Warner Mullen netted a sensational five-goal haul in 13 first-half minutes as Dean Smith started his Loughgall managerial career in style against his former club.
Visitors Annagh should have taken the lead in the 17th minute when Ben Eagle threaded a pass through for Jamie Gardner to run onto. The forward was clear through on goal however he couldn’t find a way past home ‘keeper Gareth Buchanan who saved with his feet.
Striker Mullen opened the scoring in the 22nd minute when the ball fell kindly for him, 20 yards from goal, to fire low past Annagh ‘keeper Matthew Devlin. And he netted again one minute later when the impressive Peter Campbell skilfully evaded Jake Richardson before whipping in a dangerous cross that Mullen converted at the front post.
Mullen completed a hat-trick in six minutes when he collected Francis McCann’s pass on the edge of the penalty area and accurately shot into the corner of the net.
Loughgall scored their fourth on the half hour when John Uprichard pounced on a defensive mistake to race through one-on-one and net past Devlin.
Warner Mullen grabbed his fourth and fifth goals in quick succession shortly afterwards. Firstly he turned on the edge of the penalty area and struck a sweet left-footed shot into the top corner, before controlling a long pass and smashing low past ‘keeper Devlin from a similar position.
Winger Campbell made it 7-0 on 39 minutes when he raced down the left flank and cut inside to smash home from a narrow angle.
On the stroke of half-time, Mullen went agonisedly close to scoring a double hat-trick when he rose highest to head McCann’s cross against the crossbar.
The second period saw Loughgall continue their dominance however they were thwarted by ‘keeper Devlin on a number of occasions. They went closest through substitute Jack Upritchard and Mullen in the second half. A good move between Mullen and Upritchard allowed the latter to fire over when well placed in the 70th minute.
On 73 minutes Annagh ‘keeper Devlin did superbly to deny Mullen’s 25 yard free-kick and then scramble the loose ball away from the inrushing Marcus Dallas who was following up.
Loughgall: Buchanan, Devlin, Taylor, Copeland, Hudson (Canning 62m), Dallas (Elliott 78m), Ferguson, Campbell, McCann (Upritchard 62m), Uprichard, Mullen. Unused subs: Stretton, Gould.
Annagh United: Devlin, Richardson, Riddle, Wilson, Stewart (Davidson 45m), Park, Judge, Eagle (Webb 68m), McIlroy, Gardner, Stewart. Unused subs: White, Greenfield, Campbell.