Win over Coleraine is a massive statement says Tiernan Lynch

Tiernan Lynch feels Larne’s opening night victory over Coleraine was a “massive statement” for the team.

By Steven Crawford
Monday, 30th August 2021, 5:59 am
David McDaid celebrates with Kofi Balmer. Mandatory Credit Inpho/Stephen Hamilton
David McDaid celebrates with Kofi Balmer. Mandatory Credit Inpho/Stephen Hamilton

The Inver Park outfit fought back from 2-1 down to run out 4-2 winners on the night and kick off the season in style.

It was also Larne’s first home league win over the Bannsiders in nearly 30 years with Lynch delighted to see his side brush aside another hurdle.

“It’s a massive statement for us,” he said.

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“We talked about our record against Coleraine in the past year, it was one win and four defeats.

“We’ve not beaten them here at Inver.

“But here we keep talking about the hurdles and how the team keeps getting over them.

“The bigger the challenge the better they get.

“Tonight was another massive challenge for them and all you can do is give them credit and praise because they get over it again.

“I have many sleepless nights, but it’s about how exciting this team is going to be.

“My job is to give the players the freedom to go and do what they’re good at, and you see what happens when you do.”

They certainly played their part in an anthralling affair with both sides going toe-to-toe before Ben Doherty crucial later intervention against his former side.

“If there’s one way to open the season, that’s it,” added Lynch.

“I dont think it’s one we’ll be singing and shouting about though with regards to our performance.

“We didn’t play the football we wanted to play or had been working on, but aside from that the character of these boys was phenomenal.

“The big positive is when you don’t play good football you’re still able to come up with performances like that.

“Our recruitment shows we have big names in the team, players like Ben, big names give you big games and we certainly got that tonight.”

Doherty has made a habit of being the man for te big occasion in the past and he proved it yet again on Friday night.

He admitted after the game he had a feeling he may make some sort of an impact on the game.

“I had a feeling I would be in some sort of headline,” said Doherty.

“Thankfully for me it was for a good reason.

“That’s the first time I’ve played with the team.

“The atmosphere tonight was unbelievable and helped get us through.

“As Tiernan says, we’re only going to get better.

“With training every day I can feel myself getting fitter and sharper.

“That’s the first ball I’ve kicked since playing in Bosnia for Coleraine.

“It’s been a long time for me, but I’ve just been working hard while the lads have been writing their own European success.

“I’ve been working hard in the background to be ready for tonight as that’s the bread and butter.”

It was a special strike from Doherty to put Larne ahead against his old employers with two minutes to go.

He enjoyed the celebrations especially after taking a bit of stick from the Bannsiders faithful for his move to Inver Park.

“It took two or three minutes to come down for me,” said Doherty.

“I was waiting on it and I thought someone might nick in from behind and take it away from me.

“I just tried to hit the target and it’s went in at the near post and then madness ensued.

“If you can give it out you can take it. That’s football.

“You’re not going to stand out there for 90 minutes and take abuse and then when you score doing nothing.”