Glenavon into the last eight

Glenavon ended a sad week with a fitting tribute to former player Mark Farren who sadly died earlier in the week.

The Lurgan Blues defeated Glentoran 4-1 at The Oval to book their place in the last eight of the Irish Cup.

Rhys Marshall heads Glenavon into the lead at Oval.

Rhys Marshall heads Glenavon into the lead at Oval.

The reward is a home tie against Championship 1 side Loughgall on March 5.

In a dramatic start the Lurgan Blues were lucky not to be two down inside the first three minutes. First Chris Lavery forced Jonny Tuffey into a save and then in the next attack the Glens got in behind the Glenavon defence but Tuffey produced a magnificent save.

Glenavon responded well and forced a series of corners but then right on cue for the one minute applause for Farren on ten minutes, his number with Glenavon, the visitors scored. Cooper floated over a corner, the ball broke back to him and he crossed into a packed goalmouth and there was Marshall to nob over the stranded Aaron Hogg in the home goal.

Glenavon looked more comfortable and after Kevin Braniff had a shot blocked the away fans were cheering again as Ciaran Martyn made it 2-0. Cooper again was the provider with a super cross and Martyn powered his header ino the top corner of the net.

What a start for Gary Hamilton’s side, two up after 18 minutes, but the Glens battled back and an Allen cross caused some panic before being cleared.

Allen was the man posing the biggest threat to Glenavon and he was teed up at the edge of the box but blasted the ball high over the bar.

Midway through the half Marshall went close again as he got up at the back post to nod down just wide from Braniff’s corner.

A slick pass from Martyn found Eoin Bradley who tried to chip the keeper but Hogg reached up to grab the ball.

The heavens opened during the break, but thankfully eased off as the teams came out for the second half.

The next goal was crucial to the tie and it went to Hamilton’s men and what a stunner it was from Bradley, Nothing looked on as he kept the ball on his side and as the defence backed off he curled the ball beyond Hogg for 3-0 on 54 minutes.

The Glens had a great chance to pull a goal back on 66 minutes but sub Dale Patton drove the loose ball wide of the gaping goal.

Full credit to the Glens they battled hard to find the goal that might spark a revival but Tuffey kept them out with some top quality goalkeeping. He dived full stretch to palm out a shot by Ciaran Caldwell and then produced an even better one to parry a volley by Patton and Birney header the loose ball wide.

With three minutes to go Tuffey was finally beaten after a cross from Allen came off the unfortunate Kris Lindsay and into the net.

There was to be no grandstand finish with Cooper driving in number four on in added time.

Glenavon: Tuffey, Kelly, Lindsay, Marshall, Cooper, Bradley, Sykes, McGrory, Braniff, Kearns, Martyn.

Subs: Kilmartin, Hall, Patton, O’Brien, Hamilton.