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McMurray and Donnelly at the double in win over ‘Stute

Peter Wilson  reports from the Ryan McBride Brandywell

A blistering first half performance from Larne helped them comfortably see off Institute at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium on Saturday. 

A brace apiece from Johnny McMurray and Marty Donnelly helped the Invermen to bounce back from their 2-1 defeat away to Glentoran last weekend with a Joe McCready penalty the only late consolation for ‘Stute. 

Larne will be without goalkeeper Conor Mitchell next week after he was sent off for a rash challenge on Cormac Burke at the beginning of the second half. 

The Inver Reds made a positive start to the game with several good chances opening up for marksman McMurray, including his snapshot in the second minute, pushed away by Rory Brown and a great chance with 13 minutes gone as he turned his shot over under pressure from a defender. 

McMurray finally got his goal though on 16 minutes as Institute failed to deal with a cross into the area from the right-hand side by Tomas Cosgrove, which allowed the Larne marksman to head in past the stranded Brown from eight yards out.

It was 2-0 just 10 minutes later as Brown could do nothing to stop Donnelly’s wonderful drive from 20 yards sneaking past him at his near post. This came only moments after Donnelly’s curling effort inside the box cannoned off the near upright.

The deficit extended to three goals on the half hour mark after some great work from Donnelly in the build-up, with McMurray able to curl his effort from 16 yards straight past Brown.

In the early minutes of the second half, Mitchell was given his marching orders by referee Evan Boyce after rushing out of his box to make a rash challenge on Burke who was clear through on goal. 

It wasn’t long into the second half before the Invermen were at it again. On the hour Donnelly played a one-two with Lee Lynch before his effort squeezed home via a deflection.

A decent opportunity opened for the home side on 69 minutes as Shane McNamee laid off to McCready but his strike was deflected behind for a corner.

The hosts pulled one back on 76 minutes as JoeMcCready converted from the spot after a tug back from Harry Flowers. 

Larne will leave the Brandywell overall pleased with their performance and be glad to have got back to winning ways.

Institute: R. Brown, R. Morrow (McCauley 70), D. Curry, Dunne, Grace, Tourish (J. Morrow 83), G. Brown, McIntyre, Crown, McNamee, Burke (McCready 55)

Unuse subs: S. Curry, McBride, McLaughlin, Wells

Larne: Mitchell (sent off 48), Kelly (Flowers 74), Watson, McEleney, Randall, (Sule 58), Donnelly, Tilney (Pauley 50), Lynch, Cosgrove, Hughes, McMurray

Unused subs: McDaid, McKendry, Graham, Andrade

Referee: Evan Boyce

Up next for the Invermen is a home clash on Saturday 21 September against Dungannon Swifts. Kick off at Inver Park is 3pm.

Photograph: Bill Guiller.

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