O’Brien hat-trick the highlight for slick Glenavon

Declan O'Brien enjoys his weekend role as Glenavon's hat-trick hero. Pic by Alan Weir.
Declan O'Brien enjoys his weekend role as Glenavon's hat-trick hero. Pic by Alan Weir.

Declan O’Brien grabbed the spotlight to cap a superb team display as Glenavon brushed aside Ballinamallard United.

United entered the Danske Bank Premiership date as one of the in-form sides - but finished reeling in the face of Glenavon’s sustained attacking threat.

O’Brien’s treble arrived as the centre-piece to split a first league goal for Daniel Kearns and late Gary Hamilton penalty kick.

United’s problems increased with a red card before the final whistle.

Kearns - an impressive addition to the Mourneview Park ranks since his arrival last month - kicked off the scoring on nine minutes off Rhys Marshall’s pass for a first league goal in Glenavon colours.

The visitors got back on level terms off a penalty kick converted by Jason McCartney, with the handball decision going against Simon Kelly.

However, Glenavon hit back thanks to O’Brien’s close-range finish past Alvin Rouse to cap Joel Cooper’s fine approach play.

Rouse was then on hand to frustrate the Glenavon forward - with a penalty save off O’Brien following a foul on Cooper.

O’Brien eventually added to his afternoon run by heading home a corner-kick from Hall.

His hat-trick strike arrived with a finishing touch off another Hall delivery.

A red card for Rouse - following a foul on Andy McGrory - left Ballinamallard down to 10 men, with player/manager Hamilton hitting home the resultant spot-kick past Leon Carters.

“The first half was even but we were unplayable after the break,” said Hamilton, the Glenavon boss. “We put in a very professional performance and could have won by a greater margin in the end.

“Now we want to carry that into the Dungannon Swifts match on Saturday.

“We have terrible record against Dungannon and must make the trip aware of the need for full focus.

“We have often struggled against Dungannon and they have recently made that management change, which often provides a lift for a team.

“Rodney McAree will come in with his own dieas and it is going to be tough for us.

“However, all we can do it make sure the attitude is right because anything less than 100 per cent will cost us against Dungannon.”

GLENAVON: Jonny Tuffey, Kyle Neill, Simon Kelly, Kris Lindsay, Andy Kilmartin, Rhys Marshall, Joel Cooper, Andy Hall, Mark Sykes, Declan O’Brien, Daniel Kearns. Subs: Gareth McKeown, Mark Patton, Andy McGrory (on for Kearns, 82 mins), Kyle Buckley (on for Kilmartin, 74 mins), Gary Hamilton (on for O’Brien, 72 mins).

BALLINAMALLARD UNITED: Alvin Rouse, Gary Phair, Emmet Friars, Colm McLaughlin, Steve Feeney, Michael McCrudden, Ryan Campbell, Adam Lecky, Liam Martin, Jason McCartney, Johnny Lafferty. Subs: Stefan McCusker, Jonathan Courtney (on for Feeney, 70 mins), Christopher Crilly, John Currie (on for McCrudden, 62 mins), Leon Carters (on for Friars, 81 mins).

Referee: Ian McNabb.