A fantastic all-round team performance earned Glenavon an emphatic win against one of the form teams in the league at the moment. The visitors were lively enough on the break but they rarely tested Glenavon keeper Jonny Tuffey. Despite being handed a way back into the game with a questionable penalty award that made it 1-1 after Daniel Kearns had opened the scoring with his first league goal, a hat trick from Declan ‘Fabio’ O’Brien helped seal Glenavon’s second biggest league win of the season.
Going in 2-1 down at the break, any hope that Mallards manager Whitey Anderson had of making a fight back were snuffed out within four minutes of the restart when O’Brien completed his hat trick, first heading in from Andy Hall’s corner than nipping in ahead of visiting keeper Alvin Rouse to tuck away another Hall cross at the near post.
Daniel Kearns put Glenavon ahead in the 9th minute when he controlled Rhys Marshall’s ball across the box and slotted a low shot into the bottom corner.
Seven minutes later the visitors were awarded a generous penalty for a handball against Simon Kelly and Jason McCartney hit the spot kick into the roof of the net.
Declan O’Brien restored the Lurgan Blues lead in the 25th minute when he fired into the roof of the net at the near post from Hall’s low cross from the right.
The Dubliner had a chance to make it 3-1 just two minutes later when Gary Phair was adjudged to have tripped Joel Cooper in the box but Alvin Rouse pushed his spot kick over the bar.
Fabio more than made up for that ‘miss’ inside two second half minutes when he scored twice to complete his hat trick. In the 48th minute he glanced Hall’s corner into the net then followed up a minute later with a close range tap in at the near post from another cross by Hall.
There was five minutes remaining on the clock when the Mallards keeper was red carded when he foolishly kicked Andy McGrory in the chest after he had already caught a high ball that had spun up from a blocked Gary Hamilton shot. After Leon Carters donned the keepers jersey Hamilton stepped up to the spot and slotted it beyond the makeshift keeper’s dive.
Glenavon: Tuffey, Marshall, Kelly, Lindsay (c), Neill, Hall, Kilmartin (Buckley 73), Sykes, Cooper, Kearns (McGrory 82), O’Brien (Hamilton 72). Subs: McKeown, Patton, McGrory, Buckley, Hamilton
Cautions: Kearns 28, Kilmartin 51
Ballinamallard Utd.: Rouse, Phair, Friars (Carters 81), McLoughlin, McCartney, Campbell, Lecky, Lafferty, Martin, McCrudden (Currie 62), Feeney (c) (Courtney 70). Subs: McCusker, Courtney, Crilly, Currie, Carters
Cautions: McLoughlin 39, Martin 68, Friars 75, Rouse sent off 85
Referee: Ian McNabb