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Larne Rugby Club do derby double at Carrickfergus to clock up treble success

By Ronnie Ingram

It was a great day for Larne Rugby Club on Saturday as their First, Second and Third XIs all recorded comprehensive victories.

The Firsts secured a 23-6 win over Carrickfergus in the Kukri Qualifying Two league, with the Seconds also thumping Carrickfergus IIs 59-10 at home in Junior One. The Thirds rounded off the hat-trick in a 17-9 triumph over Belfast Harlequins IV in Minor East One.

"It was a fantastic set of results for the club and a great start to the season for the Seconds and Thirds in their opening games," said delighted Larne PRO, Stephen Johnston.

"Our aim is to keep that momentum going throughout the season and hopefully reproduce another great year for silverware and league titles."

It has been two promising weeks for Larne IIs , with the win over Carrick following on from their 33-23 win at Instonians II last week.

They were in front early on in their derby clash, with Gary Ashton making a couple of piercing runs before Colin McKinty cut through for Aaron McBride to add the extra points.

Carrick came back and attempted to punch holes in the home midfield, but the defence was holding strong until they were eventually rewarded with a Luke Whittle penalty.

McKinty again broke through to go on the posts, but then Larne appeared to relax as they gave away a soft try to make the score 14-10.

Carrick were resorting to a kicking game, but veteran Stephen Marshall, using all his years of wisdom, gathered and strolled though between the posts for McBride to goal before the latter added the next try to make the interval score 26-10.

McBride then showed his speed once again with a try in the corner, but it was McKinty who was the main danger man when in possession.

He proceeded to cut in and out of the visiting defence from 50 metres out and the score was then 38-10.

Larne were rampant at this stage and fancy footwork by Stuart Johnston led to the next try before the home team passed the 50 mark with a Joseph Johnston score.

McBride, who landed an impressive total of five conversions, then exploited a gap to race in from 85 metres out for captain John O'Toole to convert.

O'Toole thought it was an exceptional performance from every one of his players.

"We dominated in all areas of the game and gave Carrick little chance to play rugby," said O'Toole.

"It is always good to win a local derby, but it's even better to win by such a convincing margin."

CIYMS II convincingly beat Banbridge III 48-7 in the other game in Junior 1.

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