Larne reach Co Antrim Shield final for third consecutive year

Larne FC will be hoping to win the ToalsBet.Com Co Antrim Shield for the third season in a row after progressing to the final with a win over Dundela last night (Tuesday).

The east Antrim team won 3-0 at Wilgar Park thanks to goals from Paul O'Neill, Lee Bonis and Daniel Kearns.

Linfield defeated ‘Big Two’ rivals Glentoran 2-1 in the other semi-final at Windsor Park to set up a repeat of last season’s showpiece final, a game Larne won 1-0 at Seaview.

Speaking to the Inver Park club’s media team after last night’s clash in east Belfast, goalscorer Kearns said: “It was tough enough coming down here, tough conditions, the pitch wasn’t great at times. We’re delighted to get into the first final of the season.

Lee Bonis found the net for Larne. (Pacemaker).

"The first half was difficult. They played a lot of long balls. They have a big lad up front who held it up really well and brought all their players into play. Once we got settled and playing the way we can, our quality shone through in the second half. Two good goals and then it was nice to get the third one to seal it for us

"The same opponents as last year’s final, it would be brilliant to win it again. We’ll be going into the game obviously looking to win it and hopefully we can bring it back again.”

Wishing Dundela well for the rest of the season, Larne owner Kenny Bruce MBE tweeted: “Delighted to see Larne FC reach the final of the Co Antrim Shield. Really enjoyed the semi-final against Dundela. What fantastic hospitality from everyone at Dundela. Fabulous club who are going from strength to strength. Best of luck for the remainder of the season.”

The final is due to be played on Tuesday, January 17.

Meanwhile, Larne’s next outing in the Danske Bank Irish Premiership sees them welcome Dungannon Swifts to Inver on Friday (7.45pm).

Hundreds of tickets have been distributed to school pupils across the region ahead of the tie.

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A club spokesperson said: “We are delighted to announce that Friday’s Danske Bank Premiership home game at Inver Park will see over 700 tickets handed out to local primary and secondary schools as part of our ongoing Inver Reds in the Community and Bring One More initiatives.”