Bradley hat-trick as Glenavon are in Seventh Heaven

Glenavon were in Seventh Heaven on Wednesday night as they ripped Ballymena apart in a 7-1 win at Warden Street.

What a contrast to the poor performance by the Lurgan Blues on Saturday as they produced a masterful display from the first minute.

Hat-trick man Eoin Bradley

Hat-trick man Eoin Bradley

Eoin Bradley grabbed a hat-trick in the rout as the team responded to the demands of manager Gary Hamilton who asked for a positive reaction and he certainly got it.

With the match barely a minute old Glenavon grabbed the lead. A corner from Andy Hall was not cleared by the United defence and Rhys Marshall got a touch and although Kyle McVey was on the line he could not keep the ball from squeezing inside the post.

Glenavon kept up the tempo and when Kevin Braniff slipped a great ball into the path of Eoin Bradley he only had the keeper to beat but struck his shot off his legs.

Another great cross from Hall saw Joel Cooper nip in at the far post but he won a corner. Hall clipped in another fine cross and David Elebert was unmarked as he headed home from close range on 10 minutes.

Braniff was out of luck with a lovely curling shot that was headed over for corner, but he did not have to wait long for another chance. A mistake by United’s Paddy McNally gave the ball to Bradley, he fed Braniff who ran on and blasted the ball past Alan Blayney on 20 minutes.

It was 4-0 soon after when yet another corner caused havoc in the home defence, Braniff latched onto the loose ball and Bradley poked the ball home.

Simon Kelly was unlucky not to make it five when his header clipped the top of the bar.

Glenavon kept up the good work in the second half and Bradley found space but smashed his shot off the post.

United then pulled a goal back on 53 minutes after catching Glenavon on the counter as sub Matthew Shelvin fired under Johnny Tuffey.

Cooper then brought a good save out of Blayney who could only parry his shot but Conor Dillon could not turn the rebound in.

Perhaps the best goal of the night came on 65 minutes as Andy Hall ran from his own half to fire past Blayney to make it 5-1 for the Lurgan Blues.

Bradley completed his hat-trick on 79 minutes to make it 7-1 and the home fans began streaming out of the ground.