Glenavon sign off in style

Glenavon Chairman Adrian Teer presented Davy with a gift to mark his retirement from football on behalf of the Glenavon Directors. Photo by Philip Hawthorne
Glenavon Chairman Adrian Teer presented Davy with a gift to mark his retirement from football on behalf of the Glenavon Directors. Photo by Philip Hawthorne
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GLENAVON finished the season on Saturday with a deserved 3-1 win over Donegal Celtic and secured a ninth place league finish.

A deflected Grant Gardiner goal opened the scoring before substitute Matthew Rooney’s double secured the points despite a Paul McVeigh penalty, on his last appearance for DC, pulling a goal back for the visitors.

It was a dominant display from Glenavon and they could really have won by a greater margin.

In fact, in the opening few minutes, winger Andy McGrory spurned two good goal scoring chances, forcing one save from Niall Murphy and pulling the other wide of goal, before picking up a hamstring injury and being replaced by eventual matchwinner Rooney.

Despite Glenavon’s dominance, it took them until the 38th minute to open the scoring, Gardiner’s deflected effort ending up in the bottom corner after Niall Henderson’s corner had only been partly cleared.

Mark Haughey could then have signed off his Glenavon career with a goal but could only head wide of the net before Mark Turkington came close to scoring his first ever goal for the club. He burst forward from left-back but could only curl his effort narrowly wide.

After the break Glenavon all but put the game beyond DC as Rooney got on the end of Ciaran Martyn’s flick and coolly converted the chance.

Typically, Glenavon didn’t make things easy for themselves and were made to sweat as Paul McVeigh marked his final appearance for DC with a goal from the penalty spot. Just seconds after Davey O’Hare had pulled off a superb stop in his final appearance from Joe Todd’s header, he was facing a penalty when Andrew Mitchell handled in his own area.

McVeigh strode up and sent O’Hare the wrong way to make it 2-1 with 25 minutes remaining.

Glenavon need not have been overly concerned, however, as they soon looked at netting their third of the afternoon. They could have done so on 78 minutes but the shot was blocked on the line after Andy Kilmartin’s free-kick had caused problems in the area.

DC did have one final opportunity but Kevin Keegan’s free-kick was nodded off the crossbar by Todd.

And just two minutes from time, Keegan was caught the wrong side of Matthew Rooney who seized onto Niall Henderson’s pass and stroked a neat finish past Niall Murphy.

It was a pleasing way to end the season for the Blues as they begin to look forward to further progress up the league table next term.

GLENAVON: O’Hare, Haughey, Turkington, Dane, McGrory, Gardiner, Kilmartin, Martyn, Henderson, Farren, Bates.

Subs: Neill, Rooney (McGrory 10), McCashin (Haughey 89), Mitchell (Gardiner 58), Hamilton.

DONEGAL CELTIC: Murphy, McShane, C Burns, M Burns, Keegan, McCann, Downey, Devine, Bannon, K Hughes, McVeigh.

Subs: Todd (K Hughes 57), Deans, Carson, E Hughes (Bannon 52), McAllister (Devine 52).