Thursday, 17 October 2019
The Danske Bank Premiership weekend kicks off in style on Friday with the televised clash between Larne and Glentoran on BBC Two NI (kick-off: 7.45pm)
It’s the second live broadcast as part of the ‘Friday Night Football’ series from BBC Sport NI as the cameras roll into Inver Park for Larne’s important Premiership meeting with Glentoran.
These two sides have been reinvigorated by recent investment and home manager Tiernan Lynch continues to build his Larne side following promotion from the Bluefin Sport Championship, his full-time side have taken strides to adjust to life in the top-tier but he has asked for patience as his team 'find their feet' in the top flight.
In the visiting dugout Mick McDermott , they could leapfrog their cross city rivals Linfield with a victory in front of a television audience - if only for a few hours.
Despite the early season optimism at both clubs, it’s been an inconsistent start for both teams – as Glentoran start the weekend in fifth place and Larne in seventh.
Back-to-back wins against Carrick Rangers and Larne have provided a positive week for the Glens after a run of three consecutive defeats that included an early exit in the BetMcLean League Cup to Coleraine recently.
The Invermen have failed to build on the impressive 6-0 win over Glenavon earlier this month that outlined their credentials as a force in this division. The league defeat to Cliftonville at Solitude last week has dampened the mood as hopes of a potential cup run have also taken a blow with early exits in both the League Cup (to Dundela) and more recently the County Antrim Shield (to Glentoran).
It’s only been three days since last meeting between these two sides – as Glentoran emerged as 3-2 winners in extra time of the County Antrim Shield quarter-final clash at The Oval, Darren Murray securing progression with his 96th minute winner. That was the second time that Glentoran have overcome Larne this season, having won 2-1 in the earlier Danske Bank Premiership encounter last month.
Ones to Watch
Jonathan McMurray has found a new lease of life in Larne colours since his summer move from Ballymena United. He shares the mantle of the club's top goalscorer with Martin Donnelly in the Premiership with six goals - as only Paul Heatley and Joe Gormley have scored more. McMurray is a real handful for defenders and his high energy style of play will create problems for Glentoran's defence.
For the Glentoran, Croatian midfielder Hrvoje Plum has proved an astute signing for McDermott as part of his continential influx of players during the summer. The dead ball specialist has popped up with four league goals to date and was man of the match last time Glentoran were live on television, earlier this season against Institute at the Oval.
Andrew Davey is the referee for this live game with George Argyropoulos and Mark O’Brien as assistant referees on the line.
Tickets are still available fort the home stand for this match (click here), admission will be by pay at the gate, with adults at £12 and concession at £8.
Hosted by Stephen Watson coverage on BBC Two NI and the BBC Sport website starts from 7.30pm on Friday evening, with Thomas Kane on commentary.