Photo: Andrew Scullion
Larne booked their place in the Sadler’s Peaky Blinder Irish Cup quarter-finals in some style with an 8-1 win at home to Dollingstown on Saturday.
Hale’s hat-trick was added to by braces from Marty Donnelly and Dylan Mottley-Henry, with Academy Scholar Matty Lusty also scoring on his senior debut for the club.
It now sets up an East Antrim Derby in the last eight, as we welcome Carrick Rangers to Inver on Tuesday night.
Larne broke the deadlock on 10 minutes, when Dylan Mottley-Henry tapped home from a Dean Jarvis cross.
The visitors almost found an instant response, but Conor Mitchell produced a superb save from Liam Toman’s 20-yard goal-bound free-kick.
It was a rare foray into Larne half, however, as the home side continued to press.
They doubled their lead on 30 minutes with Tomas Cosgrove and Donnelly combining to good effect.
Cosgrove’s raking crossfield ball found Donnelly in space on the left side of the box and he took a touch before finishing with his right foot.
The home side were shook into life just two minutes into the second half, when a throw in from the right flank was flicked on into the path of ex-Larne midfielder Glen Hand, who tapped home inside the six yard box.
Lynch’s men responded by going on the offensive again, and two goals inside five minutes helped to kill the threat of an upset.
With 52 minutes on the clock, great work from Dylan Mottley-Henry on the right saw his whip in a cross which found Marty Donnelly at the back post. The little attacker took a touch before firing home right-footed.
Three became four when Ronan Hale scored three minutes after coming off the bench.
Donnelly was involved again, this time his quickly-taken free-kick found Hale on the right channel of the penalty area and he fired across Maguire from a tight angle to get his name on the scoresheet.
Hale bagged his second of the day with 15 minutes left on the clock. Substitute Matty Lusty supplied the low cross from the right, which was cleverly dummied by Donnelly and Hale arrived to finish into the bottom left corner from just inside the box.
The goalscoring continued nine minutes from time when Lusty was fouled inside the box.
The 17-year-old dusted himself down to calmly slot down the middle of Maguire’s goal – the first player from the club’s new full-time academy to grab a senior goal for the club.
As Dollingstown continued to tire, Larne piled forward and made it 7-1 on 86 minutes, when Mottley-Henry headed home from yard out after Hale’s effort came back off the bar.
The was still time for time for former Crusaders man Hale to leave with matchball, when he fired home from a Lusty cross right on the stroke of 90 minutes.
Larne first team coach paid tribute to both sides in the circumstances as his side looks ahead to the last eight clash with Carrick on Tuesday.
Larne: C Mitchell, Watson, Robinson, Herron (’63 Randall), McDaid (’54 Hale), Donnelly, Lynch (’66 Lusty), A Mitchell, Mottley-Henry, Cosgrove, Jarvis
Unused subs: Scott, McKendry, Wade Slater, Hughes
Dollingston: Maguire, Redpath, Mooney, Rogers, Moffett, Rea (’81 Johnston), McCullough (78’ Patterson), Liggett, Thompson (’74 Kernaghan), L Toman, Hand
Unused subs: McConnell, S Toman, Stewart, Barr
Referee: Lee Tavinder