LARNE FC: McAlinden praises side’s professionalism against Whites

Larne boss Davy McAlinden
Larne boss Davy McAlinden

Nothing annoys a manager more than people apparently demeaning the achievement of his team by partially attributing a superb result to the poor performance of the vanquished opposition.

And I regret innocently falling into that trap by asking in the opening question of the post-match interview with Larne manager Davy McAlinden whether Saturday’s 7-0 win over Lisburn Distillery was as much to do with the Whites being rubbish, as Larne being brilliant.

My foolhardy attempt at humour drew a sharp, but good-natured, little rebuke from the Inver boss.

He said he hates folk not giving due credit to teams which produce a five-star display, instead for some reason trying to belittle the losing team.

“We performed very well and the team was very professional in their attitude, especially after leading 3-0 at halftime against a team which was already down to 10 men,” said McAlinden.

“We commended the boys for what they had done in the first half, but asked them to go out in the second and play exactly the same way - even though it looked at that stage as though the job was done and the points were won.

“And I am delighted to say they followed those instructions to the letter. They had the same killer instinct as if they were just starting the match all over again.

“Ciaran Murray scored a hat-trick, Darren Stuart bagged a brace and Paul Maguire was also on the scoresheet, but unquestionably the best moment of the game was when Scott Irvine smashed in the first goal from distance.

“It was great to see him score and it marks an amazing recovery from the horrific injury he sustained in the Irish Cup match against Carrick in January.

“He has been playing well since his comeback. It’s like he’s never been away and I notice a change in the way he plays the game, not so much blood-and-thunder, but now more calculated in his approach and it’s great to see.

“We’d been a little bit edgy after losing the first two league games, but his superb goal kick-started what was a tremendous performance which has restored any confidence doubts that may possibly have existed.”