Larne Thirds emerged as 27-7 winners when they took on Carrick Fourths at Glynn on Saturday.
This return fixture promised to be just as physical as the first and from the whistle the tackles flew in thick and fast.
Much to the home side’s dismay, it was the visitors who scored first. Carrick’s centre running an inside line broke through the Larne line to score under the posts. A conversion gave Carrick a 0-7 lead.
This early score shocked Larne into action.
Relentless tackling from Robinson, McWhirter, McKinty and all three Johnstons (not related) ensured Carrick didn’t score any more points.
Battering runs from the forwards set up an attacking platform in front of the Carrick posts.
Two quick attacking phases had McDowell and McWhirter breaking the whitewash for the latter to score Larne’s first. Carter added the conversion to level the score.
The strong Glynn pack secured the ball before releasing McKinty who patiently handed off every defender in arm’s reach before scoring on the wing. Carter was unable to force the conversion over in the face of a strong head wind.
Soon after, Liddle broke over the line to add five points to the home tally.
Carrick upped the tempo but Larne stood firm with Carter adding three more points from a penalty before McDowell and McKinty combined to release McIlheron to run in the final try. Carter cappped the win with two more points from the conversion.
Larne take on Ballynahinch in their next match.
Line-up: J. Johnston, D. Robinson, D. McCann, G. Liddle, W. Rea, J. McKinty, S. McDowell, S. Johnston, B. Garrett, A. Carter, R. Johnston, S. McWhirter, A. Murray, I. Railton, G. Rennix, I. McAuley, J. Shirley, R. McIlheron