On Saturday 16th March 2024 Glenavon faces Larne at Inver Park for the third time this season. The Invermen won both previous meetings – 4-1 in the Sports Direct Premiership in December and 5-0 in the Clearer Water Irish Cup 6th round in February. Larne is, of course, the reigning league champion and in January won the County Antrim Shield for the fourth successive year.Nonetheless, Stephen McDonnell is approaching the fixture positively.

We have analysed our previous matches against Larne. We have noted both the negatives and the positives and come up with a plan which we think will give us a chance,” he said. “We have had a really encouraging training week. We have worked on a few things.”

McDonnell was encouraged by Glenavon’s first half performance in the Irish Cup tie. “We played very wellfor most of the 45 minutes but didn’t take our chances and then conceded two goals due to lapses in concentration,” he continued. “You cannot afford to waste chances and make mistakes against a quality opponent.”

Stephen reckons that his squad is slowly maturing. “Larne, Linfield and Cliftonville are the benchmark in our league at this minute. We have to relish games against them. The trip to Larne is an opportunity to test ourselves and see how far we have come,” he said. I think our performances, and, to some degree, our results, show that we are moving in the right direction.

The news on the availability of players is encouraging.Peter Campbell has served his two-match suspension. Gavin Hodgins has recovered from illness. Gareth Deane is also back in contention. Both Stephen Teggart and Aaron Prendergast have returned to full training after shaking off muscle injuries but may not be risked. “Ideally, we would like to give them another week before throwing them into a match situation,” Stephen explained.

Less positively, Niall Quinn, who came off against Dungannon with a groin issue, will not be in the squad. Isaac Baird is, of course, out long term. Mark Haughey is making good progress but will not be ready in time for Saturday.

Glenavon v Larne, Last Season




Glenavon 1 Larne 2


Glenavon 0 Larne 1


Larne 3 Glenavon 0

Other Glenavon teams in action this weekend:

(Free Admission to all games)

  • Monday 18th March Dungannon Swifts Reserves v Glenavon Reserves, Stangmore Park, 1945 k.o.
  • Saturday 16th March 2024 Glenavon U-18s v Newry City U-18s, Mid-Ulster Youth Cup Semi-final, Mourneview Park, 1000 k.o.
  • Saturday 16th March 2024 – Newry City U-16s v Glenavon U-16s, Derryleckagh Playing Fields 3G, 1100k.o.
  • Saturday 16th March 2024 – Rosario Y.C. U-15s v Glenavon U-15s, Ulidia Playing Fields 3G, 1115 k.o.
  • Saturday 16th March 2024 Glenavon U-14s v Cliftonville U-14s, Lurgan Junior High School 3G, 0930k.o.