First half goals from Aaron Donnelly and Ryan Curran gave Cliftonville the edge over Glenavon at Solitude.
Glenavon might have seized the early advantage when, after just three minutes, Gregory Moorhouse fired over from close range after Conor McCloskey had crossed from the left.
The Reds moved in front, however, on 12 minutes in somewhat fortunate circumstances when Donnelly's cross-come-shot from the right floated over everyone in the box before going in at the top corner.
Ryan Curran came close to doubling Cliftonville's lead with a header against the crossbar soon after while Paul O'Neill could only turn the rebound over.
But Curran went one better on 26 minutes, heading home from close range at the back post after Rory Hale's initial drive was parried by Craig Hyland before being recycled by O'Neill.
Jamie Harney might have added a third just after the half-hour mark but Robert Garrett was there to make the goalline clearance.
At the other end McCloskey almost pulled one back with a 35-yard free-kick which crashed back off the bar.
However, the visitors did reduce the deficit on 54 minutes through Peter Campbell. Again McCloskey was involved, providing the telling cross into the box which eventually reached Campbell at the far post.
O'Neill could have restored Cliftonville's two-goal lead on 71 minutes but, with the goal at his mercy, he couldn't get on the end of Daire O'Connor's squared ball from the left.
Glenavon pushed hard for the equaliser in the latter stages with Matthew Snoddy producing a diving save from Aaron McCarey while Kris Lowe headed off the line to deny Daniel Purkis' angled shot.