FOOTBALL: Pre-season friendly action round-up

Larne's Anto McGonnell tries to win this high ball against Ballymena Utd. INLT 29-202-AM

Larne's Anto McGonnell tries to win this high ball against Ballymena Utd. INLT 29-202-AM

A late James McCabe goal earned Larne a deserved draw in Saturday’s home friendly with Ballymena Untied at Inver Park.

The visitors had the best of the first half exchanges but Larne looked the more threatening after the break.

Manager David McAlinden said: “I think we looked like a team who are not comfortable when we have the ball.

“We look like a team set up not to be beaten which is fine for now as we will work on the attacking side over the next couple of weeks.

“We are happy with the way things are going after two testing 90 minutes in such a short space of time.

“Playing with the ball will come as we have been working really hard in training and played well against senior opposition in pre-season.”

Larne fell behind on six minutes when Johnny McMurray was upended by Gary Dorrian with the former Larne striker confidently despatching the penalty.

But Larne grew in confidence and they were rewarded with the equaliser six minutes from time, when McCabe beat the offside trap to calmly slot the ball past Alan Blayney.

Larne continue their pre-season build up when they entertain Ards on Saturday with a 3pm kick off.

•Ballyclare Comrades fielded a strong side for their friendly with Moyola Park at Mill Meadow, but it was the hosts who triumphed in Castledawson.

An own goal opened the scoring in Comrades’ favour in the 6th minute, but the scores were level at the interval, before a Taggart second half double ensured that Moyola finished 3-1 winners.

Assistant manager Eddie Hill, who was in charge in the absence of Paul Hughes, said: “It’s always disappointing when you lose, but during the pre-season stage it is all about fitness, and we are getting there.”

On Saturday Comrades host the annual double header with Moneyslane at Dixon Park, with the Reserves in action at 12 o’clock, followed by the seniors at 3 pm.

• Carrick Rangers got their pre-season off to a winning start with a 2-0 victory over Championship Two side Sport & Leisure Swifts at Glen Road Heights.

However, the Taylor’s Avenue faced a tougher challenge in their friendly on Tuesday evening against Premiership rivals Glentoran, which ended in a goalless draw.