Co Antrim Shield: Larne sweep Ballyclare aside to reach final

Larne booked their place in the ToalsBet.com County Antrim Shield final with an emphatic 8-0 win over Ballyclare Comrades at Inver Park tonight (Tuesday).

Tiernan Lynch’s charges led 3-0 at the break thanks to goals from Kofi Balmer, Mark Randall and Ronan Hale.

Balmer had the home side 1-0 up within five minutes when his header from a corner was caught by Comrades ‘keeper Richard Purcell in the goal mouth before the referee judged it to have crossed the line.

Ballyclare, who have dropped to seventh in the Lough 41 NIFL Championship after a poor run of form, failed to deal with the early pressure and their Danske Bank Premiership opponents went further ahead on 12 minutes when former Arsenal man Randall poked home a square ball from Navid Nasseri.

Larne and Ballyclare met under the floodlights on December 7.

Hale found the net shortly before the break to extend the east Antrim side’s advantage.

The former Crusaders player then found the net 13 minutes after the restart to make it 4-0, before Matty Lusty made it 5-0 on 66 minutes.

Navid Nasseri, who had been causing problems for the Dixon Park outfit for large periods throughout the game, made it 6-0 on 77 minutes.

The home side, who had been ruthless throughout the tie, found the net twice more in the final 10 minutes with a brace from academy prospect Conall Curran to send the Larne supporters home in buoyant form with a final against Linfield to look forward to.

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