14 Apr 2023
© Stephen Hamilton/PressEye

Larne are the league champions for the first time in the 133 year history of the club following a two-goal defeat of Crusaders at Seaview.

Tiernan Lynch's side went into the game knowing they needed just a point to clinch the title, and got off to an ideal start when Andy Ryan opened the scoring on 13 minutes after being Daniel Larmour to a Micheal Glynn delivery from the left to touch the ball home at the near post.

Crusaders were reduced to ten men in the latter stages of the first half when they were reduced to ten men following Billy Joe Burns' dismissal following an incident with Shaun Want after play had been halted for a free-kick.

Ryan, who had saw an earlier effort go over from outside the box, might have doubled Larne's lead moments from the break from a Fuad Sule pass but his strike went off target.

The Crues looked to get back in the game early in the second half with Chris Hegarty heading wide from a Ross Clarke free-kick while Jordan Forsythe sent a later effort wide.

However Larne effectively made sure of the win - and the Gibson Cup - with their second of the evening on 62 minutes through Lee Bonis from close range after he had connected with Leroy Millar's pass.

Crusaders: Tuffey, Burns, Hegarty, Lowry, Lecky, Ebbe, Forsythe, Larmour, Thompson, Heatley, McKeown subs Murphy, Weir, Caddell, Stewart, Owens, Winchester, Clarke

Larne: Ferguson, Want, Sule, Bonis, Donnelly, Bolger, Thomson, Millar, Glynn, Cosgrove, Ryan subs Pardington, Kelly, Watson, Randall, O'Neill, Gordon, Maguire