27 Apr 2024

Larne are the Sports Direct Premiership champions for the second successive season after producing a five star performance at home to Coleraine!

Carrick Rangers did enough to secure seventh spot and a place in the European play-offs while there were end of campaign victories for Dungannon Swifts, Loughgall and Glentoran.

Tiernan Lynch’s side went into the game with one hand already on the Gibson Cup but they underlined just why they are the Champions with a clinical display against the Bannsiders.

They moved in front through Micheal Glynn after a quarter-of-an-hour, before Andy Ryan doubled up from the spot on 40 minutes. Paul O’Neill then struck a double a minute either side of the break with Scott Allan wrapping the scoring up seven minutes from time.

Carrick Rangers needed a point to secure a play-off spot against Crusaders next week, and got off to a great start away to Glenavon with goals from David Cushley and Curtis Allen putting them very much in control after half-an-hour.

Glenavon did pull one back through a Ben Tilney own goal late in the first half but Stuart King’s side held on to claim the win.

At Windsor Park, the Irish Cup final rehearsal between Linfield and Cliftonville saw the sides settled for a point apiece after Jordan Stewart’s 78th minute opener was cancelled out by Sam Ashford a short time later.

Across the city, at the BetMcLean Oval, Glentoran ran out comfortable 4-0 victors over Crusaders.

Jay Donnelly broke the deadlock just after the half-hour mark, but the real damage was done midway through the second half when Kirk McLaughlin hit a double and Marcus Kane knocked in number four all in the space of eleven minutes!

Dungannon Swifts, who needed Carrick Rangers to slip up to move into the play-off spot, swept to a three-goal victory over Ballymena United at Stangmore Park.

Adam Glenny edged the Swifts in front on 12 minutes, and that was how it stayed until early in the second half when Andy Mitchell doubled the home advantage. Dean Curry then completed the scoring three minutes from the end.

Meanwhile, at the Showgrounds, Loughgall hit four goals past relegated Newry City.

Goals from Andrew Hoey and Ryan Waide saw Dean Smith’s charges race into an early lead although Barney McKeown did pull one back for City midway through the first half.

There was no further scoring until the final few minutes when Ben Murdock and Caolan McAleer put some extra gloss on the scoreline for the Villagers.