IRISH LEAGUE: Daniel Kearns grabs a double as Glenavon see off Carrick Rangers at Mourneview Park

Glenavon's Daniel Kearns (left) celebrates after scoring
Glenavon's Daniel Kearns (left) celebrates after scoring

Daniel Kearns worked his magic once again for Glenavon as his brace moved them into fourth place – for a few hours at least – at a blustery Mourneview Park.

Storm Desmond was doing its best to ruin the game, with the wind blowing in every direction and causing issues for both goalkeepers.

The first half was devoid of any real chances. Rhys Marshall had a half chance with a half volley on five minutes but it was deflected for a corner, from which Simon Kelly headed wide.

Kyle Neill had a free-kick punched away by Brian Neeson, with the ball falling for Andy Kilmartin whose chance was off target.

The wind created an unexpected opportunity for Andy Hall who almost scored directly from a corner kick, while another opportunistic set piece from Neill from 35 yards hung in the air before finally resting on top of Neeson’s goal.

For Carrick, their best chance fell to Joe McNeill, who felt he should have been awarded for a penalty when he was brought down by Kelly, while the same player was unlucky not to score when he flashed a free-kick wide of the mark.

Glenavon got in front after 55 minutes when McNeill brought down Marshall inside the box after he had linked up with Mark Sykes.

Kearns sent Neeson the wrong way with the penalty.

And Glenavon could have had a second moments later when Joel Cooper’s cross was met by Eoin Bradley, but his header was just off target.

Jonny Tuffey was forced into his first save of the game on 65 minutes, and a fine save it was too, as he parried away a Brian McCaul curling shot.

Rangers captain Aaron Harmon moved into a space to shoot from 25 yards after capitalising on a mistake by Marshall, but Tuffey was down low to save the shot.

The points were sealed when Glenavon doubled their advantage on 74 minutes.

Joel Cooper managed to edge his way past McCaul before laying the ball off to Kearns to score his fifth goal since signing in October from the edge of the box and the points were sealed.

GLENAVON: Tuffey, Neill (Dillon 77), S Kelly, Lindsay, Kilmartin, Marshall, Cooper (McGrory 87), Bradley, Hall, Sykes, Kearns (O’Brien 89).

Subs not used: Patton, Hamilton.

CARRICK RANGERS: Neeson, McCaul, D Kelly, Harmon, McNeill, Cherry (Kane 77), Roy (Chines 68), McCloskey, Johnston, Dick (Browne 82), Doyle.

Subs not used: Surgenor, Taggart.

REFEREE: Raymond Hetherington (Dungannon)