Four changes to the Glenavon starting lineup: Guy Bates for James Gray, Ciaran Martyn for Mark Sykes, Joel Cooper for Mark Patton and Andy Hall for Renato de Vecchi.
Glenavon took the lead in the 13th minute when the Mallards defence failed to deal with the danger after Greg Moorhouse’s shot rebounded off left back Colm McLaughlin and, in trying to clear the ball, Stuart Hutchinson inadvertently gave it straight to Andy Hall and he smashed it past Richard Brush from 12 yards.
In the 20th minute Mallard’s skipper James McKenna body-checked Greg Moorhouse and injured himself in the process. He was replaced by Ryan Morris, but not before being shown a yellow card for the foul. (We’ve been informed after the match that James McKenna was taken to Craigavon Hospital with a broken collar bone so best wishes to him for a speedy recovery).
Bates’ cheeky back heel on the right touch line released Rhys Marshall and he fired a low cross-shot into the six yard box which Brush saved at the feet of Moorhouse.
Bates then took the ball past Steve Feeney and squared a pass across the area for Hall but it was cut out by a last-ditch intervention by a defender.
With the score at 1-0 Johnny Tuffey was called upon to make a superb save to keep out a header by Steve Feeney from a 75th minute corner by substitute Niall Owens.
Mark Sykes doubled the lead five minutes from time after Ciaran Martyn unselfishly squared the ball to leave him with a tap in after Brush could only parry a fierce shot by Moorhouse.
The striker scored the goal of the night in stoppage time to make it 3-0, racing clear down the right onto a ball from Guy Bates, before outpacing Jay McCartney and slotting a shot under the Mallard’s keeper.
Bates was impressive throughout, showing all his tricks as he made his 100th start for Glenavon.
Gary Hamilton will be pleased with the all-round performance, with every player working hard and his team getting the goals and result that their efforts deserved.
Goals: Hall 13, Sykes 85, Moorhouse 90+1
Glenavon: Tuffey (c), Canning, Elebert, Marron, Singleton, Hall, Marshall, Martyn, Cooper, Bates, Moorhouse Subs: Kilmartin, Sykes (Cooper 79), Gray, Renato, Hamilton (Hall 84)
Ballinamallard: Brush, Hutchinson, McKenna (c), Feeney, McLaughlin, Mayse, Lafferty, McGinty, McCartney, McIlwaine, Elliott. Subs: Taheny, Owens (Elliott 64), Morris (McKenna 20), Curran (Mayse 46), McGrath (GK)