Larne’s ‘incredible’ European run over on night of clubs’ double Euro exit

Larne’s first taste of European football finished last night with a final victory as Mark Randall scored the only goal to exit on a winning note in front of the Inver Park fans.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 13th August 2021, 6:00 am

It left Larne out on aggregate to Pacos de Ferreira from Portugal by 4-1 to close the club’s landmark Europa Conference League adventure at the third qualifying round.

Linfield also made an exit from the competition last night as the defending Irish League champions finished down by 2-1 to Fola Esch in Luxembourg.

In a dramatic second half, Fola broke the deadlock to build on a 2-1 win from Belfast before Stephen Fallon kept Linfield hopes alive.

Ronan Hale on show for Larne at Inver Park against Pacos de Ferreira. Pic by INPHO.

However, an injury-time penalty kick extended the hosts’ hold as the final two Danske Bank Premiership representatives in European competition each suffered exits.

“We probably let ourselves down a bit in Portugal, albeit they are a very good side,” said Larne assistant manager Tim McCann. “For a team that’s never played in Europe before we come away from six games with four wins, a draw and one defeat.

“That’s incredible from this bunch of players, and as far as I’m concerned the only way they can go is up.”

Larne scorer Randall is keen to transfer the European positives into domestic duty.

“We’ve had a good run in Europe, we’re not going to get carried away, we got off to a good start last season but we fell off it,” said Randall. “We know what we have to do from inside the camp, we just have to get our heads down and get on with it.

“Against opposition like that you’re not going to get too many chances.

“I thought we were brilliant tonight and, hopefully, it gives us confidence going into the season.

“I think the centre-half misread the ball through for the goal, he didn’t know I was just sat up nicely for me.”


A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper whenever you are able to do so.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world.

But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper when you can safely.

You can also enjoy unlimited access to the best news from across Northern Ireland and the UK by subscribing to

With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit now to sign up.

Thank you