Comrades hoping to march on

Scott Irvine in action for Larne FC in their local derby with Ballyclare Comrades at Inver Park. INLT 12-003-PSB
Scott Irvine in action for Larne FC in their local derby with Ballyclare Comrades at Inver Park. INLT 12-003-PSB

After picking up eight Championship 1 points from a possible twelve, Ballyclare Comrades are in buoyant mood for this weekend’s visit of Bangor.

The Seasiders have fallen from grace this season after having been promotion contenders twelve months ago, and they have managed to collect only one point from their previous four outings.

Most recently they fell 4-2 to leaders Ards, but Reds manager, Stephen Hughes, is not interested in their statistics.

“Bangor is just another match,” he countered, “we have to keep our heads down and take it one match at a time, as we aim to continue to pull away from the drop zone. I reckoned that March would be a vital month for us, and impressed upon the lads that there were several must win matches, and they have responded brilliantly. We felt that we needed at least five points from the four league fixtures, so to get eight was a major plus, especially when that included taking four points off Larne.

“The points were all important, but the fans were delighted to have earned double bragging rights against their fiercest rivals,” he added.

Reflecting on the scoreless draw at Inver Park, Hughes offered, “Except for the opening ten minutes we were in charge. Larne started off very lively and could have been two up if they had taken their chances, but after that I felt that we had the edge.

“Larne officials told me that we are one of the very few teams that have registered a clean sheet against them this season, and that is a compliment for our defence. I have been pleased with the consistency shown during the past month, and I hope that it will continue through April, when we have home league games against Bangor and Institute, along with trips to Lurgan Celtic and Dergview.

“We also have an important Intermediate Cup semi-final against Institute on Wednesday, April 6. No venue has been announced for this one, but Moyola and Tobermore’s grounds appear to be the favourites,” he ended.