Saturday, 06 April 2019
Larne hit three goals without reply past Portadown at Inver Park on the day they were presented with the Bluefin Sport Championship trophy.
The crowning ceremony took place after the game and whilst the title had been long since secured there was still a determination not to let a poor result dampen the celebrations.
Indeed, Tiernan Lynch's side started on the front foot with early efforts coming through Tomas Cosgrove and Martin Donnelly although neither threaten the visiting goal.
Portadown's first effort of note came midway through the first half courtesy of Sean Mackle's 25-yard free-kick which whistled wide of the left post.
But Larne looked the more likely to find a way through only to be denied by a series of blocks, goalline clearances and a Donnelly free-kick being tipped over by Declan Dunne.
The deadlock was eventually broken in Larne's favour nine minutes from the break when Donnelly combined with Cosgrove in a one-two which ended with the latter firing into the roof of the net.
Mark Carson might have levelled for Portadown early in the second half but he could only fire just wide of the right post after connecting with a low cross from Jerry Thompson.
Carson threatened again when he fired straight at Conor Devlin with a follow up effort going over while Devlin was again called into action to deal with an Aaron Duke header from Chris Lavery's corner.
However, despite this purple patch, the Ports fell further behind with just over a quarter-of-an-hour remaining after Ben Tilney cut inside to beat Dunne via a deflected right-foot finish into the bottom corner.
The sides traded chances in the closing ten minutes with Andy Kilmartin being denied only by Devlin at full stretch after his effort from outside the box looked destined for the top corner while, at the other end, Tilney fired over at the near post.
Larne did grab their third goal right at the end, however, when David McDaid turned the ball home from six yards, a perfect conclusion to the game and an ideal percursor to the presentation that followed.
Larne: Devlin, Sule, Ramsey, McEleney, McDaid, Donnelly, Tilney, Lynch, McNally, Cosgrove, Hughes subs Dougherty, Scullion, Stewart, Hassin, Tear
Portadown: Dunne, Carson, McCallum, Larkin, Kilmartin, Braniff, Hall, Thompson, Bradley, Wilson, Mackle subs Lavery, Salley, Duke, McKenna, Douglas
Referee: Ken Gibbons
|David McDaid||90 +1|