COLERAINE kept their Europa League dreams very much alive with this thumping defeat of fellow hopefuls Portadown at the Showgrounds.
Both sides created early opporunities with Sean Mackle firing over with his left-foot after being played through by Matthew Tipton while, for the Bannsiders, Johnny Black floated a free-kick from 30 yards narrowly wide.
But Coleraine did break the deadlock on 24 minutes after Stephen Lowry finished from within the six yard box when he collected the ball from Curtis Allen who had dispossessed Garry Breen.
Portadown levelled after half-an-hour when a Ross Redman free-kick darted around the box with Tipton connecting with the loose ball to turn it home.
The Bannsiders regained the advantage on 36 minutes through Aaron Boyd after he stabbed the ball beyond Tuda Murphy after an initial Lowry effort was blocked.
Then, a minute into first-half stoppage time, Allen made it 3-1 with a header from a Ryan McIlmoyle cross delivered from the wing.
Allen added a fourth on 68 minutes after collecting a Boyd delivery to beat Murphy with the aid of a slight deflection off Redman.
Coleraine: Cullen, Beverland, McVey, Ogilby, Lowry, Allen, Harkin, McIlmoyle, Boyd, Owens, Black subs McNulty (not used), Hegarty (replaced McVey 46), Scullion (replaced Lowry 84), Jennings (replaced Harkin 79), Bingham (not used)
Portadown: Murphy, O'Hara, Redman, Breen, Clarke, Tipton, Tomelty, Lecky, Gartland, McCaffety, Mackle subs Shortt (not used), Ramsey (replaced Breen 25), Acheson (replaced Clarke 46), McCloskey (replaced Mackle 46), Brown (not used)
- Matt Tipton bears down on goal as Steven Lowry gives chase (Picture: Stephen Hamilton/PressEye.com)