Saturday, 29 September 2018
Larne moved back to the top of the table with a derby victory over Ballyclare Comrades at Dixon Park.
The first half was one of few chances. Although Larne had the bulk of possession, the home side worked hard to keep them at bay.
The second half started brightly enough for Comrades, as they looked to show more going forward. However, in the 53rd minute they were rocked by a superb goal from the joint leading scorer in the Championship, Marty Donnelly, who beautifully cushioned a ball played into the box over the head of a defender before coolly lobbing it over the keeper.
This goal opened the floodgates and six minutes later the visitors got a second, Donnelly running onto a through ball, rounding the keeper and finishing with ease.
On 64 minutes the home side had a great chance to get right back into the game, when the ball was played back across the box after a corner and fell to Adam Wright, but five yards out he couldn't get enough power in his shot to beat Conor Devlin.
In the 68th minute the points were more or less secured by Larne when they scored from the penalty spot. Michael McQuitty tripped Donnelly inside the box and Donnelly picked himself up to convert from the spot and get his hat-trick.
In the 81st minute Larne added a fourth goal, Thomas Stewart scoring with a good finish from a tight angle.
Ballyclare Comrades: Rowe, Crane, Wright, McQuitty, McWilliams, Kane, Gray, Johnston, Willighan, Robinson, Youle subs McIlveen (not used), Tully (replaced Robinson 75), Donnelly (replaced Gray 68), Kirk (not used), Gault (not used)
Larne: Devlin, Sule, Finnegan, Kelly, Scullion, Donnelly, Tilney, Hassin, McNally, Cosgrove, Hughes subs Dougherty (not used), McEleney (not used), Stewart (replaced Tilney 78), McDaid (replaced Hassin 60), Stuart (replaced Scullion 68)
Referee: Niall Gallagher