FOUR FOR COOPER AS BLUES HIT SEVEN
Joel Cooper bagged four goals as Linfield swept to a 7-0 defeat of Newry City at Windsor Park.
The 27-year-old needed just four minutes to open the scoring with a low, hard, left-footed finish past Niall Brady.
Newry came close to finding an equaliser on 18 minutes when John McGovern teed up Olajuwon Adeyemo but his effort from a tight angle was saved by the legs of keeper Chris Johns.
Linfield doubled their advantage midway through the first half after Matthew Clarke connected with a Kirk Millar cross to nod the ball home at the back post from close range.
Then two Cooper goals just before the break put the game to bed.
He doubled his tally on 43 minutes with a flick from another Millar delivery before, in stoppage time, he bagged his hat-trick with a finish into the top corner from Daniel Finlayson's pass.
Chris McKee added a fifth for the Blues ten minutes into the second half with a slotted finish into the bottom left corner, and doubled his own tally just a couple of minutes after that with a chipped finish.
Cooper then completed the scoring just after the hour with a curling left-foot strike past substitute keeper Shane Halpenny - who had replaced the injured Brady - after Kyle Lafferty had cut the ball back.
Linfield: Johns, Roscoe, Shields, Callacher, Millar, Cooper, M. Clarke, McKee, Finlayson, Mulgrew, Lafferty subs Walsh, Newberry, McClean, Devine, Haygarth, A. Clarke, Palmer
Newry City: Brady, King, N. Healy, McGivern, Lockhart, McGovern, Martin, B. Healy, Donnelly, Scullion, Adeyemo subs Halpenny, Carville, Teelan, Lusty, McNamee, Sloan, Rendina