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After the game at Inver Park on Friday, much of the conversation revolved around Ben Doherty, who scored a crucial goal for Larne in the 4-2 win against his old club Coleraine. </ The other player involved in the summer deal that got Doherty off the Showgrounds, Conor McKendry, also made a good impression and Bannsiders boss Oran Kearney is convinced that the young striker has a lot more to offer. </ McKendry did well last season at Larne but is likely to see more playing time this season after moving to Coleraine.

“Conor has huge potential,” Kearney said ahead of today’s meeting of the Danske Bank Premiership with Cliftonville at Solitude.

“Thanks to him, he took Larne’s step to come to us, otherwise he might have sat on the bench and played the game on Friday olgt.

“He knows that you can only develop if you come onto the pitch, learn and play. He will be stronger in the game and I thought he showed a lot of good qualities that we can use to move forward. ”

Kearney was keen to get Cliftonville midfielder Ronan Doherty before the transfer window closes , but North Belfast Club sources say he is staying at Solitude, where the Reds will attempt tonight to build on their 2-1 win over Carrick Rangers on the opening weekend.

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Jamie Harney was the hero of Paddy McLaughlin’s side with two goals, although his main job tonight will be keeping Coleraine’s front line calm. Easier said than done with Matthew Shevlin.

There are high hopes on the Showgrounds that Shevlin will have a big season. He started well enough and scored against Larne.

“He would be the first to tell you he still has a lot to learn, but his raw enthusiasm comes in handy and on a night that took many kilometers, his fitness was superb. ”

With many believing the champions Linfield, Glentoran and Larne will battle it out for the title, Cliftonville and Coleraine are widely viewed as a group of clubs vying for fourth place.

Kearney, who has won the Irish Cup, League Cup and three league second places in two terms as Coleraine, will want more.

The other number McLaughlin could feel the same way after making some smart signings this summer has made.

It may take a little while to solidify, but there are exciting talent in the Cliftonville roster to keep fans in suspense.

However, the Reds boss will know better than anyone that to beat Coleraine tonight they have to improve their performance, which Carrick ousted a few days ago.

“We can play a lot better and now that we have this first win I think we can we will improve. “

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