Q Radio Sport
Conor McMenamin helped himself to a hat-trick as Glentoran swept to a comprehensive 4-1 victory over David Jeffrey's Ballymena United at the BetMcLean Oval on Friday night.
The Glens started brightly with Robbie McDaid and Jay Donnelly having early chances.
Then Mick McDermott's men broke the deadlock on 18 minute when, from a Rhys Marshall cross, McDaid was able to divert a header past keeper Jordan Williamson.
Robbie McDaid opens scoring at BetMcLean Oval
Just four minutes after that, McMenamin made it 2-0 after receiving the ball from Donnelly and cutting inside to beat Williamson with a right-foot shot at the near post.
There was almost a third before the half-hour mark but Marcus Kane's header from a corner was just off target.
The visitors did regain their composure and duly pulled one back five minutes from the break through skipper Leroy Millar after his ball across goal took a slight deflection off Patrick McClean.
However, the Glens restored their two goal advantage just after the hour with McMenamin's second of the evening, a composed finish after controlling the ball from a Donnelly lay off and slotting home from around ten yards out.
And the 26-year-old claimed the match ball less than ten minutes later, finishing off after Donnelly had broken clear to lob the visiting keeper.
Glentoran had opportunities to extend their dominance in the latter stages of the game with Shay McCartan and Seanan Clucas seeing efforts blocked, before Donnelly was thwarted by the keeper in stoppage time and Kane was denied by the post.
FT: #DanskeBankPrem@Glentoran 4@BallymenaUnited 1— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) September 10, 2021
Comfortable victory for the Glens in their first game at the newly-named BetMcLean Oval. Robbie McDaid opens scoring, Conor McMenamin returns to the side and helps himself to a hat-trick.
🎥: #GFC pic.twitter.com/5Tf3LJ9XQI
Glentoran: McCarey, Kane, McCullough, Burns, McCartan, Marshall, J. Donnelly, McDaid, McClean, McMenamin, Plum subs Bigirimana, R. Donnelly, Mitchell, Clucas, Smith, Marron, Glendinning
Ballymena United: Williamson, Chapman, Redman, Winchester, Kelly, McElroy, Waide, Bramall, Loughran, Keeley, Millar subs Johnston, McKeown, Kane, Henderson, Rodgers, Beattie, McMullan
The Glens move up to joint second with Larne ahead of Saturday's fixtures:
Decent evening for the Glens women as well:
Defending champs @Glentoran Women back on top of #DanskeWomensPrem as @KerryBeattie5 grabs four goals in 9-0 victory @LinfieldLadies after being named on @NorthernIreland #GAWA squad earlier in the day— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) September 10, 2021
Clash v @CVilleLadiesFC could decide league in penultimate set of fixtures: pic.twitter.com/fbkEguZl2F
There was drama at Derry, but it was alright on the night:
FT: League of Ireland@derrycityfc 2— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) September 10, 2021
Junior, Thomson@FinnHarpsFC 2
What a game! Late derby drama, reds cards, great goals with last min equaliser from Joe Thomson, who was then sent off in the melee after the goal!
Point moves Candystripes up to 4th
Pic: DCFC pic.twitter.com/2vsShWXOY6