Larne hit top form in Minor clash

Jul 26, 2023 | Uncategorised | 0 comments

Larne 9

Ballymena United 1

Report by Harvey Latimer

Larne secured their status in the SuperCupNI Vase section in ruthless fashion as they put nine past Antrim rivals Ballymena United at The Heights on Wednesday morning. 

The Inver Reds had found goals hard to come by in their opening two games but they got off to a flyer with winger Alex Kennedy bagging an incredible 11 minute hat-trick. His first was supplied by Daniel Haskim who floated a lovely diagonal ball over the Ballymena defence. Kennedy poked the ball home through Reece Alderdice’s legs in the Ballymena net. Haskim was involved in the second too, excellent work from the midfielder to feed Kennedy who curled a wonderful effort into the top corner. His third was his easiest. Jamie Harpur saw his shot saved by Alderdice, with the rebound falling to the feet of Kennedy enabling him to secure his hat-trick. 

A fourth goal came directly from a corner as Jude Crawford’s delivery was too hot to handle for the Ballymena rear-guard. The Sky Blues found themselves in more trouble midway through the half after Harpur got on the scoresheet thanks to a wonderful ball from teammate Corey Ramsey. Harpur just had to keep his cool to slot the ball home.

Five minutes into the second half, Ballymena were presented with a succession of glorious chances to pull one back when Patrick O’Boyle was denied by the crossbar and the rebound fell invitingly for Dylan Kelly who could only strike the post.

The ruthlessness of the East Antrim side continued and their sixth goal was exquisite.

Captain Alfie Mulvenna launched a free kick over the Ballymena back line to Jamie Harpur who controlled it magnificently with his first touch and scored with his second. 

The scoring continued as Callum Tweedie swept in from the edge of the box. Tomas O’Kane scored his side’s eighth, lashing the ball past Alderdice after it fell kindly to him from a corner kick. United did get a consolation and some consolation it was.

A long-range strike from substitute Oisin O’Brien nestled in the top corner. The final goal came via another substitute, Larne number 17, Zak Garrett capitalising on a defensive mix up, tapping into an empty net and rounding off a sublime attacking display.