After the heroics of their Moore Cup success, Larne Rugby Club 1st XV get the new season under way this weekend with a Gordon West Cup Group B clash at Lurgan.
Larne’s victory in Randalstown was followed up with a never-say-die display in the Hall Cup against Carrick where they lost by a solitary point (23-22) to their rivals.
It’s those kind of spirited performances which has coach Laurence Kelly confident about the campaign ahead.
“I’m expecting a very good year and I’m expecting that if we play to our potential we will get back into Qualifying Two and do well in the Gordon West,” he told the Times. “There’s an onus on the players: they have got the potential, they have got the talent but they have to have the will to succeed.
“If we get back to Qualifying Two, I think we could be a force to be reckoned with. When we played Carrick, I think we played to about 60 per cent of what we are capable of and we came within a point. It was a good performance so if we use that as a benchmark, we should do well in Qualifying Three and get ourselves back and become a very good Qualifying Two team.”
He added: “Against Lurgan we are away from home and I have told the guys that if we are going to win it and do well in the cup, every game has to be treated like a final. Lurgan will be a very tough match, but a good test before we face Holywood.
“I’ll be looking, firstly, for a strong performance, because if we don’t have the performance, we’re not going to win.”