CHAMPIONSHIP 1: Larne and Ballyclare share spoils in goalless draw

Larne's Thomas Robinson in action in their 0-0 draw with Ballyclare Comrades at Inver Park. INLT 12-001-PSB
Larne's Thomas Robinson in action in their 0-0 draw with Ballyclare Comrades at Inver Park. INLT 12-001-PSB

It wasn’t a derby which will live long in the memory as Larne and Ballyclare Comrades shared the spoils in a goalless draw.

There were few star performances on either side with both keepers probably vying for the Man of the Match award.

The home side, eager to end a poor run of form, started brightly with Paul Maguire forcing an early save from Paddy Flood.

The Comrades then tested Billy Brennan after 14 minutes. A Stuart McCullough free-kick saw Johnny McClurg get in behind the home defence but the Larne stopper was smartly out to save.

Within a minute Michael O’Hanlon looked odds-on to open the scoring but Brennan somehow got down at the base of the post to save. On the half-hour the Reds had two chances in quick succession to go in front.

Colin Nixon’s pass fell to Paul Maguire but he steered his shot wide. Maguire then had an even better chance when he burst through but the end result was the same.

Ten minutes after the restart a Mark Shannon cross was met by McClurg who glanced his shot inches over the bar.

With an hour gone, Shannon got down the right this time picking out O’Hanlon but again Brennan pulled off another fine save to keep it out.

Larne had a great chance to test Flood on 66 minutes. Thomas Robinson picked up a loose ball in midfield but he failed to spot Guilluame Keke sprinting clear on the left before O’Hanlon cleared the danger.

It was anybody’s game when Chris Trussell went clear, but Nixon was quickly across to snuff out the chance.

With the game in overtime Keke raced in from the left and let fly with a cracking shot but an outstanding save from Flood meant it ended all square.

Larne: Brennan, Bradley, Rodgers, Nixon, McMullan, McGonnell, Donnelly (Keke 53), McIlveen, Maguire, McCabe (Irvine 73), Robinson. Subs not used: McGrandles, McManus, Calvert.

Ballyclare Comrades: Flood, Woods, Shannon, Johnstone (Simpson 83), McCullough, McQuitty, O’Hanlon, Dobbin, Trussell, McClurg, Haskins. Subs not used: McCart, Reid, Crane, McAuley.

Referee: G. Taggart