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Larne seal historic win to earn added €300k but Glentoran and Coleraine go out of Europa Conference League

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Larne are through in Europe but both Glentoran and Coleraine's continental campaigns are over.

Larne are through in Europe but both Glentoran and Coleraine's continental campaigns are over.

Larne’s Mark Randall and Bala Town’s Lassana Mendes battle at Inver Park.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Larne’s Mark Randall and Bala Town’s Lassana Mendes battle at Inver Park. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Glentoran's Robbie McDaid (left) and The New Saints' Ryan Astles battle for the ball. Pic: Barrington Coombs/PA Wire.

Glentoran's Robbie McDaid (left) and The New Saints' Ryan Astles battle for the ball. Pic: Barrington Coombs/PA Wire.

PA

Oran Kearney, Mick McDermott and Tiernan Lynch are out to earn their sides another lucrative round of European action. Pics: Pacemaker

Oran Kearney, Mick McDermott and Tiernan Lynch are out to earn their sides another lucrative round of European action. Pics: Pacemaker

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Larne are through in Europe but both Glentoran and Coleraine's continental campaigns are over.

There will be two Irish League sides in the Europa Conference League second qualifying round next week as Larne managed to become the first local side to win a tie this season.

Tiernan Lynch's side saw off Bala Town 2-0 on aggregate after a 1-0 second leg win at Inver Park and will join Linfield in action next week.

However, there were no such tales of joy for Glentoran or Coleraine, who both fell at the first hurdle in UEFA's new competition.

The win earns Larne an extra €300k of European prize money, taking their total earnings to €550k, while the Glens and Bannsiders both pocket €250k for their first round exits.

Here are this evening's second legs as they happened:

Larne (2) 1-0 (0) Bala Town

Larne have unlocked an extra €300k of European prize money by beating Bala Town to reach the second qualifying round of the Europa Conference League.

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Ronan Hale's goal ensured a 1-0 win on the night to add to an identical scoreline in the first leg and take the east Antrim side cruising through their first ever European tie.

That means it's Danish side AGF Aarhus in the next round, with the first leg due to take place at Inver Park next Thursday (July 22) and the return a week later.

Aarhus haven't won a European tie since 1997, losing out in both 2012 and last season, when they were beaten 5-2 by Finnish side Honka. They did beat Glenavon 3-0 on aggregate in their only previous meeting with Northern Irish opposition, but then that was back in the 1957/58 season...

The hosts shaded the action in the first 45, Lee Lynch testing the visiting keeper early doors before Mark Randall's deflected effort ended up in the side netting and Dean Jarvis concluded a well worked move between himself and Lynch by blasting across goal and wide of the back post.

Bala did threaten to level the tie with the chance of the half when former Wales midfielder Dave Edwards flicked on a corner for Will Evans to head agonisingly over the bar at the back post.

Larne really upped the ante midway through the second half with impressive substitutes Conor McKendry and Marty Donnelly troubling the visiting goalkeeper. McKendry was first to extend Alex Ramsey before Donnelly showed exceptional close control to take down a ball into the box, jink past his marker and test the stopper.

The lively Jarvis was next to work Ramsey with a tireless run from the left and snapshot at goal but it didn't take long for the goalkeeper to eventually be beaten.

It took Ronan Hale's introduction to do it, as he stepped inside from the left wing and curled a superb effort into the opposite corner with just six minutes left on the clock.

That was enough to send the new Church End stand wild and Larne into the next round.

TNS (3) 2-0 (1) Glentoran

The Glens are out of Europe for this season after a two-minute double-salvo put paid to their chances.

Mick McDermott's side exit with a prize package of €250k thanks to that burst from TNS midway through the first half. Former Dunfermline forward Declan McManus opened his account for the Welsh side just a minute before Leo Smith added to his first leg goal with another well-taken effort.

Both goals had an element of self-destruction about them but the Glens will feel aggrieved at the decision to award a penalty for TNS' opener on 26 minutes. A poor backpass allowed Jordan Williams to bear down on goal and even though Dayle Coleing got a hand to his lob, the goalkeeper was penalised for clattering the man afterwards.

The impressive McManus made no mistake from the spot and just seconds later, added an assist as Glentoran again surrendered possession on the edge of their own box through sloppy play by Gael Bigirimana and Paddy McClean, allowing the striker's backheel to set up Smith for his second goal of the tie.

Glentoran pushed during the second half, bringing on Andrew Mitchell and Jamie McDonagh. Mitchell managed to test the home goalkeeper with a header, while Paddy McClean also saw a half-volley at goal stopped.

Teenager Ben Cushnie then made an impressive late cameo in only his second game for the club, frequently troubling the hosts from the left wing.

Robbie McDaid had an injury-time chance with a header but couldn't find the target and with that, the Glens' European hopes for the season were over.

Coleraine (2) 1-2 (4) Velez Mostar

Coleraine will have no repeat of last season's thrilling European run as Bosnian side Velez Mostar once again came from behind to claim a 2-1 victory.

It was all a case of de ja vu after a similar story in last week's first leg, although this time it was Matthew Shevlin who opened the scores after last Thursday's hero Ben Doherty was tonight missing 'due to a positive covid test'.

Former Ballymena attacker Shevlin flicked in a clinical header at the near post from Jamie Glackin after the same pair had combined moments earlier to win the corner, Shevlin's first shot superbly tipped behind from another telling Glackin delivery.

The Bannsiders will have been pleased with their efforts over the half and 1-0 lead at the break but still had their goalkeeper to thank.

Gareth Deane did well to deny Haris Ovcina from close range early in the game before he stopped Dzenan Zajmovic in first-half injury-time.

The 1975 UEFA Cup quarter-finalists, however, responded in perfect style after the break, netting the two goals that settled the tie.

First Brandao levelled on the night to turn the tie back in his side's favour, curling his third goal in two games beyond Deane with the help of a wicked deflection.

There was no such aid needed for the clincher from substitute Nemanja Andusic, who curled into the top corner from the edge of the box with 19 minutes on the clock to put his side 4-2 up on aggregate.


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