Skipper Garrett seals battling win over Lurgan

Lineout ball between Larne 2nds and Coleraine 2nds at Glynn INLT 50-262-AM
Lineout ball between Larne 2nds and Coleraine 2nds at Glynn INLT 50-262-AM

Larne’s 1st XV emerged at 27-15 winners away to Lurgan in a hard-fought Qualifying Three match on Saturday.

Two penalties from Andrews gave the visitors a 6-0 lead inside the first 10 minutes before Lurgan halved the deficit with a penalty of their own.

Andrews was next to get on the score sheet as the Lurgan backs dropped the ball off a set-piece play after being put under a quick press by the Larne defensive line.

As the ball fell fortuitously to Andrews’ left foot, he was able to hack through, showing neat skills and pace to dot down before the ball went dead. The conversion was added giving them a 10-point advantage at the intveral.

The gritty Lurgan side came out of the blocks the quicker in the second session, taking Larne by surprise.

Solid work at the scrum and line-out saw them gain great field position and gaps started to appear.

The Lurgan number eight found a hole and glided in from the 22 to score under the posts to leave the score at 13-10.

With plenty of time to go, Larne had to dig in. Although the visitors were next to get on the score board with a well-worked forwards’ try finished off by McCluggage, it didn’t dampen the spirits of the home team and they fought on.

The intensity of the game increased further and solid hits from Hunter and McKinty thwarted a few attacks but Lurgan’s pacey 13 found a soft shoulder and had an unchallenged run into the line. The scores going into the final five minutes sat at 20-15.

Lurgan sniffed an upset but a speculative interception from Larne captain Ryan Garrett saw him race from the halfway line to score under the posts. On Saturday Larne host Ophir at Glynn.

Meanwhile, the club’s Seconds banked a 17-0 home win over their Coleraine counterparts. The Thirds lost 39-29 to Clogher Valley.