Larne narrow gap at top of Irish Premiership

Larne FC moved to within a point of Danske Bank Irish Premiership leaders Cliftonville thanks to a 1-0 over Glentoran at the BetMcLean Oval on Saturday.

Lee Bonis found the net for the visitors with just under half an hour remaining to take all three points.

The win keeps Larne in second place in the standings, one point behind Cliftonville, who have played a game more than Tiernan Lynch’s charges.

Speaking to the club’s media director Ian Cahoon after the match, Lynch said: “Today was all about three points. We knew conditions were going to play a big part. It wasn’t going to be a day we could get the ball down and stroke it around.

Carrick rescued a point against Cliftonville. (Andrew McCarroll/Pacemaker Press).

"We had to roll our sleeves up and win our individual battles. The conditions forced that and I thought we did that superbly.

"It was another clean sheet. Clean sheets keep you in a title race and that’s what we need to make sure that we’re doing. To a man, we were superb.

"This team is a different animal. This team has a little bit of everything. They have size, strength, energy, they can play, they can fight- they have it all. Our big job is getting them to believe that and getting them to understand that we’re as good as anyone in the league and we have to go an show that and believe in ourselves and in each other. I’ve no doubt they can go wherever they want.”

Larne’s east Antrim neighbours Carrick Rangers earned a hard-fought 3-3 draw at home to league leaders Cliftonville on Friday evening.

Levi Ives opened the scoring for the north Belfast side on 15 minutes before David Cushley equalised on the half-hour mark.

Sean Moore found the net from the re-start to restore Cliftonville’s lead on 31 minutes. The Solitude outfit went in at the break 3-1 up after Ronan Hale’s goal on 45 minutes.

Kyle Cherry pulled a goal back for the Taylor’s Avenue men on 51 before Lloyd Anderson earned his side a point with a goal in the 90th minute.

Speaking to Carrick’s media team, manager Stuart King said: “It’s fantastic to score three goals against the league leaders. The reaction from halftime when we were 3-1 down was fantastic and the lads have been top drawer again at home.

"The second goal, we haven’t defended well. The third goal was a killer and we didn’t deserve that. I thought we were really good in the first half. Words were said at halftime and I told them to go out and win the second half and what my boys gave me is what you want as a coach. I thought they were phenomenal. To come back to get a point after being 3-1 down is remarkable.

"Cliftonville aren’t top of the league for no reason. They are a quality side with quality players. We’re really competitive at home and our league form has been really good at home. We know we can compete with the best here and we have done this season. It’s just a matter of grinding out results as much as we can and trying to improve the place.”

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Meanwhile, Ballyclare Comrades suffered a 4-0 defeat at home to basement side Dergview on Saturday in the Lough 41 NIFL Championship.