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Larne assured of title glory following win over Welders

 

Larne will go into Friday night's Irish Cup quarter-final at home to Coleraine knowing that their Premiership future is all but secured.

The Inver Park men have one hand and four fingers on the Bluefin Sport Championship title after a 2-0 win over H&W Welders put them 18 points clear of second-placed Carrick Rangers with six games to go.

With a goal difference 43 better than their east Antrim rivals only a monumental collapse will deny Larne the crown and automatic promotion to the top flight next season, which can be secured when they face Ballinamallard United on March 9.

A fine finish from Benny Igiehon midway through the first half followed by a penalty from David McDaid shortly after he had stepped off the bench looked to be enough to send them up before Carrick fought back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 against Dundela.

Carl McComb and Tiernan McNicholl scored either side of half time to put the Duns in the driving seat.

Carrick scored three times in the final 26 minutes, with a Caolan Loughran brace - the second a penalty - either side of a Michael Smith goal moving them four points clear of Portadown in second place.

The Ports suffered a second defeat in three league games when they lost 1-0 at Ballinamallard United, with Richard Clarke scoring the only goal from the penalty spot just after the half hour mark after Sean McEvoy had been fouled.

Dergview made it five wins out of five since the turn of the year by beating PSNI 2-1 to move above them into 10th and away from a play-off place at the bottom.

Phillip Wallace put them in front and Andrew Sproule got the winner within seconds of Tony Tumelty equalising for PSNI.

Loughgall inched ahead of Ballyclare Comrades at the top of Section B after a 3-1 win over Limavady United.

They were 3-0 up thanks to goals from Peter Campbell, Ben Neill and Andrew Hoey before Alex Pomeroy netted a consolation.

The Comrades dropped a place when Knockbreda levelled late on to take a point after their defender Ricky Copeland had inadvertently sent the ball into his own net just seconds into the game at Dixon Park.

RESULTS: Ballinamallard United 1 Portadown 0; Ballyclare Comrades 1 Knockbreda 1; Carrick Rangers 3 Dundela 2; Dergview 2 PSNI 1; H&W Welders 0 Larne 2; Limavady United 1 Loughgall 2.

Belfast Telegraph