LINFIELD 4 GLENAVON 3
Glenavon ended up on the wrong end of a seven goal thriller at Windsor Park as Linfield took the spoils 4-3.
What a game this was, full of action and Glenavon again showing their battling qualities as they came from 3-1 down to draw level with nine minutes to go.
The all action encounter started with former Glenavon striker Guy Bates putting Andrew Waterworth in space but his dangerous cross was headed away for a corner. The home side were direct early on but Glenavon had the first effort on goal when a free kick by Kyle Neill was headed down by Kris Lindsay to Kevin Braniff and his half volley was saved by Ross Glendinning.
The Blues responded with Waterworth forcing a good block out of Johnny Tuffey at the near post and then the Glenavon goalkeeper got down to push away a shot from Kirk Millar.
The Lurgan Blues survived the early Linfield surge and almost took the lead on 16 minutes when Rhys Marshall got up well at the back post to meet an Andy Hall corner but his effort sailed just over.
Waterworth broke on a quick Linfield counter but Conor Dillon did well to shadow his run and cleared the danger.
Tuffey denied Bates an opening goal on the half hour mark as he dived to his left to palm away his shot from the edge of the box.
Within a couple of minutes Glenavon took the lead with Kyle Neill the surprise marksman as his corner caught the wind and curled into the far corner of the net.
Kris Lindsay made a great block to deny Waterworth and then when Millar blasted the rebound Tuffey produced a superb save to keep the visitors ahead.
But Linfield were level two minutes before the break, Ward and Millar linked up to put Waterworth in behind and he drilled a low drive wide of Tuffey.
Linfield applied early second half pressure but in a quick break Marshall passed to Bradley who played ball in behind for Hall but Glendinning had spotted the danger.
Five minutes in and Linfield struck the front when Quinn played the ball across the six yard box and Millar raced in to stab home ahead of Tuffey.
It was to get worse for the Lurgan Blues when poor defending allowed Quinn to get in his cross and Waterworth could not miss from a yard out.
Glenavon spirits were lifted on 61 minutes when they pulled a goal back. Bradley worked hard to keep the ball in play, pulled it back for Braniff whose shot was cleared off the line but Kris Lindsay drove home the loose ball.
Glenavon went in search of the equaliser and played some decent football but could not find that one break until the 81st minute when Bradley had time to divert a shot from Braniff home for 3-3.
He had another chance, perhaps the best of the game, to put Glenavon ahead when he broke clear but lifted his shot over the keeper and the bar.
With a draw looking likely Linfield scored again on 84 minutes with former Glenavon defender Mark Haughey glancing a header into the far corner.
Right on 90 minutes Singleton almost found a way through, Hamilton found him on the edge of the box, his well struck shot smashed off Ward and when the rebound fell to him he lifted the ball inches over the bar.
Right at the death Glenavon had another chance when Marshall won the ball back, exchanged passes with Hamilton and as he ran into the box went was brought down but despite a big shout for a penalty referee Ross Dunlop waved play on.