Declan “Fabio” O'Brien announced himself to the Danske Bank Irish Premiership in dramatic fashion as he helped himself to a second half hat-trick in his debut for Glenavon on Saturday afternoon.
The Lurgan based outfit began the game against Ballymena United in seventh position and the former Drogheda United man was involved early as he was brought down in the area, but the penalty chance was squandered when Eoin Bradley blazed wide.
Glenavon went into the break with a one goal advantage as another former League of Ireland player, Ciaran Martyn, gave them the lead but Darren Boyce pulled one back for the home side two minutes after the interval.
This was the signal for Fabio to go to work as he latched on to Martyn's flick to expertly finish to the corner just after the hour mark.
The second goal came with nine minutes to go when the 35 year old showed his composure to beat the off-side trap and coolly round the keeper to slot home.
His final effort displayed his poacher’s instinct as he helped Mark Patten’s goal bound shot over the line to round off a thoroughly impressive opening performance for his new club.
Two former League of Ireland players also played their first games for table topping Crusaders as former Limerick striker, Stephen O'Flynn, and Derry City midfielder, Barry Molloy, both came on as second half substitutes in Crues 3-0 defeat of Ballinamallllard United.