Larne boss lauds teen star Hassin as Invermen pull clear at the top
Larne manager Tiernan Lynch hailed teenage sensation Liam Hassin for instigating the comeback that saw his team stretch their lead at the top of the Bluefin Sport Championship.
On a day when the Championship went goal crazy, with an impressive 34 hitting the net in just six matches, it was one in particular that had Lynch smiling.
Trailing 2-1 to H&W Welders after two goals from Lukas Gwiazda had seen the Tillysburn men respond to Martin Donnelly's early strike, 17-year-old Hassin scored his first senior goal to level matters before Ben Tilney continued his hot streak to give Larne all three points.
"Liam Hassin was the difference in us going on to win the game 3-2," said Lynch.
"He was superb from start to finish at a place where it is difficult to come for a 17-year-old."
Larne are now six points clear at the top after Dundela surrendered a 2-0 lead at home to Limavady United.
Despite being reduced to 10 men after Owain Beggs was sent off the Duns were two up before the hour mark thanks to a goal in each half from Daniel Burns and Jordan Hughes. Roesiders boss Sean Friars made a double substitution which paid off when his brother Emmet pulled one back before Robbie Hulme grabbed a late point.
Please log in or register with belfasttelegraph.co.uk for free access to this article.
Portadown's Kevin Braniff was the top scorer of the day with a hat-trick in a 5-0 win over Ballinamallard United. His treble, combined with a brace from young winger Ryan Carmichael, helped the Shamrock Park men close the gap on Dundela.
Knockbreda also scored five as they jumped into fifth place ahead of Ballyclare Comrades. James Ferrin and Brendan Bennett each scored twice followed by a fifth from Matty Johnston as they inflicted a 5-3 defeat on Ivan Sproule in his first game as Dergview manager.
Carrick Rangers enjoyed a 4-2 win over PSNI. Stewart Nixon scored twice, with Lloyd Anderson and Chris Rodgers also on target, while Dale Malone and Luckasz Adamcyzk replied for PSNI.
Loughgall went 1-0 down against Ballyclare Comrades, with Sammy McIlveen scoring, before surging into a 4-1 lead. David McCullough equalised before Marc McConnell, Nathaniel Ferris and Peter Campbell put the Villagers in a comfortable position. Joe Tully pulled one back with a late penalty.
RESULTS: Carrick Rangers 4 PSNI 2; Dundela 2 Limavady United 2; H&W Welders 2 Larne 3; Knockbreda 5 Dergview 3; Loughgall 4 Ballyclare Comrades 2; Portadown 5 Ballinamallard United 0.