O'CONNOR FINISH ENOUGH FOR THE GLENS
Glentoran held off a determined Loughgall challenge to emerge narrow winners at Lakeview Park.
The Glens started brightly with Marcus Kane heading narrowly over early on while James Singleton failed to make the most of the opportunity after connecting with a corner.
But the deadlock was broken on 19 minutes after Daire O'Connor tapped home at the back post after Niall McGinn pounced on a poor clearance to send the ball over from the left.
Loughgall responded well, however, and might have levelled through a Ben Murdock header only to be denied by a good stop from Aaron McCarey.
Then, later in the first half, both Caolan McAleer and Tiernan Kelly saw shots from distance fall just wide of the left post within a minute of each other.
Glentoran might have doubled their advantage around the hour mark when Bobby Burns played Jay Donnelly through one-on-one only for Berraat Turker to deal with the threat with an outstretched boot.
And Warren Feeney's side were further frustrated later in the game when they twice hit the woodwork in quick succession.
McGinn was thwarted when his superb curling free-kick from the edge of the area came back off an upright followed, two minutes later, by a Burns low driven effort from around 20 yards after he had teamed up with Junior Uzokwe.
Loughgall: Turker, Rea, Murdock, Kelly, Andrade, Teggart, Ferris, McAleer, Norton, Cartwright, Balde subs Devine, Brogan, Hoey, Patton, McMenemy, Magee, Loughran
Glentoran: McCarey, Kane, McCullough, Burns, McCartan, Donnelly, O’Connor, Singleton, Sule, Wightman, McGinn subs Webber, Palmer, Kelly, Boyd, Russell, Jenkins, Ogedi-Uzokwe