Bradley double ensures cup win for Glenavon

There were no shocks for Glenavon this year as they gained revenge for the defeat at Tillysburn Park last season in the Irish Cup by seeing off H&W Welders 4-1.

Two goals from Eoin Bradley and one each from Andy Hall and Joel Cooper saw the Lurgan Blues through this potential banana skin.

Andrew Hall celebrates after scoring a free-kick.

Andrew Hall celebrates after scoring a free-kick.

The game was in doubt even up to an hour and a half before the kick-off with two inspections. Referee Raymond Crangle deemed the game playable despite surface water in the middle of the park and at one particular corner flag which was submerged in water.

However, all credit to the Welders who worked right up to the whistle to get the game on.

The Welders made a bright start but never really troubled the Glenavon back line.

Slowly the visitors began to adapt to the sticky pitch and began to move the ball about with the first chance falling to Rhys Marshall on 11 minutes when he got on the end of a Joel Cooper corner but his effort flew just wide.

Andy Hall worked his way down the far side and delivered a superb cross with Daniel Kearns nipping in ahead of the keeper and defender but the ball went behind for a goal kick.

Glenavon edged ahead on 20 minutes and it was a superb opener from Hall. Eoin Bradley won a free kick just outside the box after being felled by Paul Dickson and Hall curled a perfect delivery round the wall and into the net.

Three minutes later Glenavon had another chance when Cooper’s free kick was flicked on by Bradley but Kris Lindsay charging in at the back post could not reach the ball before it drifted out of play.

The lively visitors were making the Welders defence work hard with Hall and Bradley trying to find a way through.

A quick break prompted by Hall saw Bradley race clear but when the ball came in Marshall’s header clipped the bar.

On 40 minutes the home side did threaten when Josh Cahoon tried to run onto a ball in behind but he slipped in the mud.

In a quick counter Bradley hurled over a cross and Kearns could only direct his header to the keeper.

After some early pressure from the side Glenavon countered and looked comfortable as they went in search of that vital second goal. It came on 63 minutes when Bradley rose to nod home a chip into the box by Kearns. That seemed to be that, but Glenavon switched off after conceding a free kick and Scott Davidson smashed a superb shot past Jonny Tuffey.

That goal gave the Welders a huge lift and for the next ten minutes every ball into the Glenavon box caused some panic. A loose back pass from Kelly let David Rainey in, Tuffey forced him wide and when the ball did come in it was cleared.

Glenavon eased to victory in the latter stages as Bradley headed in his second and should have bagged a hat-trick in the next attack but this time he headed over from close in. There was still time for Cooper to latch onto a pass from Gary Hamilton and skip past two players before stabbing the ball past the keeper on 92 minutes.

Glenavon: Tuffey, Dillon, Kelly, Lindsay, Marshall, Kilmartin, Cooper, Sykes, Hall, Kearns, Bradley. Subs: Hamilton, McGrory, Patton, Braniff, O’Brien.