Glenavon fired up for Glentoran battle
Glenavon 3 Dungannon Swifts 2: Little more than 48 hours on from a dramatic comeback triumph on home soil, Glenavon will look to complete the perfect weekend by overcoming Glentoran in this evening's Irish Cup quarter-final clash at The Oval.
With tonight's game in mind, Gary Hamilton rested a host of star names for Saturday's visit of Dungannon Swifts and, 2-0 down with just six minutes on the clock, that decision looked set to backfire until a stirring turnaround put the Lurgan Blues on the verge of securing a top-six position in the Premiership.
"We had to make the cup game top priority," explained Hamilton.
"It means so much to the players, the club and the fans and we will give it our best shot to try and get within 90 minutes of the final.
"We can't ask a number of players to compete in two games over three days, it is not physically possible for them to do that."
After Glenavon had seen a deflected effort come back off the crossbar within 60 seconds of kick-off, Jamie Glackin's double looked set to revive Dungannon's own hopes of a top-half finish.
However, Mark Patton's stunning finish put the hosts back in the frame ahead of Shane McCabe levelling things with a wonderful solo strike before the half-time break.
With little more than 20 minutes remaining, Rhys Marshall rifled through a crowded goalmouth to secure all three points for Glenavon, who rested James McGrath, Guy Bates, Kris Lindsay, Ciaran Martyn, James Singleton, Kyle Neill and Gareth McKeown.
"We'll have to learn how to shut down games," said Swifts boss Darren Murphy. "We've seen it all before. Against Glenavon we've been 2-0 and 3-0 up before having to settle for 3-3 draws. This time we went one better and lost 3-2. It's all to do with experience."
GLENAVON: Coleman, Shannon, McCallion, Murphy (Dane, 76 mins), Marshall, Patton, Kilmartin, McCabe (McIlveen, 65 mins), McCaul, Rainey, Mulvenna (Hamilton, 65 mins)
DUNGANNON: Buchanan, McCullough, McCashin, McCaffrey, Grieve, Glackin, Harpur (Fitzpatrick, 58 mins), Hutchinson, Tomelty (C Lavery, 58 mins), Liggett, S Lavery (Brolly, 70 mins)
Referee: Ray Hetherington (Dungannon).
* Goalkeeper Alan Blayney, currently on loan from Linfield to Ards, has signed a pre-contract deal with Glenavon.