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Flying start for Larne with European hopes alive

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Larne players applaud the supporters after winning the club’s first European tie - a 1-0 first leg victory at Bala Town with David McDaid on the scoresheet. Credit: Zac Goodwin/PA

Larne players applaud the supporters after winning the club’s first European tie - a 1-0 first leg victory at Bala Town with David McDaid on the scoresheet. Credit: Zac Goodwin/PA

PA

Larne players applaud the supporters after winning the club’s first European tie - a 1-0 first leg victory at Bala Town with David McDaid on the scoresheet. Credit: Zac Goodwin/PA

Irish League sides flexed their muscles in Europe last night and now have a fighting chance of progressing in the new Uefa Europa Conference League.

The first qualifying round ties remain on a knife edge, with Larne recording an impressive 1-0 win away to Welsh side Bala Town in their first European test, while Glentoran were held 1-1 by TNS at The Oval, leaving the clash finely balanced ahead of next Thursday’s rematch.

Coleraine opened the scoring against Velez Mostar in Bosnia with a brilliant Ben Doherty strike but then slipped to a narrow 2-1 defeat, with Lyndon Kane sent off late on.

Glens boss Mick McDermott said: “Bosnia is a hard place to go and it was really difficult so that’s a good result for Coleraine. I expected Larne to win that tie.

“The way they play and the way they set up, they always have a chance to get a result and I’m sure they will be confident going into the second leg.

“I’m probably disappointed with a draw but I think we can approach the second leg in a positive mood.”

David McDaid’s early goal gave Larne the edge against Cymru Premier side Bala in the club’s first European game in their 132-year history.

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The Bannsiders’ second-leg tie will be at Mourneview Park on Thursday while a new artificial pitch is being installed at the Showgrounds.


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