Irish Premiership: Glenavon 1-3 Dungannon Swifts

Darren Boyce scores a hat-trick as Dungannon Swifts beat Glenavon in the Irish Premiership clash at Mourneview Park.

Darren Boyce's hat-trick helped in-form Dungannon beat struggling Glenavon as the Swifts moved level on points with the sixth-placed Lurgan Blues in the Premiership table.

Boyce hammered the Swifts ahead on 10 minutes and he doubled their lead on 26 from the penalty spot.

The former Coleraine and Glentoran striker completed his hat-trick with another spot-kick on 72 minutes.

Gary Hamilton struck a brilliant reply on 86 but it was too late for Glenavon.

Dungannon went into the game full of confidence after back-to-back wins over Linfield and Ards while Hamilton's Lurgan Blues had slipped down the table after only one victory in six games.

Glenavon started in promising fashion as David Rainey had an early effort blocked and Ciaran Martyn then fired over from distance.

However, the Swifts struck the game's first crucial blow as Boyce blasted to the net on 10 minutes after the Dungannon keeper's long clearance had deflected invitingly into the striker's path off Gareth McKeown.

The home side attempted to hit back and Morgan was forced to make a great save to tip a Guy Bates effort out for a corner.

Moments later, Glenavon were in big trouble as a Rhys Marshall challenge on Jamie Douglas led to referee Ian McNabb awarding Dungannon's first penalty.

There was little complaint from the home side and Boyce held his nerve to blast his penalty down the centre of the goal as John Connolly committed himself to a dive.

Boyce could have completed his hat-trick two minutes later as he lobbed inches wide over a stranded Connolly with the Glenavon defence marked absent.

Dungannon continued to dominate in the closing stages of the first half with Jonny Topley going close with a header and Connolly then making a brave double save to deny David McCullough.

The Swifts continued to have the greater cutting edge after the break with Boyce firing over after he had held off a challenge from William Murphy.

Glenavon continued to huff and puff around the Swifts penalty box but the contest was over on 72 minutes as Boyce netted his second penalty after he himself had been brought down by Connolly.

Player-manager Hamilton came on for the home side in the second half and he produced a candidate for goal of the season with his 86th-minute reply.

The former Northern Ireland international flicked the ball over Adam McMinn and unleashed a stunning volley from 18 yards but while it was the goal of the night, the points were already in the bag for Dungannon.