Larne prepare for Shield showdown

Larne FC are preparing to defend their ToalsBet.Com Co Antrim Shield crown against Linfield in this year’s final on January 11.

Tiernan Lynch’s charges will face David Healy’s side at Seaview (7.45pm), a repeat of last season’s Irish Cup final.

The Inver Park outfit made it to the Co Antrim FA showpiece game thanks a ruthless display in last month’s semi-final against Ballyclare Comrades, scoring eight goals without reply.

Before attention can turn to Tuesday’s match, the east Antrim side will be focussing on commencing their Samuel Gelston’s Whiskey Irish Cup campaign with a visit to Bangor this Saturday (January 8).

Larne captain Jeff Hughes celebrates winning the Co Antrim shield in 2020. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Bangor occupy third spot in the Lough 41 NIFL Premier Intermediate League table on 18 points. They are a point behind Armagh and two behind Newington, but have a game in hand over both sides.

The Invermen go into the game in Co Down following back-to-back Danske Bank Irish Premiership wins, including a hard-fought victory over Glentoran on New Year’s Day. (Match report Page 37).

Speaking to Larne’s media director Ian Cahoon after the clash at the BetMcLean Oval, Lynch said: “Bangor will get the respect that Glentoran got and we will treat that game no differently. We’ve a little bit of work to do on Bangor.

“It’s a difficult time at the moment. You go in with a game plan and then two days later you lose a player with Covid, you have to change your game plan, so it’s a little bit topsy turvy, but we’ll not complain. We’ll roll our sleeves up and we’ll just keep going.”

Lynch also outlined his intention to do some business in the January transfer window, providing they “enhance” the team.

He explained: “As I say at every transfer window, I’m not prepared to bring people in who we don’t feel will enhance what we do, that they maybe don’t fit the character of where we’re trying to go and what we’re trying to do, or they’re not going to make us better. If the right players come along, then yes 100 per cent, we will be all over them, but we have to get the right players.”

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