Glentoran signed off from The Oval with a welcome and deserved victory over Euro-chasing Crusaders on Saturday.
Eddie Patterson's side took an early lead through Curtis Allen and, after skipper Elliott Morris saved Nathan Hanley's first-half penalty, the hosts pulled further in front thanks to a John McGuigan drive which proved too hot for Crues keeper Sean O'Neill to handle.
Danny McKee added number three thereafter, much to the delight of Patterson, who has endured a frustrating campaign at the helm.
"We've been dealt a hand and we have to play with it," he said.
"It was a case of telling our players that we haven't given our fans their money's worth.
"We felt we had to repay them as we've been hit and miss in recent months. Today we stepped up to the mark and created some decent chances. It was the last home game of the season and we wanted to send the loyal fans home happy and I think we've done that."
The contest ended in acrimony when both teams were reduced to 10 men; Crues skipper Colin Coates and home scorer Allen dismissed for violent conduct in separate incidents.
At the bottom end of the table, Niall Currie was left cursing Ards' luck following their 2-0 defeat to Dungannon Swifts at Stangmore Park, where late strikes from Sean McCashin and Gary Liggett secured all three points for the hosts.
"We are in the situation we are in because of games like this," he sighed. "With nothing between the teams, we have ended up on the losing side.
"I thought that we enjoyed a bit of time on top, particularly in the second half after we changed our shape.
"Ironically, it was when we were playing so well that we actually conceded."
Coleraine eased any lingering relegation woes when a single Gareth Tommons goal proved enough to get the better of Warrenpoint Town.
"We all knew coming here that it was a big game," said manager Oran Kearney. "Our big message was that we had three big games left, nine points to play for and we're one of the fortunate teams where our future is in our hands.
"I think we shaded it. I thought we were solid and compact and probably the fact that we have been in the league longer than Warrenpoint, we had that added bit of guile."
Elsewhere, Ballinamallard United boss Whitey Anderson was content with the point his men earned in a 0-0 home draw with Ballymena.
He said: "What we have to do now is try and get three points on Tuesday against Dungannon and take it from there."