The first semi-final tie in the 2024 Clearer Water Irish Cup takes place on Friday night when Linfield travel to East Belfast to face Glentoran at the BetMcLean Oval (7.45pm k.o. all-ticket). The winners will meet either Cliftonville or Larne in the showpiece final in May. 

The Big Two have previously met on 4 occasions this season. In 3 Sports Direct Premiership games Linfield twice won 2-0 at Windsor Park, with Glentoran victorious by 4-0 at home. The Blues also won 2-1 at The Oval in the BetMcLean Cup. 

Glentoran supporters have had a roller coaster ride with a disappointing title challenge proving the catalyst for change with the recent appointment of Declan Devine as Interim Manager. The former Derry City and Bohemians boss made an ideal start to his tenure at the club with a comfortable 4-0 home defeat of Ballymena United.

Meanwhile, Linfield head to The Oval well rested after the enforced postponement of games during the international football week. Prior to the break The Blues enjoyed an emphatic 6-0 home win over Newry City. 

A massive night under the lights is promised at a packed Oval stadium. Linfield will hope for the match-winning performance required to keep alive its three-pronged trophy challenge. For Glentoran, the Clearer Water Irish Cup represents a last chance to secure silverware this season. It promises to be a tense 90+ minutes of football, charged from the terraces by the vociferous supporters of both clubs. 


By Ken Garrett.