Glenavon new boy Joel Cooper smashed five goals in a 7-1 win at Drogheda Town on Saturday. It was a superb performance from the 19-year-old who had just penned a two year contract with the Lurgan Blues only hours before.
Braniff then set up Declan O’Brien who passed to Mark Sykes whose shot was saved and then an in-swinging corner from Braniff grazed the top of the bar.
On 22 minutes Cooper added a second as he cut across the face of goal, despite going to ground in a tackle he got up and left the full-back standing still and drilled the ball past the keeper.
The hat-trick arrived on 38 minutes. A long clearance from keeper Johnny Tuffey found Mark Patton, his cross to O’Brien ended with the keeper making a save but the loose ball was swept in by Cooper. The Ballyclare teenager had not finished – his fourth came five minutes before the break when he caught the home defence napping to nip in and beat the advancing keeper with a header that dropped into the empty net.
Both Andy Hall and Gary Hamilton came on at the start of the second half and they combined to make it 5-0 on 50 minutes with Hamilton curling a left foot shot past the keeper.
On 62 minutes another clinical finish from Cooper made it 6-0 before Drogheda Town pulled one back.
Glenavon: Tuffey, McGrory, Dillon, Lindsay, Neill, Patton, Kilmartin, Sykes, Cooper, O’Brien, Braniff. Subs: Caldwell, Marshall, Elebert, Hall, Hamilton.