Michael McCrudden was the star of the show as his hat-trick enabled Institute to move within five points of leaders Ards with a well-deserved victory over a Loughgall side who have failed to win in each of their four previous games.
Boss Colin Malone handed new signing Dale Noble his debut as lead the attack in the absence of Dale Malone who was serving a one game suspension.
Both sides had chances in the opening stages; the visitors threatened through McCrudden’s curling shot that ‘keeper Gareth Buchanan had to be alert to push the effort past the post. And then Loughgall came close when James Lindsay headed narrowly over from Gerard McMahon’s free-kick.
Stute should have scored on 32 minutes when McCrudden’s corner delivery was met by John Curran’s free header however the defender couldn’t keep his effort on target.
The Londonderry side netted four minutes into the second period when Stephen Parkhouse directed a driven cross against the right post before the ball tricked along the goal line and McCrudden finished from a very tight angle. The tricky forward doubled his side’s advantage in the 67th minute when he scored a wonderful solo goal as he collected the ball on the right flank before coming inside evading Loughgall defenders with flashes of skill finishing the move with a sublime strike into the far top corner out of the reach of ‘keeper Buchanan.
The Villagers grabbed a goal back five minutes later when Jeff Brady’s corner was delivered back into the penalty area by Steven Ferguson and Mark Stewart picked his spot in the top corner for a fine finish.
However as Loughgall were looking for a leveller they were punished with nine minutes remaining by McCrudden who scored a carbon copy of his second goal, only from the other wing, to cap a wonderful individual performance.
Loughgall: Buchanan, McGarry (Lavery 73m), Rodgers, Copeland, Stewart, Lindsay (Scott Herron 73m), Carson, Ferguson, Noble, McMahon (Bradley 68m), Brady. Unused subs: Steven Herron.
Institute: Gallagher, Taylor, Gray, Curran, Crown, McKeever, McCauley, Walsh, Parkhouse, McCrudden, Semple. Subs: Roddy, Millen, Hume, Hegarty, McClay.