Belfast Telegraph

Carrick trip will be a grudge match for Larne after double defeat: Donnelly

Carrick Rangers v Larne, Danske Bank Premiership, Loughshore Hotel Arena, Tonight, 7.45pm

Marty Donnelly
Marty Donnelly

By Steven Beacom

Larne hero Marty Donnelly was all skills in his side's opening day 6-0 win over Warrenpoint at Inver Park, but he knows steel might be the order of the day to overcome derby rivals Carrick Rangers this evening.

While Tiernan Lynch's side dominated the Championship last season, they found it tough going at Carrick, losing twice on the road to Niall Currie's team.

Donnelly is relishing the challenge of turning those results around.

"Everything came off for us against Warrenpoint but going to Carrick will be a different match," said Donnelly.

"It will be a tough game with the surroundings and all that. We have to go there and try and play our best football and show character as well.

"They defeated us twice last season so there is a bit of grudge there and it is a local derby. It's a big game for the club but that's what we want. We want to play in those games.

"That's why we worked so hard to get promoted. The boys have been buzzing to play in the Irish Premiership and it was brilliant that the town came out and supported us on Saturday and to get a good win was fantastic for the club.

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"We've been well drilled by Tiernan and I think the performance and result showed that.

"It was obviously a good day for us, and we know there is quite a bit of attention on us at the moment, but we need to stay in our bubble and just focus on ourselves because this league is very tough."

Having lost 3-0 away to Crusaders in their first fixture back in the big time, Currie's Gers will be underdogs again but will feel they can be a different animal on home turf.

"Our home form will be crucial to us," said Currie. "We had good wins over Larne last season and it's a great match for our first home game of this campaign. There should be a good crowd and we'll give it a real go."

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