Belfast Telegraph

Watch: Once Glenavon called, I wasn't going anywhere else, says hat-trick hero Foley

Glenavon 6-2 Ballinamallard United

By Stuart McKinley

Adam Foley marked his return to Mourneview Park with a fine hat-trick as Glenavon handed out a 6-2 hammering to Ballinamallard United and moved up to second place in the table, one of five teams with a 100 per cent record.

The Lurgan Blues' big summer arrival Andrew Mitchell also marked the first game of his second coming with two goals, but it was Foley - whose first spell at the club four years ago was ruined by a pre-season injury -who stole the show with a fantastic treble in the space of just 12 minutes.

"I did my cruciate in my second game the first time I was here when I was 23," recalled the 27 year-old. "It was tough coming back. I had to go home and my head was gone completely. I came up and played for Portadown last year, felt like I was doing alright in the Irish League and Gaz (Gary Hamilton) gave me the opportunity. This was the only place I would be going."

And of his quickfire hat-trick, Foley said: "I was absolutely buzzing. We weren't taking our chances in the first half. Then in that 12 minute period, we got four goals so we really turned the heat on and it paid off. It was a great team performance.

"The first goal was just relief running over to the lads. It was obviously a sweet feeling getting a hat-trick. Getting any goal or even an assist is a sweet feeling but the main thing was getting the three points.

"Bobby (Burns) is really young but he's different gravy. It's a young side. It's exciting times here. Exciting football, quick, fast movement and it's just a pleasure to be a part of it."

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Ballinamallard grabbed a surprise lead from the penalty spot on 27 minutes.

James Singleton dived in on Ryan Curran inside the box and referee Keith Kennedy had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Curran himself tucked the penalty into the bottom right corner past Jonny Tuffey.

Glenavon were only behind for two minutes and when the goal they had been threatening finally arrived it was worth waiting for.

Rhys Marshall was involved at the start of a slick move when he picked up the ball on the left wing just inside the Ballinamallard half and finished it off by stroking it into the bottom right corner after collecting a flick from Mitchell.

Glenavon really took control after the break, taking the lead on 48 minutes when Andy Hall sent in a looping cross from the right which Foley headed home from six yards out.

Foley struck again just three minutes later when the ball broke to him in the box and he fired a shot high into the net.

The biggest cheer of the night, however, came on 54 minutes when Glenavon scored their third goal in the space of six minutes.

Hall sent a low cross fizzing into the box and Mitchell made it look easy as he raced onto the ball and finished first time.

Foley completed his hat-trick on 61 minutes, pouncing to hammer home the rebound after Bobby Burns' speculative effort from the right wing had come back off the crossbar.

Mallards manager Gavin Dykes sent on Niall Brennan who cut the ball back to set up Curran to net his second 18 minutes from time.

Glenavon made it six of the best in stoppage time when Mitchell scored his second with a diving header from close range following James Singleton's cross.

GLENAVON: Tuffey, McGrory, Marron, Doyle, Singleton, Hall (Kelly 79 mins), Marshall, Bobby Burns, Mitchell, Griffin (Jenkins 63 mins), Foley (Patton 66 mins). Subs: Young, Clingan.

BALLINAMALLARD UNITED: Brush, Hutchinson, McLoughlin, Smyth, McCartney, Clarke Blaine Burns 61 mins), Leddy, Curran, Martyn (McConnell 61 mins), Owens (Brennan 66 mins), McIlwaine. Subs: McGinty,Crawford.

Referee: Keith Kennedy (Lisburn).

Man of match: Adam Foley.

Match rating: 8/10.

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