There was late drama at Shamrock Park as Larne ran out 3-2 winners over Portadown.
First half goals from Dean Jarvis and Mark Randall put Larne in control, only for Portadown to get themselves back into it with a goal 25 mintues from time. Lee Lynch looked to have sealed it in stoppage time before the home side pulled one back even later to keep Larne hanging on.
In the end, it was a welcome three points for boss Tiernan Lynch, who travelled with just 14 senior players available due to international call-ups, covid issues and injuries.
Larne started brightly and the visitors were ahead after just eight minutes, when Dean Jarvis headed home Ben Doherty’s well placed corner from the right.
The lead was doubled on 28 minutes with a sublime Mark Randall goal. Tomas Cosgrove flighted an inch perfect pass up the right flank to Navid Nasseri. The midfielder then picked out the run of Randall, who chipped the ball over Harry Doherty, with the ball going in off the crossbar.
Ronan Hale was denied either side of half-time by home goalkeeper Doherty, first recovering from a short back pass and then getting down low to his right to deny the striker.
Portadown got themselves back into the game on 66 minutes. Rohan Ferguson was unable to get to a cross from the right flank and Ruairi Croskery hooked in the rebound. The goalkeeper was injured in the incident and was replaced by Mike Argyrides, making his debut for the club.
Larne continued to looked dangerous on the break and came within a whisker of adding a third when substitute Andy Scott and Navid Nasseri were both denied with goal line clearances within the space of 30 seconds.
The all-important third goal came two minutes into stoppage time. Thomas Oluwa, who also came off the bench to make his debut, saw his shot saved after a fine through ball from Ben Doherty, but Lynch was on hand to tap the ball home despite protests for offside.
There was still time to late drama when Ports full-back Greg Hall forced the ball home at the back post, but Larne held on to make it two wins out of two at the start of the Danske Bank Premiership season.
Portadown: Doherty, Hall, McCallum, Salley, Bonis, Jackson, Conaty, Kerr, Croskery, Teggart, McLeod
Subs: Barr (not used), Finnegan (replaced Jackson 74), Tipton (not used), Warde (replaced Salley 56), Jordan (not used)
Larne: Ferguson, Cosgrove, Watson, Bolger, Jarvis, Mitchell, Randall, Lynch, Doherty, Hale, Nasseri
Subs: Argyrides (replaced Ferguson 69), Oluwa (replaced Hale 81), Scott (replaced Randall 78), Donnelly (not used), Greer (not used), Adair (not used), Aretzis (not used)
Referee: Lee Tavinder