Coleraine FC groundsman Tommy Doherty.
LARNE owner Kenny Bruce says it was never his intention to doubt the work or dedication of Coleraine groundsman Tommy Doherty.
The businessman came in for criticism over the weekend for a tweet on Saturday appearing to criticise the condition of the Showgrounds pitch and the groundsman.
However, in a statement issued to this paper on Monday, the Purple Bricks owner said he had spoken to Tommy Doherty to clarify his comments.
“The reason I commented on the pitch on Saturday was because I, along with others, were surprised at the condition of it, considering Coleraine hadn't played on it for two weeks,” said Kenny Bruce.
“I felt the need to speak out about it. However, on reflection, I realised that this was not a reflection on the Coleraine groundsman.
“I have since spoken to Tommy over the phone to make that clear to him and apologise to him.
“Speaking to Tommy I realise the very high standards he works to and the amount of hours he gives to volunteering for his club.
“All Irish League clubs rely on people who freely give of their time like Tommy, ourselves included at Larne, and it was never my intention to doubt his work or the dedication he gives to his work at the club,” he added.
For his part, Tommy Doherty, a well-known face in local football circles, admitted he was pleased that Kenny Bruce had taken the time to call him and apologise.
He also claimed the pitch was prepared in accordance with the club’s wishes.
On the pitch, Coleraine fell to a third successive defeat to an impressive Larne side who meet Glentoran in the County Antrim Shield final on Wednesday evening.
Oran Kearney's men, meanwhile, will look to get back to winning ways at Dungannon on Friday night.