Sport

Larne hit Glenavon for four as they march on in title race

Andy Ryan celebrates scoring the third en route to a 4-1 victory. Pacemaker Press.
Andy Ryan celebrates scoring the third en route to a 4-1 victory. Pacemaker Press. Andy Ryan celebrates scoring the third en route to a 4-1 victory. Pacemaker Press.

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Larne 4 Glenavon 1

Larne returned to winning ways with a strong second half performance sealing a 4-1 at home to Glenavon. 

Leroy Millar headed them into an early lead, but things really clicked after the break Lee Bonis and Andy Ryan put the game beyond the reach of the visitors. 

Aaron Prendergast scored a late consolation for Stephen McDonnell's side, but Paul O'Neill restored the three-goal cushion at the end to move Larne back to the top of the table, albeit with Linfield now having two games in hand. 

The deadlock was broken inside 10 minutes when Levi Ives whipped in an inviting corner from the right and Millar got a run on his man at the near post to nod the ball in off the post, despite Rory Brown’s best efforts to prevent it crossing the line.  

Having set up to frustrate their hosts, it was a disappointing goal for Stephen McDonnell’s in-form men to concede. The rest of the first half was a lowkey affair, but it soon exploded into life after the break. 

They kicked off the second half with real purpose and two goals in as many minutes made sure they put their visitors to the sword in style.  

Firstly, with 58 minutes on the clock, Mark Randall floated a well-placed forward ball to Lee Bonis and the former Portadown striker did well to nod the ball past Conor Kerr to send him clear of the defence and he produced he a cool finish to lift the ball over the advancing Rory Brown.  

Sensing the contest was there to be killed off they refused to rest on their laurels.  

Tomas Cosgrove’s throw-in was returned to him by Lee Bonis and the wing-back crossed the ball to the back post where Andy Ryan was all on his own to stab home the third.  

From this point on Larne began to relax and play some of their best football of the night with Glenavon defender Kerr making a superb last ditch tackle to deny Ryan his second of the night from 10 yards out.  

Both sides turned to their benches as the half wore on and one of the Larne replacements, Micheal Glynn, almost added an eye-catching with a brilliant solo effort against his former club.  

From just inside Glenavon’s half, Glynn coasted past three players before breaking into the box and sending a low effort just wide of Brown’s far post.  

Glenavon keep going and got their rewards in the final four minutes, when substitute Aaron Prendergast was afforded time and space inside the Larne box and showed composure to side-foot home from 10 yards out.  

However, the three goal cushion was restored in the final minute. Rory Brown’s attempted pass out from the back was blocked by Lee Bonis and despite seeing his snapshot blocked Paul O’Neill followed up to roll it past Brown and complete the scoring.  

LARNE: Ferguson, Donnelly, Randall (’74 Kearns), Bonis, Ives (’45 Farquhar), Bolger, Millar (’82 Thomson), Cosgrove, Graham (’63 Glynn), Ryan (’74 O’Neill), Orozco 

Subs: Dowling, Gordon 

Glenavon: Brown, Kerr, Snoddy, Malone, Quinn (’77 McDonagh), Baird, Teggart (’61 McCloskey), Mulvenna, Garrett (’77 Birney), Ward, Henderson (61’ Prendergast) 

Subs: Purvis, Mooney, McCullough 

Referee: Raymond Crangle