IRISH CUP: Coleraine see off Larne to reach back-to-back cup finals

Coleraine 3 Larne 1

Saturday, 31st March 2018, 6:07 pm
Updated Saturday, 31st March 2018, 6:15 pm
Gareth McConaghie celebrates his goal.

Goals from Lyndon Kane, Gareth McConaghie and Josh Carson helped Coleraine shoot down Larne and reach their second successive Irish Cup final.

All the goals came in an exciting second half with Larne threatening to make a game of it when Davy McDaid levelled things up with 14 minutes to go.

But McConaghie and Carson fired in to send the Bannsiders into May's final showdown with Cliftonville.

The sides took time to settle on what was a very bobbily pitch.

The first opening came by way of an error from Gareth McConaghie, after he misjudged a long ball. Tommy Stewart raced clear down the right, but his cross was well claimed by Chris Johns in the Coleraine goal.

Conor Devlin was called into action on 13 minutes after his defence failed to deal with Ciaron Harkin's free kick.

Stephen O'Donnell held the ball up before laying it off to Bradley, who drew a smart save out of the keeper at his near post.

Jamie McGonigle should have done better on 24 minutes after a great ball sent him clear, but his shot had no real power behind it and Devlin saved.

Back came Larne as Stewart and Scullion combined to feed Davy McDaid, but his shot on the turn was well wide.

The Bannsiders broke up the pitch, Lyons's header found Bradley in the box, but his first-time shot was block by Devlin's legs.

A great through ball by Carson sent McGonigle through on goal on 40 minutes, but he rushed his shot from the angle and fired wide.

Devlin breathed a huge sigh of relief two minutes later as Holland's back pass put him under pressure. McGonigle managed to get a touch on his initial clearance, but the keeper scrambled the ball away at the second attempt.

The second half was only six minutes old as Kane picked the ball up before lashing a shot past Devlin.

Coleraine were well up top and should have doubled their advantage but for some wasteful finishing.

They were punished for that on 76 minutes as Scullion crossed for McDaid to head home against his former club.

But within three minutes Coleraine were back in front again as McConaghie headed in Carson's corner.

Larne tried in vain to grab an equaliser but there woes were compounded right at the death as Carson slotted in from the spot after Lyons had been brought down.