Larne RFC 1st XV claimed another bonus-point victory at Glynn on Saturday, defeating an experienced Donaghadee side 32-15 to got top of Qualifying 2.
McIlheron got the ball rolling with an elusive side-step and gave a delicate pass to Jordan Burns who glided away from the cover defence to dot down under the posts. Phil Andrews duly converted to give the home side an early lead.
It was not long until Ryan Garrett exploited an empty blindside to go in untouched for an uncoverted score in the corner.
Andrews extended Larne’s lead to 15-0 with a penalty before ‘Dee responded with a penalty of their own.
The home side seemed to go into their shell in the second half, allowing Donaghadee to come back into the game. The visitors’ heavy pack set up a solid rolling maul which resulted in their first try of the day.
Larne responded with an Andrews penalty but a converted try soon followed for Donaghadee as Larne made a mess at the restart. Phase after phase took its toll on the home defence and the ‘Dee pack soon crashed over close the gap to three points at 18-15.
However, Burns secured the bonus point when he ghosted away from the defence, brushing off a number of would-be tacklers to race away under the posts to give Larne some breathing space.
As the score sat at 25-18 with only a few seconds left on the clock, the bonus point was all to play for both sides.
Larne were awarded a penalty which Garrett took quickly, managing to evade the ‘Dee defence and sneak in at the corner to secure the five-pointer for the side and see them go top of the league.
This weekend, Larne welcome Qualifying 1 side Clogher Valley in the second round of the Junior Cup.