Glentoran's defence of the Irish Cup ended with little more than a whimper as Alan Kernaghan's men were outclassed by Glenavon at the Oval on Saturday afternoon.
Following the tragic news of Mark Farren's passing during the week, a minute's silence was observed impeccably by both sets of fans before Glentoran came out of the blocks with a bang. Within a minute Chris Lavery burst through on goal and rounded 'keeper Jonathan Tuffey before pulling it back to the onrushing Curtis Allen who couldn't place the ball away from the Glenavon defender standing on the line, meaning the danger was cleared.
Sixty seconds later and Lavery went through on goal again however Tuffey came out on top; the former International making himself big and blocking the winger's effort. Unfortunately for Glentoran, this superb start would not be a sign of things to come.
On the 10th minute - just as fans were clapping in memory of Farren's stint at the Lurgan Blues where he wore no. 10 - the away side went in front. Joel Cooper's cross found the unmarked Rhys Marshall who looped a header over Aaron Hogg, who had come off of his line.
The Glens really were all over the place and after a shocking misplaced pass Glenavon countered, with the ball eventually being swung into the box for yet another free header to be powered home, this time by ex-Glenman Ciaran Martyn. 2-0 down after 17 minutes.
Kernaghan's side could barely muster a meaningful attack in what was a dreadful first half showing, with the only chance of note falling to Allen who blazed miles over from six yards on 30 minutes. That was the last action of note on a blustery, rainy day where the boos rang out at half time from the home supporters.
In fairness, Glentoran did play much better in the second half with several good opportunities going begging. However any hope of a spirited fightback was crushed ten minutes after the break when Eoin Bradley curled a wonderful 20-yard peach into the top corner giving Hogg no chance.
At this stage the Glens threw everything forward but a really solid Glenavon defence was rarely troubled. Substitute and new signing Dale Patton had two excellent chances in quick succession, with the first coming after industrious work from Ciaran Caldwell saw a ricochet fall to the frontman however his six yard volley went well wide when he really should've scored, and the second - another close range volley - bringing a wonderful save out of Tuffey. The rebound fell to Calum Birney but the big centre half missed the target with an awkward header from three yards out.
Attempts from Marcus Kane and Lavery didn't really trouble Tuffey, but the Glens did get one back with ten minutes remaining after superb chasing down from Allen and a dangerous cross was glanced into his own net by Kris Lindsay.
Despite this though the Irish Cup holders were emphatically dumped out of the only remaining competition that they could win, with Joel Cooper's last gasp strike from the edge of the box making it 4-1 to compound a miserable day to be a Glentoran supporter.
Photographs by Thomas Sewell.
Glentoran: Hogg, Holland, Kane (capt), Birney, Addis, Gordon, Morrow, Scullion, McCaffrey, Allen & Lavery.
Subs: Patton for McCaffrey, Caldwell for Scullion and Smith for Gordon