in a dominant performance.

Now attention focuses on the replay between Coleraine and Cliftonville – who drew 2-2 at Solitude on Saturday – to see who Swifts play in the next round.

Irrespective of their opponents, Harpur is relieved simply to be in the next round.

“Normally there is at least one upset in the Irish Cup, and I’m glad it wasn’t us,” the midfielder said.

“These type of fixtures are always difficult. All the pressure is on us to win, and if we don’t win by two or three goals, it isn’t really good enough.

“So it’s good to come here and do what everyone expected us to do.”

Dungannon manager Darren Murphy felt the result was the most important issue.

“The mindset and the attitude of the players was very good today,” he said.

“Because we got those basics right, we had a bit more quality than Moyola and that helped us.

“In the end it was probably relatively comfortable for us.”

Murphy gave a full debut to new signing Liggett, and the striker took just eight minutes to get off the mark for his new club.

Cameron Grieve directed a cross to the back post and Liggett was free to plant a header past the goalkeeper.

A good start got even better when Swifts added a second in the 21st minute.

Again Liggett was involved. His initial strike came back off the crossbar and he attempted another shot, with Harpur finishing it off at the back post.

David McCullough twice went close to adding another. First a 20-yard drive flashed wide then he headed over from six yards when he really should have scored.

It mattered little, however, with Dungannon scoring again in the 38th minute. Harpur’s free-kick was headed down by Liggett for Lavery to convert.

Moyola’s dreams were fading rapidly, although home fans did have something to cheer when Chris Dowie lobbed the goalkeeper to make it 3-1 just before the break.

But any hopes of a dramatic comeback ended in the 53rd minute.

Liggett’s strike was handled on the line by Michael Walsh, resulting in a red card for the Moyola defender and a penalty, which Harpur converted.

Grant Hutchinson and Lavery saw efforts come back off the woodwork.

However, Dungannon kept going and added a fifth in the final minute.

The impressive Lavery was taken down by the goalkeeper, resulting in another penalty. Harpur converted again to claim his hat-trick and send Dungannon through in style.

MOYOLA: Farniok, Maguire, Stewart, McQuillan, Waddell, Walsh, McConnell (Curtis, 78), Gallagher, Dowie, Henning (Kelly, 72), Walls (Paul, 46) Subs not used: Kilpatrick, McAllister

SWIFTS: Buchanan, Lowe, Brennan, McCaffrey (Fitzpatrick, 67), Grieve, McCullough, Hutchinson, Harpur, Tomelty (C Lavery, 51), Liggett (Brolly, 75), S Lavery. Subs not used: Hazley, Glackin

Referee: Andrew Davey (Bangor)