Nine goals, clean sheet, three points and rivals dropping points - it could not get any better for Lurgan Celtic as they power their way to promotion.
The game kicked off in windy and wet conditions with the Hoops playing against the elements and they immediately played some great football keeping the ball low and passing short against a furious gale and driving rain.
The deadlock was broken on 15 minutes when Niall Lavery quickly took a superb free out on the right for Raymond Fitzpatrick to rise above the defence to head home.
In the 24th minute Chris Lavery took the ball on the right and ran towards the defence and slipped but quickly recovered, changed direction and cut towards the right hand bye line to send in a low cross for Fitzpatrick to stroke home for the Hoops second and moments later Josh Barton curled an effort just wide.
The pressure continued and Fitzpatrick was prevented from getting his hat-trick by a combination of the woodwork and keeper Gareth Maguire while Daniel Ryan scored after rounding the keeper on 40 minutes but his contribution was ruled offside.
Within five minutes of the re-start a superb tackle and pass from Rooney set up Chris Lavery to blast a third and two minutes later Fitzpatrick claimed his hat-trick after a pin-point pass from Niall Lavery left him a simple task to roll the ball into the net effectively ending the game as a contest.
Jason Rogers replaced a tiring Rooney in the 67th minute and he left to rapturous applause from the supporters after a great all action display and the pressure from Celtic continued with Ryan causing havoc down the right and on 72 minutes Niall Lavery set up namesake Chris to get his second and Celtic’s fifth. Fitzpatrick then scored his fourth after Ryan had cut through the defence and Paddy Rooney came on for Adam Rodgers who had been impressive in defence with Declan McVeigh giving the visitors no opportunities to get near keeper Conor McCorry.
Josh Barton, who was highly impressive throughout, was next on the scoresheet when he notched up his first goal for the Hoops with a rasping drive from outside the box.
Dale Malone replaced Fitzpatrick whilst in the 85th minute Niall Lavery slotted home a goal his performance deserved with Chris Lavery finishing the scoring with his hat-trick and Celtic’s ninth goal.
Although conceding nine goals Coagh keeper Maguire made at least half a dozen decent stops to prevent the score going well into double figures and he was the visitors man of the match with the Hoops award going to Raymond Fitzpatrick but all 10 outfield players were outstanding on the day with the quality and standard of football served up in the terrible conditions a treat to watch.
This week Celtic are away to Ballymoney Utd as they seek to extend an unbeaten record stretching back to last August and if they can produce a similar display it shouldn’t be beyond them.
Celtic thank the Stables Bar who sponsored the match ball.