Johnny Kernaghan’s hat-trick and Jeff Brady’s strike earned Loughgall a comfortable win over Blackers Mill to progress in the Bob Radcliffe Cup.
Boss Colin Malone, aiming to build up momentum, named an unchanged line-up from last week’s first league win away to Dundela.
Loughgall started well and were ahead after 11 minutes when Steven Ferguson’s incisive pass into Kernaghan’s path allowed the forward to calmly finish beyond away ‘keeper Mark Gough.
Blackers Mill had earlier hit the crossbar when Scott McCrory shot following a corner. Nonetheless the Villagers kept the initiative when Kernaghan netted again with a thunderous drive on 14 minutes, Jeff Brady played a pass into Dale Malone who, with his back to goal, set-up Kernaghan for his impressive finish.
Loughgall further extended their lead nine minutes into the second period when Kernaghan and Brady combined to allow the latter to hit a brilliant drive in off the far post from the left-hand edge of the penalty area.
Kernaghan grabbed his hat-trick with another well-taken goal; Malone’s corner wasn’t cleared fully in the 61st minute and the tricky forward pounced just inside the penalty area to fire home.
Loughgall: Buchanan, Carson, Rodgers Stewart, Acheson, Ferguson (Heasley 66m), Malone, Boyle, Kernaghan (Pedlow 66m), Phillips (Herron 66m), Brady. Unused subs: Flanaghan, Willis.
Blackers Mill: Gough, A Haugh, Compton, McDonald, McClelland, Neill, Clarke, McCrory, Canning, Martin, Dickson. Subs: S Haugh, McIlveen, Elliott, Gillespie.