Belfast Telegraph

Watch: Larne hit top spot with Linfield in tow as Randall and Stewart trade goal of the season contenders

Jordan Stewart and Mark Randall both scored goal of the season contenders.
Jordan Stewart and Mark Randall both scored goal of the season contenders.
Pacemaker - Belfast - -10/08/2019. Larne v Warrenpoint Danske Bank Premiership Larnes Mark Randall celebrates his goal during todays game at Inver Park. Photo Desmond Loughery/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 10/08/2019 Linfield v Institute Danske Bank Premiership Linfield's Jordan Stewart scores during todays game at Windsor Park. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Marty Donnelly paid tribute to Tommy Breslin after his opening goal at Inver Park.
Pacemaker - Belfast - -10/08/2019. Larne v Warrenpoint Danske Bank Premiership Larnes Martin Donnelly celebrates his goal during todays game at Inver Park. Photo Desmond Loughery/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker - Belfast - -10/08/2019. Larne v Warrenpoint Danske Bank Premiership Larnes Martin Donnelly celebrates his goal during todays game at Inver Park. Photo Desmond Loughery/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker - Belfast - -10/08/2019. Larne v Warrenpoint Danske Bank Premiership Larnes Martin Donnelly celebrates his goal during todays game at Inver Park. Photo Desmond Loughery/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 10/08/2019 Linfield v Institute Danske Bank Premiership Linfield's Jordan Stewart scores during todays game at Windsor Park. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 10/08/2019 Linfield v Institute Danske Bank Premiership Linfield's Jordan Stewart scores during todays game at Windsor Park. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 10/08/2019 Linfield v Institute Danske Bank Premiership Linfield's Jordan Stewart scores during todays game at Windsor Park. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Gareth Hanna

By Gareth Hanna

Larne are the leaders after the Danske Bank Premiership's opening weekend as both the newcomers and reigning champions Linfield marked their wins with astounding long-range goals.

Elsewhere, there was a win for Crusaders with Ballymena United held by Dungannon Swifts and Joe Gormley sealed a draw for Cliftonville against Coleraine.

Glenavon and Glentoran drew on Friday evening.

Here's all you need to know about the action and videos of the two top strikes:

Larne 6-0 Warrenpoint Town

Debutant Mark Randall's goal of the season contender helped Larne to an eye-catchingly comortable victory at Inver Park.

It was a dominant a display as you could hope to see with Marty Donnelly delivering an absolutely top drawer individual performance.

There were two goals each for Donnelly and McDaid, with Jeff Hughes and Randall adding the extras.

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The hosts were camped in Point's half from the off but, for all of their flowing attacking play, both first half goals were put on a plate by a slack visiting defence.

Donnelly opened the scores when he closed down Emmett Bennett, dispossessing the debutant and slamming home.

It was two when Jeff Hughes closed down goalkeeper Berrat Turker, pulling off a similar stealing a rolling the ball into the empty net.

There were only 16 seconds on the second half clock when McDaid had bagged the third, poking home Donnelly's cross after a defence-splitting Tomas Cosgrove pass.

And on 51, McDaid doubled his tally, again thanks to the frankly unplayable Donnelly. The winger dinked the ball over Bennett's head and his low cross could only be parried into McDaid's path to slot home.

Then came the pick of the bunch as former Arsenal midfielder spotted Turker off his line and chipped him from the edge of the centre-circle.

It was six when man of the match Donnelly caressed an effortless finish into the bottom corner for a deserved second of the day.

Linfield 3-1 Institute

Jordan Stewart blasted home from over 30 yards as he helped the reigning champions to a comeback win at Windsor Park

Stute threatened to cause an upset when Joe McCready bagged the first goal of the day from the spot after Gareth Brown dispossessed Bastien Hery and was brought down by Blues keeper Rohan Ferguson.

The lead didn't last as Kirk Millar bagged the leveller, converting Shayne Lavery's cross at the back post.

It was the goal of the day that put Linfield into a half-time lead. Jordan Stewart picked up the ball from Hery and, with one glance up, unleashed an absolute corker over the Stute stopper.

It was three in the second half when Ryan McGivern, who missed most of last season through injury, headed home at the back post.

Dungannon Swifts 2-2 Ballymena United

Last year's runners-up were held to a draw by Dungannon Swifts at Stangmore Park.

Cathair Friel fired last year's runners-up into the lead from the edge of the box but, early in the second half, Kris Lindsay's side drew level. Oisin Smyth's shot was saved but Ryan Waide was on home to convert.

United looked to have won it through Ross Lavery's 88th minute free-kick but there was still time for Swifts captain Seanan Clucas to seal a point from the spot.

Crusaders 3-0 Carrick Rangers

Crusaders enjoyed a fruitful summer in the Europa League and got their domestic campaign off to a winning start, with some predictable scorers.

The Crues took less than half an hour to kickstart their league season, the opener coming in familiar fashion as Jordan Owens headed home, this one from Jordan Forsythe's long throw.

The second most likely Crusaders player to find the net did so before the break as Paul Heatley lobbed the ball over goalkeeper Hogg and got round to convert.

Ross Clarke added the third as the Irish Cup winners got off to a comfortable start.

Coleraine 1-1 Cliftonville

Oran Kearney's return to the Showground looked to be heading for a successful start until the Reds' late leveller.

It took over an hour but eventually the hosts opened the scores. Eoin Bradley got it, chesting the ball into the net from Ben Doherty's left-wing cross.

However, Cliftonville sealed a draw in the 88th minute when a long ball got over the Coleraine defence, eventually squared for Joe Gormley to slot home.

Glenavon 1-1 Glentoran (Friday)

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