Belfast Telegraph

Irish League Round Up: Hamilton inspires late Glenavon comeback while new Glentoran boss begins with a win

Glenavon's Sammy Clingan celebrates his late penalty winner in between the two super-subs Gary Hamilton and Stephen Murray.
Glenavon's Sammy Clingan celebrates his late penalty winner in between the two super-subs Gary Hamilton and Stephen Murray.

Glenavon complete a magnificent turnaround to beat Crusaders at Mourneview Park while life under Mick McDermott began with a win for Glentoran in another thrilling day of Irish League action.

Here's all you need to know about the day's games:

Glenavon 2-1 Crusaders

The Crues looked to be heading to within a point of second placed Ballymena United until the latest of late comebacks led Glenavon to a stunning victory, inspired by manager Gary Hamilton.

A dinked cross towards the back post teed up Jordan Owens to open the scores at the start of the second half, heading home past a helpless Jonny Tuffey.

However, substitutes Hamilton and Stephen Murray combined for a 90th minute leveller as the player-manager teed up Murray to smash home a left-footed shot.

The winner arrived in the third-minute of stoppage time, Hamilton again involved as he won a corner that led to a penalty kick, which Sammy Clingan smashed into the bottom corner.

It was a remarkable end to a difficult week for Hamilton, who lost assistant manager Paul Millar to Glentoran.

The Lurgan Blues are now just a point behind third-placed Crusaders.

Dungannon Swifts 1-2 Glentoran

Mick McDermott's reign as Glentoran manager got off to a winning start thanks to a comeback victory at Stangmore Park.

Paul McElroy had fired the Swifts into an eighth minute leading, turning Marcus Kane to scramble an effort into the bottom corner despite losing his balance and striking the ball on all fours.

Curtis Allen's ninth goal of a season levelled as the striker latched on to Chris Gallagher's low cross to slam home first time.

After Douglas Wilson was sent off for the Swifts, it was Allen's free-kick that led to the winner.

Alex Moore could only bat the shot out and when Chris Hegarty's attempted clearance was charged down, Darren Murray was on hand to convert the winner.

The Glens stay seventh, still ahead of Institute on goal difference.

Cliftonville 4-2 Coleraine

The Reds twice came from to beat the Bannsiders at Solitude.

Jamie McGonigle converted Steven Douglas' corner to give the visitors the ninth minute lead.

Rory Donnelly soon levelled, firing home from Ryan Curran's assist, but James McLaughlin found the corner of the net to restore the lead by the 20 minute mark.

The hosts had turned it round to lead by the break, Curran touching Joe Cormley's mis-hit shot past Coleraine keeper Chris Johns.

On the stroke of half-time, Jamie Harney headed the Reds into the lead and the win was complete when Curran's second of the day, this one a penalty, confirmed the sixth win of Paddy McLaughlin's first eight games.

Cliftonville stay four behind fourth-placed Glenavon but stretch their lead over Coleraine to six points.

Institute 2-1 Warrenpoint Town

There was another late show at the Brandywell as Warrenpoint's late equaliser was cancelled out by an even later winner.

Paul Smith neatly rounded the goalkeeper to open the scores after getting on the end of a cutting through-ball from Jake Morrow.

The visitors were level when Lee Duffy's shot took a wicked deflection that caught out Martin Gallagher and found the bottom corner.

However, even that didn't earn a point as substitute Eamon McLaughlin came off the bench and barely broke his stride to chip a ball over the top for Joe McCready to deliver a third consecutive home league win for Stute.

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