Gary Hamilton hailed hat-trick hero Guy Bates as Glenavon surged to a 4-2 victory over Portadown on Monday.
Bates scored twice in the opening half and added a third in the second period as the Lurgan Blues savoured a rare Mid-Ulster derby success.
It was Glenavon’s first Premiership win at Shamrock Park since April 2008.
“Whenever Guy heard I had signed Davy Rainey in the summer, he went away and worked hard,” Hamilton said.
“That is credit to his attitude and dedication, and he wants to keep the shirt and be the number one striker here. It was a great performance.
“He was a great player for us last season but he is stronger this year and he is reaping the rewards.”
Bates broke the deadlock with a clinical finish in the 18th minute before Neill made it 2-0 nine minutes later.
Gary Twigg replied for the Ports before the break but Bates completed his hat-trick in the 57th minute.
Peter McMahon scored another consolation for the Ports but it did little to paper over the cracks.
“It is a welcome derby win for us. It has been a while,” Hamilton added.
“It’s great to get the monkey off the back, but now we have to push on.”