Peter Wilson reports from Inver Park
AFTER a slightly sluggish first half Larne added three second half goals to comfortably see off PSNI 4-0. Jeff Hughes, Martin Donnelly, Tomas Cosgrove and Darren Stuart all scored to give the home side the win.
Larne’s victory and Dundela’s 1-1 draw with Ballinamallard United gives the league leaders a 13 point lead and a 16 game unbeaten run at the halfway point of the season.
Jeff Hughes came close for Larne on nine minutes, with his header from a Martin Donnelly corner stopped on the line by Mark Anderson.
On 22 minutes, after a free kick deep inside the Larne half, PSNI’s Tony Tumelty drove his shot across the face of goal and behind.
The deadlock was broken eight minutes before half-time after Chris Ramsey delivered a dangerous cross into the box. Hughes’ initial attempt at close range was blocked by Jordan Williamson but he made no mistake with the follow up to tap the ball in for 1-0.
With four minutes gone in the second period, David McDaid crossed the ball in low from the right side with Donnelly firing wide.
However, Larne’s top goalscorer wasn’t to be denied and, just after an hour, Donnelly slipped the ball into the net under Williamson, after picking up a deflected clearance.
The home side believed they had scored their third of the afternoon on 70 minutes when after Hughes effort from a corner forced the keeper into making a diving save, but McDaid poked home the rebound in an offside position.
With 14 minutes left, Tomas Cosgrove calmly slid the ball past the keeper into the bottom corner from outside the area to make it 3-0.
Just two minutes later, Cosgrove’s low delivery from the right-wing was tapped in at the back post by substitute Darren Stuart to complete the scoring.
Larne: Devlin (c), Sule (Osei-Bonsu 82), Ramsey, McEleney, Scullion (Stuart 67), McDaid, Donnelly, Tilney, McNally, Cosgrove, Hughes (Hassin 79)
Unused subs: Dougherty, Finnegan
PSNI: Williamson (c), Douglas, McCune (Ferguson), Crawford, Simpson, McNeill, D. Wilson, Cochrane (J. Wilson 68), Tumelty, Anderson (Adamczyk 68), Malone
Unused subs: Waide
Referee: Declan Hassan
Man of the Match: Tomas Cosgrove
It’s a busy week ahead for Larne as they travel to Seaview on Tuesday 27 November to play Crusaders in their County Antrim Shield semi-final tie. Kick off at Seaview is 7.45 pm. After that, it’s on to County Tyrone on Saturday 1 December to face Dergview. Kick off at Darragh Park is 3pm.