Peter Wilson reports from Inver Park
Larne swept to a comprehensive six goal victory over Glenavon to give the perfect response to two consecutive goalless draws against Dungannon and Coleraine. It was a night to remember for David McDaid and Marty Donnelly who grabbed five goals between them with Johnny McMurray scoring the sixth.
Larne will be concerned about Graham Kelly who went off with a head injury and McMurray who was forced off in the second half with an ankle issue.
Both sides began brightly but it was Larne who laid siege to the Glenavon goal in the opening minutes but to no avail.
The best chance in the opening exchanges was a corner delivered in from the left by Donnelly on eight minutes which was headed down by Harry Flowers before a Glenavon defender blocked Albert Watson’s touch at the near post.
Only three minutes later, the ball was in the back of the net as Donnelly bent the ball low into the bottom right from a 20-yard free-kick, resulting from a foul on Ben Tilney.
It was then 2-0 five minutes after that as after a Glenavon penalty appeal was turned down at one end, McMurray went up the other, controlled the ball well from Conor Devlin’s pass, turned a defender and clipped the ball over Johnny Tuffey.
The visitors first real effort of note came on 19 minutes as Andy Mitchell’s half volley from the edge of the box did little to trouble Conor Devlin.
It was soon three at the other end, after a neat breakaway saw Tilney feed the ball to Donnelly who turned inside the defender before calmly rolling the ball into the net from 15 yards out.
It took little more than six minutes into the second period for the Invermen to pick up where they left off as Donnelly provided the ball for McDaid on the left, to lash home from 18 yards.
Shortly afterwards, the away side should have pulled one back as Mitchell’s close range effort ricocheted off the upright and bounced back into the keeper’s hands.
Four minutes later Devlin then pulled off a good reflex save to deny Rhys Marshall as the ball fell to him from a corner.
The game was wrapped up with two final goals in 13 second half minutes. Donnelly danced his way round two defenders before getting caught amongst a tangle of feet. McDaid picked up the loose ball and thumped the ball into the roof of the net.
On 85 minutes, Randall’s pass set up Sean Graham down the left hand side and his low cross was latched onto by McDaid who rifled home from close-range.
The result was a big statement from Larne, who enjoyed their second 6-0 home victory of the season.
Larne: Devlin, Flowers, Kelly (Randall), Watson, Sule, McDaid, Donnelly, Tilney (Graham), Cosgrove, Hughes (c), McMurray (McKendry)
Subs: Pauley, McEleney, Andrade, Gilmour
Glenavon: Tuffey, Larmour (Harmon), Burns, Marron, Marshall, Mitchell, Murray, Singleton (McCloskey), Garrett, Jenkins (Beggs), Wearen
Unused subs: Taylor, Hall, Barr, Hunter
Referee: Tony Clarke
Man of the Match: Marty Donnelly
Up next for the Inver Reds is a home clash in the Bet McLean League Cup tie at home to Dundela on Tuesday 8 October. Kick off at Inver Park is 7.45pm. It’s on the road again in the Premiership on Saturday 12 October as the Invermen travel to face Cliftonville (3pm).
Photo: Bill Guiller