Cup campaign begins with win


GLENAVON began their Mid-Ulster Cup campaign with a 2-0 victory over Rathfriland Rangers at Mourneview Park on Tuesday evening.

Goals from Jay Magee and Chris Lavery ensured victory as a young Blues side overcame their Amateur League opponents.

Manager Marty Quinn handed a debut to youngster Niall Lavery while Reserve players Fra Brennan, Joe Finlay and Mark Carson all started with Dan McGarry on the bench.

The game started slowly with neither side really getting a grip on affairs, although Diarmuid O’Carroll and Niall Henderson fired narrowly wide before David Magee smashed the bar from close range.

The Blues were beginning to turn the screw into their Amateur League opponents after the half-hour mark and finally broke the deadlock in the 38th minute. Niall Henderson’s free-kick swung into the box and was met by Jay Magee as the defender nodded in to give the home side the lead.

Ally Wilson had the chance to equalise on the stroke of half-time but his free-kick was struck straight at Davey O’Hare and so Glenavon went in with a slender 1-0 lead at half-time.

In the second half, all the chances came at one end as Glenavon turned up the pressure and should really have scored more goals than the two they eventually managed. First Henderson’s free-kick was well tipped over by former Banbridge Town stopper David Wilton.

Andy Graham then slid the ball back from the by-line for Chris Lavery but the young winger blasted over.

He did get his goal though, but only after Jay Magee carried the ball up the pitch before unleashing an effort narrowly over the crossbar.

Lavery smashed home on 73 minutes after a fantastic lobbed pass by Joe Finlay played him in. Shortly after his well-taken goal, another great pass, this time by Henderson, found Lavery again and he beat Wilton with this one too, but a defender had scampered back to clear the danger.

Stevie Coulter then fired over for the visitors and so Glenavon cruised through the next round as they look to win the trophy for the fourth successive season.

GLENAVON: O’Hare, Brennan, Turkington, J Magee, N Lavery, N Henderson, Harpur (Hagan 46), Carson (Lavery 60), Finlay, O’Carroll (Graham 60), D Magee.

Unused Subs: McGarry, Neill.

RATHFRILAND RANGERS: Wilton, Marks, Baird, Moffatt, Henry, Davidson, Evans (Weir 86), Gibbons (Coulter 64), Bell, Wilson, Waddell.

Unused Subs: McWilliams, Hollingsworth, Adair.