Larne were brought back down to earth with a bump on Saturday when, despite taking the lead, they ended up on the wrong end of a 6-1 scoreline at Institute.
It was a day to forget for the Reds who were totally outplayed by the home side, who given the chances they had, might have added a few more to their tally.
Larne were rightfully awarded a penalty with just two minutes on the clock. Stephen O’Donnell initially slipped when trying to clear his lines 25 yards from his own goal, that in turn let in Paul Maguire and he was clipped by Gary Henderson inside the box. The resulting spot-kick by Robbie White flew high into Michael Doherty’s top left-hand corner to the delight of the Larne supporters behind the goal.
After that it was all downhill for Larne as ‘Stute took control. Paul Kee’s men had a golden chance to level things up on 10 minutes but Graham Crown’s touch inside the box was too heavy and Larne keeper Dylan McRandal made a good save to deny him.
The home side levelled things up on 14 minutes when Stephen Parkhouse’s right-wing centre found Stephen O’Flynn at the back post and his knock down found McCrudden who headed home.
Institute went in front on 23 minutes thanks to Parkhouse’s close-range header after McRandal had initially done well to tip Aaron Walsh’s 25-yard pile-driver on to the bar.
Parkhouse went close to adding a third on 37 minutes but his first effort was cleared off the line by William Wharry and his follow-up shot flashed just wide.
The Waterside men added a third goal on 44 minutes; this time Aaron Walsh’s right-wing centre found an unmarked McCrudden who powerfully headed home giving McRandal no chance.
Institute added a fourth right on the stroke of half-time when Parkhouse’s header found O’Flynn who bundled the ball home from close range.
McCrudden completed his hat-trick on 65 minutes, converting a McCauley pass.
Two minutes later the unmarked O’Flynn volleyed past McRandal from McCrudden’s left-wing cross.
This week Larne are in Intermediate Cup action when they travel to face HW Welders at Tillysburn. Kick-off 1:30pm.
Institute: Doherty, Crown, McLaughlin, O’Donnell, C. McLaughlin, McCauley (Hume 84), Walsh (McKeever 71), Henderson; McCrudden, Parkhouse, O’Flynn (Curry 75).
Larne: McRandal, Todd, Black, Wharry, Rodgers (Crawford 55), McAllister, Picking (Gillan 46), King, Maguire, White, J. McAllister.
Referee: Wesley Campbell (Augher).