Larne suffered their first league defeat of the season, as Glentoran ran out comfortable 4-0 winners at the Oval.
Conor McMenamin gave the home side the lead in a tight first half, and had a big hand in three more goals in the final half hour to ensure the Glens overtook Larne into top spot.
Larne started the game brightly, as Ben Doherty’s corner from the left found Leroy Millar at the back post, but his header was blocked by Paddy McClean.
The deadlock was broken two minutes later from another set piece, this time at the other end. Conor McMenamin swung in a left-footed free-kick on the right which sailed all the way past everyone, including Larne goalkeeper Rohan Ferguson.
There were protests from the visitors as the assistant’s flag had gone up with Paddy McClean in an offside position in front of Ferguson, but referee Raymond Crangle gave the goal.
From this point onwards Larne grew into the first half and began to good spells of control.
Their most likely route back into the game looked like being a corner. With half an hour they were almost level when Doherty swung one in from the right, with Cian Bolger glancing a header just wide.
Three minutes before the break Larne went close from yet another corner – their ninth of the first half. It was Doherty again and inswinging effort from the right, and this time defender Shaun Want came agonisingly close to stabbing it home.
Glentoran came out a different animal in the second half and doubled their lead just shy of the hour mark, with Conor McMenamin again at the heart of the action.
The Northern Ireland winger showed great close control before crossing for Jay Donnelly to head home at the back post.
They really should have made it 3-0 on 63 minutes, when Jeff Hughes’ header back to Rohan Ferguson was too short, but the goalkeeper was off his line quickly to deny striker Danny Purkis.
They didn’t have too long to wait however, as McMenamin continued his scintillating form as he crossed from the right for Purkis to make no mistake time and sweep home at the back post.
There was still time for a fourth of the night and it was no surprise that McMenamin was the architect again on 83 minutes. Once more cutting in from the right he arrived in the box before firing a fierce effort which Fuad Sule inadvertently helped to deflect past his own goalkeeper with his head.
Glentoran: McCarey, Marshall, Wilson, McClean, Singleton, Burns (’55 Devlin), Plum, McCartan, R Donnelly (’45 Purkis), J Donnelly (’83 Murray), McMenamin (’83 Roy)
Unused subs: Webber, Wightman, Crowe
Larne: Ferguson, Cosgrove, Want, Sule, Bolger, Hughes (’70 Kelly), Doherty, Kearns (’70 Scott(, Millar (’46 Gordon), Bonis, O’Neill
Unused subs: McIntyre, Watson, Hutchison, Sloan
Referee: Raymond Crangle