Belfast Telegraph

Glenavon fire six of best with Mitchell and Murray at double

Ards 1 Glenavon 6

By Keith Bailie

Glenavon dished out a pancake day battering at the Bangor Fuels Arena, as disjointed Ards slipped to their third league defeat in a row.

Gary Hamilton's Glenavon dazzled, hitting Ards for six, with both Andrew Mitchell and Stephen Murray firing home doubles.

Joel Cooper and Marc Griffin were also on target.

This match was a re-run of January's abandoned fixture, which was halted in the 51st minute when the Clandeboye Road venue was gripped by Storm Eleanor.

At the time, Glenavon were 2-0 to the good and the Lurgan Blues wasted no time re-establishing that two-goal advantage.

Glenavon grabbed the lead 90 seconds after kick-off. Youngster Robbie Norton bombed down the left-flank before feeding Rhys Marshall, who saw his cross turned into the net at the near post by Mitchell.

The former Ards striker nipped in to score past goalkeeper Aaron Hogg, who was making his first start in two months.

It was 2-0 in the 21st minute. The superb Cooper, who scored both goals in the original game, drilled a shot across the front of goal and Stephen Murray - no more than a yard out - was on hand to chest home his third goal in as many games.

Ards offered little in the first half, Glenavon dominating possession.

The best chance came in the 22nd minute when French striker Guillaume Keke burst through the visitors' defence, only to see his shot saved by the alert Johnny Tuffey.

The third Glenavon goal arrived in the 57th minute.

Murray played in Bobby Burns, who was denied by Hogg, but Cooper was on hand to tap the rebound into the empty net.

Ards pulled a goal back in the 57th minute when Reece Glendinning curled a sublime 25-yard free-kick beyond Tuffey.

Any chance of an Ards fightback was extinguished in the 72nd minute, an under-hit back pass allowing Murray to slot home.

Glenavon added a fifth goal in the 78th minute when Mitchell tapped a Josh Daniels cross into the net.

It was six in the 85th minute. Ards failed to deal with a Glenavon corner, allowing substitute Griffin to head home.

It was a result that certainly allowed to Glenavon to tighten their grip on a coveted Europa League spot.

Belfast Telegraph

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