Linfield narrow the gap at the top of the league

Larne’s lead at the top of the Danske Bank Irish Premiership was cut to five points at the weekend following their 0-0 draw away to Coleraine.

Saturday’s scoreless draw, coupled with second-placed Linfield’s 5-0 victory over Dungannon Swifts on Friday, puts the east Antrim side on 73 points with Linfield on 68.

Speaking to Larne’s media director Ian Cahoon, manager Tiernan Lynch said: “We’re frustrated we didn’t take all three points, but it was a great performance. I thought we played some really good football. We got the ball in good areas and worked the goalkeeper, who I think ended up getting man of the match.

"I can’t be critical of anything the players did. It’s just disappointing we didn’t get the ball over the line. They’re disapponted boys in there. They want to win every game, but that’s football.

Larne and Coleraine played out a 0-0 draw. (Pacemaker).Larne and Coleraine played out a 0-0 draw. (Pacemaker).
Larne and Coleraine played out a 0-0 draw. (Pacemaker).

"Our only concentration was Coleraine today, regardless of numbers or people round you. Our only concentrartion now is Ballymena in the Irish Cup on Friday (7.45pm) and that’s where it starts and that’s where it ends.

"We’ve to make sure that we take care of our end. We know it’s going to be difficult. This is a one-off game and winner takes all.”

Larne’s east Antrim neighbours Carrick Rangers fell to a 3-0 defeat away to Crusaders.

Scoreless at the break, second-half goals from Ross Clarke (66), Jordan Owens (80) and Declan Caddell (87) ensured the points would be staying in north Belfast.

Stuart King’s side welcome Newry to Taylor’s Avenue for the first round of post-split fixtures on April 7 (7.45pm).

Meanwhile, Ballyclare Comrades will have to wait until April 1 to find out if they have done enough to secure a top-six finish in the Lough 41 NIFL Championship.

Ballyclare drew 2-2 against Newington on Saturday and currently occupy sixth place in the standings with 47 points.

Gary Warwick opened the scoring for the home side on 13, but the Comrades led 2-1 at the interval thanks to goals from Darius Roohi (42) and Conall McGrandles (45).

Eamonn Hughes drew the tie level from the spot on 73 minutes.

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