Glentoran roared up to fifth place in the Danske Bank Premiership table after an impressive 4-0 win over Institute at the Oval.
The East Belfast club were simply a class part as they sparkled in front of Sky Sports’ first live televised game of the season.
It began poorly for the North West side with defender Caoimhin Bonner heading into his own net before Glentoran’s Croatian midfielder Hrvoje Plum rammed home an unstoppable free-kick.
Robbie McDaid then touched home another set-piece from Plum to end the game as a contest early in the second half, with Antonia Duric finishing the job with a debut goal late on.
Glentoran were unbeaten last season against the North West side, having won three and drawn one of their four meetings – and that trend continued.
Indeed, things don’t look good for Institute, who remain rooted in 11th place. Under the managerial guidance of Paul McLaughlin and Sean Friars – they stepped in when John Quigg quit only seven days before the start of the League campaign - they have now lost four and drawn one of their opening five games...they already have a relegation fight on their hands.
They are certainly a club feeling the pinch after losing a posse of key players including Michael McCrudden, Ronan Doherty and Ronan Wilson, although they re-recruited old boys Graeme Crown and Cormac Burke from Coleraine this week.
It was Institute’s Ryan Morrow who had the first sight of goal after only four minutes, but his dipping shot from distance flew over the top.
Glentoran hit back with skipper Marcus Kane delivering a great cross for Elvio van Overbeek, whose header was superbly pawed to safety by goalkeeper Paul Wells.
The Glens forged ahead on 10 minutes and, although Gavin Peers claimed the goal, it was clear that Bonner headed into this own net. Van Overbeek and Plum ripped through the right side of the Institute with a devastating burst and when the former Dutch under 21 international whipped in a teasing cross, the big defender totally miscued his clearance, the ball flashing past Wells.
Plum then punished the visitors once more on 18 minutes with that brilliant free-kick. Morrow hauled down McDaid with a reckless challenge and the Croatian midfielder took aim from fully 30 yards and his striker left Well helpless.
Institute did manage to bounce back off the ropes with Stephen Curry showing great pace on the right before crossing low for Gary Brown to ram his effort wide of the post.
Normal service resumed at the other end and Patrick McClean should really have put the game to bed on 27 minutes when Peers crossed for Paul O’Neill, but the big defender couldn’t get his feet sorted out to convert the striker’s knockdown.
Plum again tried his luck from distance after McDaid appeared to be impeded by Bonner inside the penalty box, but his raking drive was brilliantly clawed out of the bottom corner by Wells.
Glentoran piled on the agony after the break with O’Neill’s header drifting wide before McDaid’s low drive crashed against the outstretched legs of Wells.
But the shot-stopper was left helpless on 57 minutes when Plum’s free-kick wide on the left drifted across his goal before sneaking in at the back post, with McDaid claiming the vital touch.
With the clock ticking down Duric, who had just replaced van Overbeek, got up high to head home a Mal Smith corner three minutes from time to complete a good night’s work.
GLENTORAN: Antolovic, Pepper, Peers, McClean, Kane, Crowe, Plum (Frazer, 61), Herron, Van Overbeek (Duric, 77), McDaid, O’Neill (Smith, 69).
Subs (not used): Stewart, Morris, Birney, McCarthy Gordon.
INSTITUTE: Well, Morrow, Bonner, D.Curry, S.Curry, Tourish, G.Brown, McBride (McNamee, 71), McCready, McLaughlin (Burke, 46), Foy (Tweed, 60).
Subs (not used): Dunne, McCauley, Crown, R.Brown,
REFEREE: Jamie Robinson.