Glenavon's Stephen Murray sees hat-trick sink Institute
Institute 1-4 Glenavon
GLENAVON striker Stephen Murray netted a hat-trick, in his side's comfortable win over Institute.
The talented front man may have had some luck for his opener, but his other two goals were stunning efforts, a great curling strike and a cheeky back-heel to complete the treble.
The ex-Warrenpoint Town man was very good throughout and with the likes of Mark Sykes, Josh Daniels and Andrew Mitchell, the Lurgan Blues always looked a threat and ran out deserved winners.
For the second week running, Institute for spells played some neat football, but unlike at Solitude where they did test Cliftonville keeper Richard Brush, they never really called Glenavon shot-stopper Jonathan Tuffey into action much.
Institute made two changes to their side which lost at Cliftonville, with Darren Henderson making his first league start and Aaron Harkin slotting back into midfield.
As for the visitors, they had midfielder Sykes back in confident mood after he played his part in the Northern Ireland U21's win over Spain.
Early on that man Sykes created the first opening, but after a super run and cross, which would have picked out Mitchell, but centre-back Caoimhin Bonner got in to divert the danger.
The deadlock was broken on 10 minutes as ex-Derry City winger Daniels' super left wing centre was fizzed into the six yard box to find Andrew Hall, who gleefully made no mistake, side footing home from close range.
While Institute slowly started to get into the game, without really testing Tuffey, they conceded a second somewhat against the run of play on 21 minutes.
Murray burst clear down the right and after controlling the ball well, the striker's cross-cum-shot from an acute angle, sailed over 'Stute keeper Marty Gallagher and into the net.
Moments later Aaron Harmon had a long range strike saved by Gallagher and Hall saw a 25 yard free-kick also kept out by the 'Stute net-minder.
Just after the half-hour mark Institute should have pulled a goal back, but Michael McCrudden's close range shot was easily gathered by Tuffey.
That man Murray scored a stunning second goal and Glenavon's third on 38 minutes, as he cut in from the right onto his left foot and curled the ball high into the net from the edge of the box.
To their credit the home side continued to keep going and they scored on 42 minutes as McCrudden's clever pass found Henderson, who despite being denied by Tuffey with his first close range effort, made no mistake with the follow-up.
Institute started the second half with more attacking intent and they went close on 50 minutes as Colm McLaughlin's stinging drive was bravely blocked by a diving Caolan Marron.
On 57 minutes Murray, should have completed his hat-trick, as Mitchell's left wing cross found the striker inside the six yard box, but he somehow headed over with the goal at his mercy.
Minutes later another passing move by the home side ended with McCrudden's clever flick finding Ronan Wilson, but his low drive whistled just past Tuffey's right hand post.
The game was ended as a contest on 81 minutes as Murray did complete his hat-trick in superb fashion, as the striker's clever back-flick from close range, gave Gallagher no chance.
Institute: Gallagher, Morrow, Bonner, D Curry, McLaughlin; Wilson (McCready 73), Harkin, Doherty; S Curry (Dunne 85), McCrudden, Henderson (Moorehead 60).
Glenavon: Tuffey, King, Marron, Daniels, Marshall, Mitchell (Donnelly 60) Sykes, Hall, Harmon (Doherty 67), Murray (Grace 85), Singleton.
Referee: Evan Boyce.