Glenavon floored by late Swifts goal

Declan O'Brien - brought sides level at 2-2 before Swifts hit winner.
Declan O'Brien - brought sides level at 2-2 before Swifts hit winner.

A late goal saw Dungannon Swifts knock Glenavon out of the Mid Ulster Cup at the semi-final stage at Stangmore Park on Tuesday night.

The Lurgan Blues has battled back from to goals down to make it 2-2 but Jamie Douglas struck the winner for the Swifts.

Manager Gary Hamilton put out a much changed side but there was a welcome return to action for Ciaran Martyn who made his first appearance of the season after a long spell out with injury.

David Elebert too was bidding to build up his fitness, but he lasted only 12 minutes before being replaced by 15-year-old Alex McIlmail.

Martyn almost marked his return with an early goal as he had an effort deflected away from goal after the chance was set up by a determined run from Declan O’Brien.

Dungannon took the lead on eight minutes with Dermot McCaffrey free to head home a corner by Matt Hazley.

That lead was increased 11 minutes later with Hazley beating James McGrath with a well struck left foot effort from the edge of the box.

The home side should have added another in the next attack with Gary Liggett rounding McGrath but Bobby Burns did well to clear his shot off the line.

Glenavon responded with a Kevin Braniff free kick just over the bar and then Mark Patton fired a shot straight at keeper Andy Coleman,

The woodwork then saved Glenavon a minute from the break, Cormac Burke the unlucky player to see his header rebound off the bar.

Glenavon carved out the first opening in the second half with O’Brien heading wide from Patton’s cross and then Dungannon’s Burke had another effort clip the base of the post.

Substitute Matty Lynch pulled a goal back in the 65th minute with a wonderful volley from 25 yards after a high ball into the box by Andy McGrory was only half cleared.

Coleman then made a smart save with his legs from a close range shot by O’Brien and after the Swifts keeper dropped the resulting corner this defenders came to his rescue.

With five minutes left O’Brien darted in behind to beat Coleman and make it 2-2, but no sooner had they got back into the tie, Glenavon went to sleep and Douglas sealed the win to put Dungannon into the final where they will face Armagh City.

Glenavon: McGrath, Mallon, Kelly, Elebert, Burns, Patton, Martyn, J Lynch, McGrory, Braniff, O’Brien. Subs: M Lynch (Martyn 62), Morgan (Kelly 76), McKenna, McIlmail (Elebert 12)

Dungannon Swifts: Coleman, Montgomery, McCaffrey, Lowe, O’Rourke, Burke, Hazley, Fitzpatrick, Mullen, Douglas, Liggett. Subs: McConnell (Liggett 70), McDonald (Mullen 70), McMaster (Hazley 81).