Irish Premiership: Bates hat-trick as Glenavon stun Ports

Hat-trick hero Guy Bates lauds Glenavon display

Guy Bates scored a hat-trick as Glenavon moved up to second in the Premiership thanks to a stunning 4-2 win over neighbours Portadown.

Bates punished poor defending from a long-throw to blast in a 19th-minute opener and former Ports player Kyle Neill struck to make to 2-0.

Gary Twigg pulled one back for Portadown but Bates stroked in Glenavon's third before half-time.

Bates then netted a beauty for 4-1 with Peter McMahon scoring late on.

It was only Glenavon's third win in the last 30 Mid-Ulster derbies.

Portadown had come into the game in second place, and the form side, against Glenavon who had lost their last two in the league.

But Glenavon grabbed all the plaudits with an attacking display which left Ronnie McFall's Ports reeling.

Their first goal stemmed from one of defender Gareth McKeown's trademark throw-ins. Portadown missed opportunities to clear and, when the ball bounced off defender Emmett Friars, Bates nipped in to fire in from just a few yards out.

Eight minutes later it was 2-0 as Andy McGrory's long diagonal ball from the right saw Neill hold off Chris Casement and lift a cool finish over keeper David Miskelly.

Portadown, unbeaten in their last five in the Premiership, hit back immediately when Twigg snapped up a chance in clip the ball over Miskelly from the six-yard line.

However, Glenavon restored their two-goal lead when impressive teenager Rhys Marshall set up Bates to score with a low shot in the 39th minute.

In the second half, Portadown forward Darren Murray put a good chance wide and soon afterwards the home side found themselves three down.

The Ports defence stood off Bates who was allowed to advance to the edge of the box to curl a lovely finish into the corner for 4-1.

Bates could have had a fourth when his deflected flick struck a post before McMahon got Portadown's second goal in the 78th minute.