Glens’ Euro delight as Conor McMenamin wins day
Glentoran secured European football next season following a narrow victory over Larne at Inver Park.
Conor McMenamin’s goal early in the second half proved decisive for the visitors as Larne capped off a disappointing week with a spot in the European play-offs.
Winger McMenamin lashed home past Conor Mitchell on 47 minutes as he proved the hero for the Glens, sealing a 1-0 victory.
Glenavon produced a battling comeback in the second half against Carrick Rangers to almost certainly guarantee a place in the European play-offs, following a 6-3 thriller at Taylors Avenue.
Lee Chapman and Jordan Gibson fired Carrick into a 2-0 lead, but two quick-fire goals from an Andy Hall free-kick and a fine effort from Peter Campbell brought the Lurgan Blues level in the second half.
Incredibly, another rapid two-goal salvo made it four goals in the space of 19 minutes for Glenavon, with Campbell netting his second and Robert Garrett finding the target to make it 4-2.
The game took another twist when Chapman scored his second to pull one back for Carrick, but Hall put the result beyond doubt for Glenavon to make it 5-3, before he wrapped up his hat-trick from the penalty spot.
Ballymena ensured the fight for seventh place will go to the wire as they beat Warrenpoint 3-0 at the Showgrounds, with the goals coming from Shay McCartan, Paul McElroy and Leroy Millar.
Portadown recorded a 4-2 victory over Dungannon Swifts at Shamrock Park.
Adam Salley struck first for the Ports, while James Convie made it 1-1.
The Swifts then took the lead through striker Rhyss Campbell following an excellent spell in the second half.
However, Lee Bonis pulled the home side level on 72 minutes with a deflected free-kick and the Ports went on to clinch victory with Salley bagging his second, before an Adam McCallum header wrapped up the points.
At Solitude, Cliftonville and Crusaders played out a 1-1 draw, with a late David Cushley goal earning a point for Crusaders after Daire O’Connor’s third minute strike.
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