It didn't take long for Paul Heatley to go from zero to hero.
At the end of January he was walking off the Windsor Park pitch with his head bowed feeling nothing but shame after being sent-off as Crusaders crashed to a 4-0 defeat to Cliftonville in the IRN-BRU Cup final. But his head was firmly held high at Seaview on Saturday as he departed the scene with the match ball after smashing in an 11-minute hat-trick to crush Glenavon's Irish Cup dream.
In his first appearance since the Windsor horror show, Crues fans saw the best of Heatley – his goals coming in the 12th, 21st and 23rd minutes.
"I said to the team that I certainly felt like I owed them something," said Heatley who is suspended for this week's showdown with Cliftonville. I owed the supporters something for my behaviour in the final too. Hopefully this goes some way to doing that.
"It's a big learning experience. It was my first major final and I was gutted to be sent-off. The manager had a private word with me which was the least I expected, but they were understanding.
"I will learn from my mistakes."
Timmy Adamson opened the scoring while Matthew Rooney netted for the visitors.