Numbers show Larne’s Martin Donnelly still up with finest in Irish League

Larne's Martin Donnelly on the attack. Pic by INPHO.
Larne's Martin Donnelly on the attack. Pic by INPHO.

It has been over a decade since Martin Donnelly first grabbed the Irish League spotlight in Crusaders colours.

This weekend the playmaker will return to the Seaview stage aiming to benefit Larne with further evidence of that grace and guile.

Figures released by statistician Marshall Gillespie this week placed Donnelly fifth in the current list of leading players for goals and assists across the season.

Since that 2008 debut with the Crues, Donnelly has dazzled on the domestic front and the most recent facts and figures confirm his credentials remain as a threat to any backline, thanks to 12 goals and 10 assists across all competitions.

The Larne attacker helped secure last season’s Championship title and recently signed a contract extension at Inver Park.

“I absolutely love it here, everything’s been brilliant...I couldn’t be happier signing the deal and hopefully my good form can continue,” said Donnelly on the official Larne website. “There was a bedding-in period for some of the lads getting used to this league, plus in some of the games we were unlucky or losing to last-minute goals.

“Now I think all of the lads are aware it’s a really, really tough league...we are starting to gel really well now and, hopefully, our form continues and we keep picking up wins.”

Crusaders trail league leaders Linfield, Glentoran and Cliftonville by a single point.

“I think everyone can see just how close the league is this year,” said Crues goalkeeper Gerard Doherty following victory over Coleraine and the club’s fourth consecutive clean sheet. “The boys in front of me deserve credit for the clean sheets.”