Quality up front the difference as Hamilton hails 'unbelievable' striker

Michael Scott

Reporter:

Michael Scott

Email:

michael.scott@yourlurgan.com

Gary Hamilton has said that only one player made the difference between Glenavon and Glentoran in their European play-off match last night.

The Lurgan Blues’ boss hailed Conor McMenamin, who found the net and set another one up for the East Belfast side during their 2-0 win at the Oval last night.

Mick McDermott’s side will now meet Larne, who won 2-0 at home to Coleraine in last night’s other semi-final.

Speaking after the game, Hamilton said that he felt had McMenamin been playing for his team, he has no doubt they would have won the game.

“We were really unlucky in that nobody outplayed the other team,” he told Glenavon Media after the game.

“I thought that we were very competitive in the first half and that we got into good areas but our quality in the final third let us down in the first half.

“In the second half they flipped it around, they had the better of the play with the wind but when they got into the areas they punished us.

“Chris Shields has probably got it because he won the title for Linfield but, for me, Conor McMenamin has been the player of the year.

“He’s unbelievable. He’s got a goal, he’s got himself another couple of chances. That’s the difference, in my opinion, in the two sides. If he had been playing for us tonight the result would have been the opposite.

“They’ve got a good player there, they’ve got the finances to have a good player like that and it’s tough trying to stop them when they’re on their game.”

Glenavon’s attention now turns to next season and trying to improve on this year’s seventh place league finish.

“We’ll have a meeting on Thursday or the weekend and talk about this season and look ahead to next season,” added the Glenavon manager, who named himself amongst the substitutes last night.

“We’ll set up pre-season because we know we aren’t in Europe.

“I thought the boys have been good this season. They’ve been great to work with. Unfortunately you’re meeting a team with a player like Conor McMenamin who is on his game in the way he was and that’s hard to stop. There’s very few teams in this league who could stop him.”

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