Larne blast seven goals past Loughgall

Gareth Buchanan.
Gareth Buchanan.

Loughgall entered Saturday’s NIFL Championship One clash with Larne having conceded nine goals in the previous seven league fixtures.

That figure had jumped to 16 following 90 extra minutes of football that produced a 10-goal showpiece.

The Villagers met Larne aiming to extend a run of four consecutive wins - with the visitors to Lakeview Park fresh from the confidence boost of victory the previous weekend against the league leaders, Harland and Wolff Welders, within a seven-match unbeaten sequence.

Larne attacked across the opening stages and Gerard Gillen’s drive cleared the crossbar from distance.

The in-form Daniel Ryan, with six goals in as many appearances before kick-off, tested Larne’s Paddy Flood on two occasions inside a matter of minutes.

A 10-minute spell before half-time produced four goals - with Larne breaking the deadlock off a measured lob over Gareth Buchanan.

Buchanan produced a smart save but Larne reacted first to convert a loose ball and double the lead, with a third for the away side on 42 minutes.

Ricky Copeland converted a Jamie Rea free-kick with the final talking point of the first half.

However, hopes of a Loughgall fightback were cut short in the second half as Larne pushed the scoreline to 4-1.

Buchanan pulled off an excellent stop to frustrate Larne from a penalty kick but a fifth goal eventually arrived - with a red card for Copeland adding to Loughgall’s problems.

Loughgall enjoyed a late rally that produced two goals - with Warner Mullen smashing home a fine shot then Ryan displaying composure from a promising position.

Two goals across injury-time pushed Larne clear overall by 7-3.

LOUGHGALL: Gareth Buchanan, Gary Henderson, Graeme Taylor, Ricky Copeland, Nicky Hudson, Aaron Walsh, Wilson Tavares, Matt McMahon, Daniel Ryan, Jamie Rea. Subs: Mark Dane, Jason Greenaway, Bill Morrow.

Loughgall will welcome top-flight Portadown to Lakeview Park on Tuesday in the Mid-Ulster Cup quarter-final from 7.30.

The remaining ties in the Mid-Ulster Cup quarter-final draw:

Dungannon Swifts v Dollingstown; Glenavon v Tandragee Rovers; Armagh City v Warrenpoint Town.

Loughgall reserves lost out by 5-4 against Rathfern Rangers in the Junior Cup.

YOUTH

Boys and girls interested in joining the Loughgall Youth Academy programme can sign up by contacting Ernie Smyth on 07853233401.

Training sessions - open to players covering under sevens to under 11s - take place at Annagh United’s Tandragee Road pitch.