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WHAT'S IS IT IN BALA THE STORY IN GLORY? McDaid: Fairytale not secure yet.

Byline: DARREN FULLERTON

DAVY McDAID has warned Larne to beware a sentimental sting in the tale in tonight's historic Europa Conference

League clash with Bala Town.

The Inver Reds lead 1-0 from last week's first leg after Tiernan Lynch's (inset) men secured a memorable win in the club's first ever outing in a UEFA competition.

But while many expect Larne to finish off the job in their first European home leg in front of 800 fans this evening, McDaid is taking nothing for granted.

The seasoned striker, who scored last week's winner in Shropshire, said: "When you see a team win away in Europe, the temptation is there to think they'll come home and win easily enough.

"But football rarely works like that and we're preparing for a seriously tough game.

"Bala are a big physical side - almost like what you'd expect from a Crusaders-like team in the Irish League - and they are dangerous opponents.

"The first leg was a very close game and their manager said afterwards that they weren't at their best, so I suspect it'll be another really tight affair."

McDaid laughs off suggestions he is now an Irish League pub quiz question after scoring Larne's first ever goal in European competition seven days ago.

The 30-year-old's coolly taken lob less than two minutes into the first leg helped seal an historic result for the 132-year-old club.

The Inver Reds qualified for Europe for the first time via the play-offs last month after finishing fourth in the Danske Bank Premiership.

"It's always a great feeling to score, but it was extra special given it was the club's first ever goal and win in Europe," said McDaid.

"Given it was Larne's first time playing in Europe and such a big occasion for the club, it was great to help settle the nerves with an early goal.

"Having said that, it's not always a good thing to take such an early lead, as you saw with England against Italy in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley.

"We probably weren't at our best for the remainder of the first half after scoring inside two minutes, although I thought we were a bit better in the second.

"We were definitely nervy in the first half and the occasion might have got to us a bit, but we did enough to get the job done and were solid throughout the game.

"To go away in Europe and come away with a win was great, especially on such a big night for the club and it really sets it up nicely for the home leg at Inver Park."

The winners of tonight's tie will progress to face Danish side AGF, who finished third in the Superliga last season, in the second qualifying round.

THE DAY OF THE DAID Davy McDaid scores the winner v Bala and celebrates his goal, below

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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:DARREN FULLERTON
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 15, 2021
Words:477
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