Larne 8 Ballyclare Comrades 0
Larne ensured their defence of the ToalsBet.Com Senior Shield continues as they booked their place in the decider with an eight-goal rout of Ballyclare Comrades.
Two goals in the opening 12 minutes set the tone as Larne eventually took a 3-0 lead into the half-time break against their east Antrim Championship rivals.
Five goals after the break – two from 17-year-old Conall Curran – sealed progress in handsome fashion.
It took Tiernan Lynch’s men just five minutes to break the deadlock.
Lee Lynch’s corner from the left was met by the head of defender Kofi Balmer and, despite the best efforts of visiting stopper Richard Purcell referee Shane Andrews adjudged the ball had crossed the line.
The quick second was set up by Navid Nasseri who pulled the ball back from the by-line for Mark Randall to finish from six yards.
Larne as good as ended the contest four minutes before the break. Tomas Cosgrove, captain for the night, crossing for Ronan Hale to nod in at the back post.
On 58 minutes, Hale bagged his second with an impressive mid-air right-footed finish into the bottom corner from Lee Lynch’s pass.
Teenager Matty Lusty came off the bench on the hour mark and had his name on the scoresheet within six minutes. Nasseri crossing for Ben Doherty at the back post and he laid it off for Lusty to head home, despite Purcell getting a hand to it.
The goal of the night arrived with 13 minutes left. Nasseri cut in from the left, beat two defenders, and finished emphatically from 20 yards.
Curran then made it a night to remember on his first senior appearance for the club with two goals inside three minutes.
The Academy prospect first finished off a Dean Jarvis cross from the left, his shot into the ground bouncing over Purcell and his second, on 84 minutes, showed the maturity to be in the right place at the right time, tapping home from Lynch’s right wing cross to complete the scoring.
larne: Ferguson, Balmer, Kelly, Nasseri, Randall (Doherty 59), Hale (Lusty 59), Lynch, Mitchell, Bolger, Cosgrove (Curran 72), Jarvis.
Unused subs: Argyrides, Watson, Sule, Oluwa, Curran
Ballyclare Comrades: Purcell, Woods, Ramsey, Hassin, Mathieson, Dobbin, Fletcher, McCart, Heggarty (Tully 65), Gray (Herron 51), Donnelly (Johnston 72).
Unused subs: Ferguson, McCune, McDermott, Devine
Referee: Shane Andrews (Comber)
Man of the match: Ronan Hale
Match rating: 7/10