JAMIE Glackin had a special guest at his birthday celebrations on Sunday! The Omagh man turned 25 and the special guest was, of course, none other than the BetMcLean League Cup which the midfielder had helped Coleraine won the previous evening at The National Stadium.
In fact, Glackin, the ex-Tyrone Milk Cup star, won a first half penalty which allowed Stephen Lowry to cancel out Jamie McGonigle’s volleyed opener and went on to play a key role as striker James McLaughlin netted a winner to defeat Crusaders at the Windsor Park venue.
It was a weekend to remember for the Bannsiders and in the Coleraine clubhouse the following day birthday boy Glackin, with the prized silverware by his side, was able to reflect on picking up his first winners’ medal with Oran Kearney’s team.
“It was a bit of a mad weekend but we enjoyed it. Winning the cup was the best birthday present I could have asked for,” he said.
“It was massive achievement to be honest. I couldn’t believe the reaction, the amount of selfies and so on, it was incredible. Lyndon Kane’s birthday was on the day of the final so it was double celebrations for us.”
The showpiece decider was every bit as tight as the score line suggests. Crusaders were the dominant force for the opening 30 minutes but after Coleraine levelled things from the penalty spot it was the Bannsiders who shaded the verdict.
In the end few could argue that the Ballycastle Road outfit weren’t deserved victors in picking up the first major silverware of the season. That’s certainy how Glackin saw it.
“We struggled to get to grips with Crusaders in the first half an hour. They came out of the traps really well and had us pinpointed,” he continued.
“If I’m honest the first half hour passed me by but after getting the penalty we went on from there.
“I thought in the end we deserved to win. I think we restricted Crusaders to one shot in the second half. We showed good character to come back from a goal down in a cup final. It was nice to get it over the line.”
Having banked the League Cup, it was back to the bread and butter of league matters this week as third placed Coleraine prepare for a North West derby at Institute on Saturday.
Glackin insisted that his team can’t afford any slip ups as they bid to win the most exciting Premiership title race in years. Six teams are still potentially in the running with 10 games remaining.
“I think the cup win gives us that hunger to go on and stamp our authority on things, to pick up more silverware. The title race is going to be tight but obviously Linfield are in the driving seat. That said there is no reason why we can’t go on and win it.
“Realistically if we are going to go on and win the league we have to win every one of our games. After the split there’ll be points shared and dropped all over the place in the final five games.”