Ciaran Murray netted a hat-trick as Larne comfortably booked their place in the next round of the Steel and Sons Cup, demolishing Ballymacash Rangers 6-0 at Inver Park.
It was a result which delighted manager Davy McAlinden. “We changed the shape and we wanted to be aggressive in our play. The boys did really well with their attitude and I am also pleased with the clean sheet,” he said. “We passed the ball really well throughout and hopefully we can carry that on into the league games.”
On the contribution of Murray, the manager added: “We have to be patient with him as he has come from the Amateur League and has taken time to settle as it is a step up. I think the fans got to see why we brought Ciaran to the club and he is a quality finisher.”
Paul Maguire opened the scoring heading in a Stuart King corner on 24 minutes.
Stuart McMullen doubled the advantage just after the break heading home another corner kick.
Murray got his first on 50 minutes with a clinical finish, sweeping the ball home. The striker added his second and Larne’s fourth from the penalty spot 15 minutes later.
He then turned provider for King to add the fifth before completing his hat-trick 15 minutes from time.
Larne: Connolly, E. Gillan, McClean, Reynolds (McNamee 50), McMullen, Irvine (Scott 81), King, Smyth, Maguire (G. Gillan 54), Murray, Robinson. Subs not used: McCabe.