McDaid double helps Blues topple Ports

Glenavon produced a superb display to come from a goal down to defeat Mid-Ulster rivals Portadown for the third time this season in an action packed encounter at Mourneview Park which ended 4-2 to the Lurgan Blues.

Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton had one eye on Monday’s Irish Cup tie at Ballinamallard and he rested several players.

Glenavon's Andrew McGrory'celebrates after scoring to make it 1-1'during the Mid-Ulster derby at Mourneview Park, Lurgan

Glenavon's Andrew McGrory'celebrates after scoring to make it 1-1'during the Mid-Ulster derby at Mourneview Park, Lurgan

That gave a chance for Brendan Shannon and James Singleton to stake a claim for a place in the squad for the match at Ferney Park.

The Ports opened the scoring on 12 minutes and it was a rather soft goal for the Lurgan Blues to concede. Casement floated over a corner and the ball was flicked on to the unmarked Peter McMahon at the back post and he nodded in from a few yards out.

Glenavon had a great chance to level soon after when Rainey set Patton clear but he fired over the bar.

Rainey took centre stage for the equaliser on 20 minutes with a neat back heel flick which took out three defenders and Andy McGrory raced into the box to drill a hard and low shot past Miskelly.

Glenavon looked more comfortable having got back into the game and Tiarnan Mulvenna went close to scoring a screamer with a half volley from 25 yards out that flew just wide of the left post.

At the other end James McGrath made two fines saves inside two minutes, first to deny Sean Mackle and the second to push away a free kick by Casement.

Gary Hamilton’s side made a dream start to the second half and it was a happy return to first team duty for James Singleton as he headed home at the back post from Patton’s corner to put the home side ahead on 50 minutes.

On 60 minutes a mis-kick by Miskelly saw the ball spin up in the air, it fell to Rainey who tried to lob the ball over the stranded keeper but he failed to connect properly.

Then a swift counter attack by Glenavon saw McGrory’s cross just cut out before it could reach Patton in the centre.

Darren Murray was lucky to escape a card when he lunged in on Patton and the home fans vented their anger towards the ref.

Glenavon made a double substitution on 70 minutes with Gary Hamilton and Robbie McDaid coming on for Rainey and Mulvenna. With his first two touches McDaid made it 3-1. A lovely pass from McDaid started off the move, McGrory threaded a great ball behind the defence for Patton who crossed for McDaid to steer home.

Portadown were reduced to ten men after McMahon was red carded for a deliberate trip on McGrory on 76 minutes.

With ten minutes to go Darren Murray made it 3-2 after he scored at the second attempt and it was to be a nervous last ten minutes for the home fans.

Twigg did have the ball in the net a few minutes later but it was ruled out for hand ball.

Brian McCaul tried his luck with an audacious shot from the halfway line and it had Miskelly at full stretch as it flew inches wide.

Deep into stoppage time McDaid struck his second of the afternoon when he got the vital touch at the far post after another great delivery from Patton.

It was all over and a great win for Glenavon which puts them ahead of Ballymena in sixth place on goal difference.

Glenavon: McGrath, Shannon, McCallion, Kilmartin, Rainey, Patton, McGrory, McKeown, McIlveen, Singleton, Mulvenna.

Subs: Hamilton, McDaid, Marshall, Dane, McCaul.

Portadown: Miskelly, Casement, O’Hara, Ramsey, McMahon, Mackle, Murray, McCafferty, Twigg, Barton, Friars.

Subs: Brennan, Mouncey, McStay, Rooney, Judge.

Referee: Raymond Crangle