Clearer Water Irish Cup: Larne and Ballyclare cruise into last 16 as Carrick exit cup

Larne and Ballyclare Comrades progressed to the next round of the Clearer Water Irish Cup thanks to strong displays in their fifth round ties against Harland and Wolff Welders and Strabane Athletic.
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Larne booked their place in the last 16 with a comfortable 4-1 win over the Welders at Blanchflower Stadium on Saturday.

A quick-fire Andy Ryan double (two and three minutes) had the visitors well on their way. Paul O’Neill made it 3-0 on 49 minutes before Ewan McCoubrey found the net for the east Belfast outfit to make it 3-1 on 65 minutes. Lee Bonis added Larne’s fourth on 81 minutes to set up a sixth round clash against Glenavon at Inver Park.

Speaking to the club’s media director Ian Cahoon after the win, coach Gary Haveron said: “We said about coming out of the traps fast and we couldn’t have come out much faster!

Andy Ryan scored two for Larne in the opening five minutes. (Pic: Pacemaker).Andy Ryan scored two for Larne in the opening five minutes. (Pic: Pacemaker).
Andy Ryan scored two for Larne in the opening five minutes. (Pic: Pacemaker).
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“To be 2-0 up after three or four minutes was a dream start. We knew how hard it was to come here after last year, so we knew we had to be right at it. We should have added to it quite a lot before half time. We’re slightly disappointed we weren’t more comfortable at half time, but scoring so soon after the break helped put the tie to bed. Rohan Ferguson will be disappointed with conceding a goal, but it’s a win and we’re into the next round.”

Ballyclare Comrades won 5-2 at Dixon Park against Ballymena Provincial Intermediate League outfit, Strabane Athletic. The Comrades will entertain Dungannon Swifts in the next round.

Lee McGreevy opened the scoring for the home side on three minutes. Caolan Donnelly made it 2-0 on 24 and Owen McConville found the net on 43 to make it 3-0 at the break.

Doherty pulled back for Strabane on 55, but Darius Roohi restored Ballyclare’s three-goal lead on 57 to make it 4-1. Michael Leetch made it 5-1 on 65 and it remained this way until the closing stages, when Harris scored for Strabane on 90 to make it 5-2.

Speaking to Ballyclare’s media officer Zoe Tisdale, manager Stephen Small said: “They are a strong side and they’re used to winning. It was a cup final for them. We knew they were going to throw everything at us and they were a credit to their club in terms of their application, but we navigated pretty well.”

The match was the last game to be played on the grass pitch at Dixon Park.

Small added: “I’ve only been here a short time, but I do appreciate the affinity with the ground and the pitch and everything around the place. For everyone it’s a day we want to remember and be nostalgic about, but the club are doing the right thing trying to move forward with plans for a new pitch and hopefully more revenue and more forward-thinking from the club, so they have to be applauded for that too.”

Meanwhile, Carrick Rangers exited the competition, losing on penalties to NIFL Championship side Portadown at Taylor’s Avenue.

Danny Purkis had put the home side 1-0 up on seven minutes before Zach Barr made it 1-1 on 22 minutes.

The sides could not be separated and it went to a shoot-out, the visitors coming out on top 5-4.

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