Davy McDaid ready to shoot Larne to early title glory
Davy McDaid is hoping to fire Larne another step closer to promotion to the Irish Premiership at home to Dundela on Saturday.
McDaid has been in superb scoring form lately and was on target with a brilliant free-kick in last weekend's crucial 2-1 success at Portadown. It was his 15th goal of the season and 11th in his last nine games.
Influential figures like Marty Donnelly and Jeff Hughes have rightly received praise for their vital contributions to Larne in the Championship this term and now McDaid is showing his quality in front of goal.
Table-topping Larne are 18 points clear of second-placed Carrick Rangers with Portadown one point further adrift.
Should the Inver Park men defeat Dundela at the weekend and Carrick and the Ports both lose, Larne would effectively be champions being 21 points ahead and having a hugely superior goal difference with seven games to go.
Manager Tiernan Lynch, though, has wisely refused to get carried away all season and he won't be starting now.
McDaid, who had the opportunity to join Linfield before opting to move to Larne, is relishing being part of a compelling Irish League story.
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"There's a fantastic buzz at Inver Park at the moment," said the in-form striker who won the Championship Player of the Month prize for January.
"There's something special going on at the club and I'm really enjoying being part of it."
McDaid scored in last season's Irish Cup semi-final defeat against Coleraine. The teams meet again at Inver Park next month in the quarter-final of the competition. Larne are working hard to increase the capacity for that much anticipated last eight tie.
Carrick Rangers moved into second place in the Championship last weekend with a stunning 7-2 victory over H&W Welders but came back to earth with a bump on Monday night losing at Ballinamallard in the Irish Cup. Niall Currie's men return to Ferney Park on Saturday seeking revenge. Portadown travel to the Welders.
Dergview are aiming to continue their fine run of form at home to seventh placed Ballyclare.
Ivan Sproule's side, on the back of three victories in a row, have moved five points clear of bottom team Limavady United and only three behind PSNI.
Limavady and PSNI meet at the Showgrounds with Sean Friars' side knowing a home victory is important to their hopes of staying in the division. Eighth placed Loughgall host the team below them in the table Knockbreda.
Bluefin Sport Championship fixtures (Saturday, 3pm): Ballinamallard v Carrick, Dergview v Ballyclare, H&W Welders v Portadown, Larne v Dundela, Limavady United v PSNI, Loughgall v Knockbreda.