Peter Wilson reports from Inver Park
LARNE moved ever closer to securing the Championship title as they comfortably saw off Dundela 3-0. The Invermen’s victory means that next weekend’s away clash with H&W Welders could give the league leaders the title with six games to spare. Meanwhile for the Duns, their defeat further dents their hopes of reaching a promotion play-off spot.
The hosts took the lead within 12 minutes; Martin Donnelly flicking his free-kick onto David McDaid who coolly converted past Jonathan Sergeant.
It could have been 2-0 three minutes later when Jeff Hughes picked out Tomas Cosgrove on the right flank but the winger’s drive across goal didn’t find anyone waiting to get on the end of it.
Ben Tilney made it two though on 22 minutes; a slick move from the home side across the width of the pitch ended with Tilney on the left curling into the bottom right from 15 yards.
In the second period, Larne went in search of another as Hughes made a driving run forward. He laid it off to Tilney, who squared the ball in toward McDaid at the near post; with Sergeant getting down low to intercept.
Tilney then turned from goal scorer to provider; crossing low in toward Donnelly with the keeper’s outstretched leg the only thing denying the midfielder his 22nd goal of the season.
The Duns looked to find a way back into the game with both Carl McComb and Tiarnan McNicholl failing to find the net from inside the box.
The Inver Reds wrapped the game up with nine minutes of regular time remaining; Tilney sliding the ball low into the danger zone with McDaid on hand to tap in from a yard out.
Larne: Devlin, Sule (Stuart), Ramsey, Kelly, McDaid, Donnelly (Stewart), Tilney, Lynch (Hassin), McNally, Cosgrove, Hughes
Unused subs: Dougherty, Tear
Dundela: Sergeant, Sterling, Hanley (Devine), Nimick, Morrison, Murdock, McMaster (Bingham), Murray, McComb, McNicholl, Burns
Unused subs: Parker, King, Blanchard
Referee: Declan Hassan
Man of the Match: Ben Tilney (Larne)
What’s up next?
Larne travel to Tillysburn this Saturday to take on H&W Welders (3pm), while the next home game is at the Tennent’s Irish Cup quarter-final against Coleraine on Friday 1st March. Tickets for this match are available on Monday and Wednesday evenings 6pm to 8.30pm in the Club Shop.