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Larne swoop on Eagles to become form team in Championship One

Armagh City 2 Larne 4

Larne are fast becoming the form team in the Belfast Telegraph Championship One.

With back-to-back wins over the PSNI and Armagh City, the Inver Park outfit are now looking like possible promotion candidates.

At Holm Park on Saturday they turned in a brilliant display and easily accounted for the Eagles, with visiting captain Paul Maguire leading the way with a superb hat-trick.

Larne attacked from the outset with Maguire, Kieran Murray and Stuart King creating inroads against an overwhelmed Armagh defence.

The visitors deservedly took the lead on 19 minutes when man-of-the-match Maguire flicked home a corner from the left.

But, immediately, Armagh broke forward and Stephen Murray sent the ball wide from six yards when left alone in front of goals.

However, this was a rare attack from the home side who found themselves penned in their own half for long periods during the opening 45 minutes.

Half-time: Armagh City 0 Larne 1.

On the restart Larne continued to press, winning three quick corners and, unluckily, just failing to add to their tally.

In another rare attack Armagh almost levelled but Gavin McParland’s shot went straight into the arms of relieved ‘keeper John Conley.

City had a further opportunity when Andy Moore got on the end of a deep cross from Dara Noonan but, once again, the opportunity was wasted as he belted the ball over the opposition crossbar from just five yards out.

These chances only failed to rally Larne once more and, on 69 minutes, they went 2-0 ahead when Maguire had time and space in the box to slot home his second.

Moments later it was 3-0 after Maguire rounded off a superb three-man move to make the game safe.

And, on 85 minutes, the visitors had extra insurance when sub Gerard Gillen met a corner from the right and flicked home a superb 10-yard volley to make it 4-0.

However, on 88 minutes City hit back when Shea McGerrigan broke in from the right and fired home a thunderous shot which gave Conley no chance.

And, in injury-time, Armagh brought respectability to the scoreline when Paul Carville curled home a superb 20-yard free-kick with Conley again beaten all ends up.

This fightback, however, was too little too late and, in the end, the high-riding Larne were comfortable and deserved winners.

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