Peter Wilson reports from Inver Park.
LARNE ran out a comprehensive 8-0 win over Amateur Premier Division side Rathfriland Rangers as the Invermen earned their second win of their pre-season campaign. There was no shortage of goals as David McDaid scored a brace, Lee Lynch converted four and Cillin Gilmour and Marty Donnelly scored one apiece.
On 13 minutes, Tomas Cosgrove delivered well from the right, but Mark Randall’s follow-up effort was wide of the mark.
The opening goal arrived just after 15 minutes; a misplaced delivery from Sean Graham, intercepted by the first defender, fell to David McDaid who turned and neatly buried past the Rathfriland goalkeeper.
With 23 minutes gone, skipper Jeff Hughes squandered an opportunity from Mark Randall’s free kick on the right, firing high over the bar.
Shortly after half an hour, McDaid was clear through on goal but the keeper snatched the ball from his feet as the striker tried to round him.
It was 2-0 three minutes later as good link up play between Cosgrove and Randall set up McDaid to deftly finish past the keeper from close range.
McMurray thought he had scored number three but it was ruled out for offside shortly before the break.
It didn’t take long for Larne to add their third of the evening as Cillin Gilmour found the run of Marty Donnelly who held steady against the defender to gently slip the ball past the Rangers stopper.
Just after an hour was when number four arrived with the home side breaking clear as a crossfield ball from Ben Tilney was crossed into Lee Lynch, by Donnelly, with the midfielder tucking in a well-crafted goal.
Yet another goal came only two minutes later as a lofted ball over the defence found Lynch once more, who cushioned the ball beyond the keeper to make it five.
The midfielder scored his hattrick on 69 as he half-volleyed Thomas Stewart’s cross for 6-0.
With 74 minutes gone, a pinpoint cross from Trialist was met by Gilmour who stabbed in for the seventh goal of the game.
It was Lynch once more for his fourth on 75 minutes as he tapped in the follow-up after the keeper couldn’t hold Stewart’s effort.
Late in the second period, a good one-two between Donnelly and Stewart in the box resulted in Stewart’s shot being tippled on to the bar and behind.
Larne: Mitchell, Cosgrove, Graham, Watson, McEleney, Kelly, Sule, Hughes, Randall, McDaid, McMurray
Subs: Devlin, Tilney, Ramsey, Trialist, Donnelly, Lynch, Gilmour, Stewart
Up next for Larne is another home friendly; this time against Championship side Ards on Wednesday 17 July at 7.30pm.
Photo: Bill Guiller.