Four-star display from Lurgan Celtic kills off Larne
Larne 1 Lurgan Celtic 4
Lurgan Celtic cruised into Saturday's Irish Cup sixth round after finally seeing off Larne at Inver Park.
Celtic will now face fellow Championship 2 side Knockbreda – the leaders of the division – to ensure one outfit from the third tier will be in the quarter-final draw. Last night's encounter was the third attempt at the replay after wintry weather wiped out previous matches.
Even this game had to be put back 15 minutes to ensure it went ahead as work continued on the pitch, with snow beginning to fall.
On the pitch the first half was a slow burner but sparked into life after James Braniff saw red for lifting his hands to Celtic's Damien McParland on 30 minutes.
The visitors made the advantage count straight away as Raymond Fitzpatrick headed home from the resulting free-kick.
Barely 60 seconds later and the lead was doubled as keeper Chris Keenan fouled Aaron Haire and referee Ken Gibbons pointed to the spot. Niall Lavery stepped up to confidently convert past Keenan.
On the verge of half-time the game was as good as over when McParland slotted home from close range after Keenan batted away Lavery's initial shot.
With 69 minutes on the clock the Lurgan men added more salt to the wounds when they earned their second penalty – and fourth goal – of the night.
Lavery once more netted from 12 yards, after Fitzpatrick had been brought down inside the box by Niall McAllister.
Two minutes later Larne salvaged some pride when Gary Workman found a way past Ciaran Fox with a fine 20 yard strike.
Larne: Keenan, Braniff, J. Moore, W. Wharry, McAllister, Irvine (J Wharry), McClean (Conlon), Kane, Young (R. Moore), Workman, McNamee.
Lurgan Celtic: Fox, McVeigh, Boyd, Drainey, Donegan, McAnallan, Lavery, McParland, O'Hara, Fitzpatrick, Haire (McKavanagh).