Larne Tech Old Boys’ last chance of silverware disappeared with Saturday’s 6-2 defeat by Premier Division side Immaculata in Saturday’s Clarence Cup quarter-final.
It was Immaculata’s first visit to Dennis Harvey Park since an abandoned league fixture in August 2013 which saw both sides docked nine points.
Tech manager Johnny Hastings said: “We haven’t been great lately, apart from beating Abbey Villa in the last round of the cup. Here, some key players just didn’t turn up and it’s been like that for a month or two now. We worked hard in training during the week, but they just didn’t carry it out. They have only themselves to blame.
“We got it back to 2-2 but pressed the self-destruct button with a soft free-kick and then a free header.
“Once Immaculata got that third goal, it was all over. We weren’t going to come back twice.”
The west Belfast side led 1-0 at the break, adding to their advantage after the turnaround, but back came the Antiville outfit through Lee Thompson and Niall McAllister.
However, that ‘soft third’ effectively ended the contest, with Mac romping home with three further goals, including a contentious penalty for their fifth. Their final goal arrived after the Larne boys were reduced to 10 men when skipper Matt Hyslop saw a second yellow turn to red.
The Tech still have eight remaining league fixtures and can’t just merely go through the motions seeing out the remainder of the season. With only three points from their last 15, they’ve slipped down to fourth-from-bottom in 1A.
Hastings added: “From being right in the mix, we’re now in a position where we still need a few points on the board to guarantee safety. The season has turned right round, but they’ve nobody to blame but themselves.”
This Saturday, the Tech travel to second-placed Lisburn Rangers.