Midweek Irish League wins for Larne and Carrick
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The tie at Inver Park came to life in the second half, with Lee Bonis opening the scoring for the home team on 48 minutes.
Andy Ryan made the game more comfortable for Tiernan Lynch’s charges in the closing stages, finding the net on 82, before Leroy Millar’s volley on 90+5 made it 3-0 for the reigning champions.
Speaking to the east Antrim club’s media director Ian Cahoon after the match, coach Gary Haveron said: “Once we got our noses in front, I felt it was only going to be one winner.
"I think we were a bit too direct earlier in the game, but once we addressed that at half time, it made all the difference for the second half.
"Ballymena put a lot of fight into the game, but ultimately we were just too strong for them in the end."
Next up for Larne is an away clash with Coleraine on Saturday (3pm).
Haveron added: “We’ll be going to Coleraine on Saturday looking forward to another challenge. Every game, you’re going to have to play to the last minute. We have to be right on it and be prepared for every challenge that comes our way.”
Meanwhile, Carrick Rangers recorded their first win of the campaign, defeating Coleraine 2-0 at Taylor’s Avenue.
Kyle Cherry opened the scoring for Stuart King’s side on 14 minutes before David Cushley converted a penalty on 18 to put the home team, who had suffered a 2-0 loss in their opening fixture of the season against Newry City, 2-0 in front.
Danny Purkis could have extended Carrick’s lead, but the scoreline remained 2-0 at the Loughview Leisure Arena.
Speaking to the club’s media team, manager Stuart King said: “I thought my boys were outstanding. There were a few home truths told the last couple of days. The game plan worked a treat. I thought we nullified them.
We’re going to stay grounded and fight for every point that’s available in this league. We’ve played a top team, kept a clean sheet, created loads and won 2-0. I’m absolutely delighted.”
Carrick travel to Solitude to face Cliftonville on Saturday (3pm).