McAlinden expects tough test despite Dundela’s poor form

A midfield tussle between Larne and Ballymacash Rangers at Inver Park. INLT 38-220-AM
A midfield tussle between Larne and Ballymacash Rangers at Inver Park. INLT 38-220-AM

The Larne manager was feeling very sore on Monday morning but it wasn’t a case of the blues sometimes experienced after a hammering on Saturday, because Davy McAlinden’s team had won 6-0. The pain was all very physical, caused by his exertions in the Belfast Half Marathon on Sunday!

“We did quite well on Saturday, winning by such a good margin in a match which was very much a lose-lose situation. I was really pleased at the way they bounced back after the league defeat seven days earlier,” explained McAlinden, who completed the testing Belfast course in 2:20.

“We knew we would beat Ballymacash Rangers if the application was right and I was very happy with the attitude of all the players and that’s the main positive I take from the game.

“Ciaran Murray deserves a special mention, scoring a hat-trick and showing exactly why he had been an outstanding performer for the last few years in the Amateur League.

“He took a bit of criticism after being sent off against Ballyclare, and deservedly so. But he bagged a hat-trick of goals and was excellent overall, so I am really pleased about that.

“Progressing in the Steel and Sons Cup is great but we must now quickly focus on getting league points on the board. And, regardless of a 3-0 defeat for Dundela on Saturday, they will be a tough test for us - even at Inver Park.

“They will be still smarting badly after that cup exit and Mark Snodden will be demanding an immediate reaction to that and we will be the guys directly in the firing line, so that’s an additional element of an intriguing situation.

“However, if we apply ourselves properly and show the same determination and aggression, as we did last Saturday, then I will be happy with whatever that brings us.”

He added: “We had a few players come off last weekend with bumps and bruises but that was down to precautionary measures and I am confident we will have a full squad to choose from.”