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Larne's new-look squad know how to secure trophy success, says boss

 

By Stephen Alexander

Just a few months ago, the suggestion of Larne preparing for an Irish Cup semi-final would have got short shrift from manager Tiernan Lynch.

The former Glentoran coach's first foray into senior management was certainly proving to be a baptism of fire with the Inver Park club's makeshift side of largely untried youngsters languishing at the foot of the Championship table, with a dour struggle against relegation top of the agenda.

Those travails must have seemed a million miles away as the final whistle blew at Ballymena Showgrounds on Tuesday night after the revitalised east Antrim side had unceremoniously dumped neighbours Ballymena United out of the Irish Cup.

Casting his mind back to those dark days before pondering a return to The Showgrounds for a semi-final showdown with Coleraine, Lynch mused: "If someone had said that, I definitely wouldn't have believed them. Someone told me the other day that between pre-season and our opening couple of months of the season, I didn't win any of my first 15 games in charge.

"Thankfully, with that team we started with, we turned it around pre-Christmas. Then the cavalry came in at Christmas and the run continued and now we are where we are."

The magic wand, of course, came in the form of a significant financial input from local businessman Kenny Bruce, and Lynch is under no illusions about the impact that has had on the club's revival.

"I'm delighted for Kenny, who has put his money where his mouth is. The town is absolutely buzzing at the minute and this cup run keeps it going.

"It shows our intent of where we want to go. If you look around that team and the characters that are in that team, there are an awful lot of medals in that changing room and players who have been there and done it before."

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