TEN-MAN BLUES MAKE LARNE PAY THE PENALTY
Holders Linfield defeated league champions Larne on spot-kicks at Inver Park to continue their defence of the BetMcLean Cup.
Scoreless at the break, both sides had their chances in the first half with Josh Archer coming closest for Linfield with a left-foot effort early on which produced a good stop from Rohan Ferguson.
White at the other end, in the latter stages of the first half, Andy Ryan crafted Larne's best effort with a shot just past an upright after Leroy Millar had done well to tee him up.
The second half produced limited chances too, with Aaron Donnelly perhaps having the best opportunity with a left foot effort from outside the box but he couldn't quite stop it from sailing over the crossbar.
Linfield were reduced to ten men early in extra-time after Kyle McClean was dismissed for a challenge on Donnelly, thus collecting his second caution of the evening.
Undeterred, the Blues moved in front on 109 minutes through Euan East who rose highest to nod home Aodhan Doherty's left-foot cross into the box.
Larne levelled three minutes later, however, courtesy of Lee Bonis' finish into the bottom corner before, just a couple of minutes after that, Leroy Millar sensationally edged Larne in front with a header from Cian Bolger's right-sided cross.
But Linfield hit back in the dying embers of extra-time through 16-year-old Braiden Graham's right-footed finish from inside the box to force the game into penalties.
And Graham proved to be the hero again, knocking home Linfield's winning spot-kick before Johns saved from Bonis to secure their place in the semi-finals and a meeting with either Dungannon Swifts or Newry City.
Larne: Ferguson, Donnelly, Randall, Bonis, Ives, Bolger, Millar, Cosgrove, Graham, Ryan, Orozco subs Dowling, Farquhar, Thomson, O'Neill, Lloyd, Glynn, Smith
Linfield: Johns, Finlayson, East, Newberry, Shields, McClean, Cooper, Hall, Fitzpatrick, McCullough, Archer subs Walsh, Millar, Clarke, Mulgrew, Annett, Doherty, Graham