Mid-Ulster Cup: Glenavon retain trophy with win over Warrenpoint Town after seven-goal thriller
It was third time lucky for the twice-postponed Mid-Ulster Cup final - and a second knockout blow for Warrenpoint Town in as many games as Glenavon finished 4-3 in front to retain the trophy.
The Mourneview Park meeting marked another Lurgan disappointment for Warrenpoint inside four days as Glenavon claimed the prize with the Town’s weekend Irish Cup semi-final exit to Ballinamallard United still so raw.
The first chance fell to Warrenpoint in the third minute when James Magowan played in Fra McCaffrey, but he pulled his shot wide.
Conor McCloskey had his first effort tipped out for a corner by Warrenpoint keeper Berraat Turker three minutes later.
The first goal went the way of Stephen McDonnell’s men in the seventh minute after a mistake from Glenavon keeper James Taylor, some distance off his line waiting for a pass. He misjudged how close Ciaran O’Connor was, with the Warrenpoint striker alert to pick up possession and slot home.
After a couple of saves at either end, goal number two arrived off the boot of Lee Duffy. He received a pass from McCaffrey and raced down the right wing, opting to then shoot into the bottom corner aided by a deflection off Seamus Sharkey.
Warrenpoint had barely finished celebrating when Glenavon made it 2-1.
Cameron Stewart slipped between two defenders at the edge of the box and sent his low drive along the floor into the net.
And there was more to come when Conor McCloskey made it 2-2 on 30 minutes with another low finish.
Glenavon took the lead just after the hour mark when a free by Sammy Clingan from 35 yards close to the left side hit the crossbar and Sharkey scored from the rebound.
It was all-square again on 76 minutes, however, after O’Connor did well to muscle into the box before being dispossessed - but the clearance fell to Eamon Scannell, who made no mistake.
Glenavon produced the final’s final talking point when Sharkey sealed the deal for Gary Hamilton’s men on 89 minutes as he nodded home from a well-taken McCloskey corner.
Warrenpoint Town: Turker, Hughes, Reilly, McCaffrey, Lynch, Scannell, O’Connor, Wallace, Duffy (Copes, 68), Young (Foster, 35), Magowan.
Subs (Not used): McGrandles, Lynch, Marques.
Glenavon: Taylor, Jameson, Harmon, Wearon, Sharkey, Clingan (Barr, 70), Jenkins (Conlon, 82), Hamilton (Taylor, 78), Stewart, Murray, McCloskey.
Subs (Not used: Parker, Carson.
Referee: Neil Robinson.