Friel brace helps Institute claim maximum points

Institute players celebrate with goalscorer Garbhan Friel after he opened the scoring against Lurgan Celtic on Saturday. INLS3915MC029
Institute players celebrate with goalscorer Garbhan Friel after he opened the scoring against Lurgan Celtic on Saturday. INLS3915MC029
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Remember the date folks - Institute finally secured their first league victory in over 11 months, thanks to a 3-0 win over Lurgan Celtic.

Goals from Garbhan Friel (2) and Stephen O’Donnell was enough for Kevin Deery’s side to pick up three points for the first time in 30 games.

The Drumahoe club deservedly won the game and in truth they probably should have won by a bigger margin.

Institute should have taken the lead on 19 minutes after Aaron Harkin broke the offside trap, but his close range strike on the half volley was kept out by Celtic keeper Jamie McAtavey.

The visitors had a super chance virtually straight away but Dale Malone’s strike from just inside the box was kept out by a diving Marty Gallagher.

Just after the half-hour mark Joshuna Barton picked up a loose ball before racing towards goal, but his effort from the right hand side the box was kept out by Gallagher.

Right on the stroke of half-time the home side took the lead after Shane McGinty’s super through ball released Friel and he made no mistake blasting home past McAtavey from the edge of the box.

On 66 minutes the Waterside men should have added a second but Friel was unable to get the ball completely under control inside the six yard box and the chance was missed.

Fortunately for Friel Stute did score that crucial second goal on 72 minutes when O’Donnell was on hand to head home from close range, after Darryl McDermott’s initial header into the box fell perfectly for the defender.

Aaron Harkin’s centre on 78 minutes from the right found Friel, but his header from 10 yards was straight at McAtavey.

In the closing minutes a quickly taken free-kick by O’Donnell released Friel, who showed super strength to hold off his man, but his tame strike was easily saved by McAtavey.

On 86 minutes a Dean Curry left wing cross found Friel, but his glancing header after John Cochrane had mis-judged the cross, was saved by McAtavey.

Right at the death Friel netted his second, coolly side footing home past McAtavey, after Robbie Hume had played the big striker through on goal.

Institute: Gallagher, Crown, McDermott, O’Donnell, Curry; McCauley, McGinty (Armstrong 89), A Harkin (C Harkin 80); Brown (McIntyre 73), Friel, Hume.

Lurgan Celtic: McAtavey, McCabe (McVeigh 40), Rodgers, Cochrane, Wilson, Malone (Rodgers 56), Rooney, Barton, Fitzpatrick, Haire, O’Hara.

Referee: Mr Chris Morrison.