Clearer Water Irish Cup quarter-final
Larne 4-1 Newington

IT went to script at Inver Park on Saturday afternoon as Larne found their scoring touch in the second half to take care of business against Newington.

This meeting of landlords and tenants was scoreless at the break, but when Levi Ives saw his free-kick go all the way into the net two minutes after the break, there was no looking back.

The North Belfast side, who play their home games in the Championship at the same venue, just couldn't really threaten a side on course for back-to-back Premiership titles as they withstood the pressure in the opening half but couldn't;t hold out in the second despite their best efforts.

It was expected that Newington would have a lot of defending to do and so it proved as Larne quickly took a grip, visually owning the ball and pressing high.

The job for the North Belfast side was to remain disciplined and composed and that they did, breaking Larne's rhythm and giving little away in terms of chances.

However, that meant they were not much of as threat at the other end with Larne goalkeeper Aidan McAdams having a quiet debut.

The first big chance would finally arrive in the 17th minute and came from a mistake as a ball into the box wasn't dealt with and Lee Bonis teed-up Mark Randall but he blazed wide with the goal at his mercy.

Larne tweaked their approach by going a little more direct from the back and this began to create some openings with a ball up the channel seeing Newington goalkeeper Marc Maybin coming out of his box to collect but Bonis got there first, nudging the ball clear although he was too far left and Newington defenders had scrambled back leaving the striker with no option but to cross but there was nobody home.

An advantage saw Levi Ives drive a low ball into the box that caused a little panic but was cleared.

Another big chance arrived on 32 minutes as a corner to the back post was nodded back in and sat up perfectly for Cian Bolger to direct on target, but he went for the wrong option of trying to play it back to where it came and the chance was gone.

A rare Newington foray forward saw Ruaidhrí Donnelly cause momentary perfect but his low cross was cleared, while at the other end, Paul O'Neill couldn't get to a deflected cross as the half finished scoreless.

Just 20 seconds into the second period and Newington's Jack Reilly was shown a yellow card on the right of the box, but there was worse punishment to come as Ives clipped in the free-kick with his left boot that evaded everyone and ended up in the net.

Three minutes later and the lead was doubled as Ives chased down a ball that looked like going out but swung it into the penalty area with Lee Bonis following in to get the final touch.

The chances kept coming with Randall seeing an effort to the near post going just outside and he had further chances that missed the target, while Paul O'Neill skipped through but couldn't find the finish.

A third would arrive after 67 minutes and again it was Bonis who got on the end of a Randall delivery to take downing stroke home.

That appeared to be that but Newington would get a glimmer of hope with 10 to play.

Firstly, a back-pass from Bolger was picked up by McAdams and an inspired free-kicked awarded on the six-yard box. Paul Donnelly would strike with the ball hitting the hand of Aaron Donnelly and a penalty awarded that Eamonn Hughes tucked away.

Eamonn Hughes is congratulated after meeting from the spot

Eamonn Hughes is congratulated after meeting from the spot

This spurred the Swans on as they pressed for a second with Hughes getting his head to a corner but was too high.

At the other end, substitute Isaac Westendorf spun but Maybin got down gather, while Bonis was almost in for his hat-trick when getting the ball just past the goalkeeper but not out of his feet as the danger was cleared. Ives also forced a save from a free-kick in stoppage time, but the fourth would arrive at the death with Aodhfionn Casey turning an Ives cross into his own net.

It was merely a gloss on the final score as Larne had long since sealed their place in the last four where they will face Cliftonville, but Newington will reflect on a good run in the competition before turning their attention back to the remainder of their Championship campaign.

LARNE: A McAdams, A Donnelly, M Randall (J Orozco 68), P O'Neil (I Westendorf)l, L Bonis, L Ives, C Bolger, T Cosgrove, D Sloan (D Kearns 88), C Gallagher, R Williams
Goals: E Hughes 80 (pen)

NEWINGTON: M Maybin, A Casey, E Hughes, P Donnelly (R Morrow 88), D Stuart (N Cummings 85), P Downey (T McNicholl 85), K Bradley, C McBride (F Rice 56), J Reilly (S Duffy 88), J Diver, R Donnelly.
Goals: L Ives 47; L Bonis 50, 67, A Casey (OG) 90+4

REFEREE: Lee Tavinder