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Premiership

EAST ANTRIM DELIGHT AS THE WEATHER HAS ITS SAY

14 Feb 2021
football
© Stephen Hamilton/PressEye Larne celebrate Mark Randall's opening goal
Larne and Carrick Rangers both hit three goals enroute to victories over Dungannon Swifts and Crusaders respectively while it was honours even at Shamrock Park as a trio of Danske Bank Premiership games survived the wintery weather.
 
At the top of the table Larne closed the gap on leaders Linfield to two points, albeit having played a game more, with a 3-0 defeat of the Swifts at Inver Park.
 
Mark Randall opened the scoring after nine minutes after receiving the ball from a throw-in and sending a superb effort past Roy Carroll into the top left corner.
 
Tiernan Lynch's side doubled their advantage early in the second half after Randall sent in a free-kick which was deflected into his own net by Swifts defender Douglas Wilson under pressure from McMurray and Albert Watson before, with just over a quarter-of-an-hour to go, Martin Donnelly's 20-yard free-kick ended up in the net via the woodwork.
 
Carrick Rangers kept up their recent great run of form in the only 3pm kick-off of the afternoon at Seaview.
 
Jonny Frazer bagged a double in the 3-1 win over the Crues, his first coming on 11 minutes after sending a Cathair Friel flick past Jonny Tuffey.
 
Frazer added a second early in the second half, running onto Kyle Cherry's run and pass, but Philip Lowry pulled one back for the hosts later in the game to set up a tense finish.
 
However, the visitors made sure of the points with a couple of minutes left thanks to Caolan Loughran's spot-kick awarded after Jordan Forsythe had fouled Jordan Jenkins.
 
Meanwhile, at Shamrock Park, Adam McCallum grabbed a late point for the Ports in a game delayed to 5pm in order to give the ground staff and volunteers as much chance as possible to make the pitch playable.
 
Scoreless at the break, Cliftonville moved in front just after the hour through Rory Hale's left-foot close range finish after a period of sustained pressure.
 
But just as it looked like that would be the only goal of the game McCallum popped up to nod home Ben Tilney's corner delivered to the near post.