Photo: Bill Guiller
Larne fell to their first defeat in seven outings after a disappointing night at the Coleraine Showgrounds.
Ben Doherty cancelled out a Jamie Glackin opener midway through the first half, but a deflected Conor McKendry effort saw Coleraine retake the lead before the break.
Lyndon Kane’s second half penalty then sealed the points for the home side, who overtook Larne into second place.
The opening quarter of the game was a relatively quiet affair with neither goalkeeper overly stretched.
The deadlock was broken with 25 minutes on the clock, however. A cross from the right flank was cleared only as far as the edge of the area and Jamie Glackin had time to take a touch before producing an impressive finish into the bottom left corner, which left Rohan Ferguson with no chance.
Larne responded well to going behind however, with Mark Randall heading wide after a good move, with 33 minutes gone.
Randall was again central to the action as Larne levelled the game three minutes later. He picked up Fuad Sule’s pass in the middle of the park before producing a pass which released Ben Doherty inside the area. The former Coleraine man then tucked the ball under the advancing Gareth Deane with a neat finish.
Two minutes before the break Larne were behind once more. Conor McKendry, also playing against his former team, cut in from the right flank and let fly with a shot which took a massive deflection off Cian Bolger’s head before nestling in the bottom left corner.
The visitors had a great chance to level straight away, when Tomas Cosgrove’s cross from the right found Davy McDaid 10 yards out, but he was only able to divert the ball straight at Gareth Deane from eight yards out.
Ben Doherty almost got his second of the night seven minutes into the second half, but he slipped at the vital moment when well placed inside the area.
Coleraine extended their lead a minute before the hour mark when Kofi Balmer fouled Josh Carson inside the area. Lyndon Kane stepped up to convert, via the base of Ferguson’s right-hand post.
Carson was involved as Coleraine almost made it 4-1 on 62 minutes. A contentious free-kick for a backpass was awarded just inside the Larne box and when the initial effort was blocked Carson crashed his effort off the angle of post and crossbar.
Coleraine teenager then had a clear sight of goal only to be denied by Ferguson one-on-one, before Davy McDaid was likewise kept out by Gareth Deane at the other end.
In the end, it was a comfortable end to the game for Coleraine who leapfrogged their visitors in the Danske Bank Premiership table.
Coleraine: Deane, Kane, Brown, McKendry, Lowry, Carson, O’Donnell, Glackin, Traynor, Kelly, Shevlin Subs: Mullan (not used), Jarvis (replaced Glackin 88), Bradley (replaced Shevlin 90+2), Wilson (replaced McKendry 66), Parkhill (not used), Friel (replaced Kelly 90+2), Henderson (not used)
Larne: Ferguson, Balmer, Kelly, Sule, Herron, Nasseri, Randall, McDaid, Doherty, Bolger, Cosgrove
Subs Argyrides (not used), Watson (not used), Hale (replaced Randall 60), Scott (replaced Nasseri 60), Lynch (replaced Doherty 60), Hughes (replaced Sule 68), Jarvis (replaced Kelly 77)