Banbridge Rangers were dumped out of the Intermediate Cup on Saturday after a disappointing 4-1 defeat to Crumlin United.
Rangers travelled to the gamey with a depleted squad but put in a very good performance despite the end result comfortably favouring the Amateur League side.
Crumlin started strong as expected but the Gers were well organised on a large pitch and thought they had taken the lead when Gourley bent his run and finished well in the 20th minute only to be blown for a disputed offside call.
Crumlin took the lead in the 36th minute when their right-winger sent an inch perfect cross into the box, where it was converted from 12 yards.
Crumlin doubled their lead a minute before the interval with a swift counter attack down the left hand side.
It was a a sucker-punch just before half-time but Rangers knew Crumlin had defensive frailties as striker Dean Gordon had been able to find space in behind on a number of occassions in the first half.
On 55 minutes, a 30 yard effort from Willie Frazer fizzed past the upright as Rangers looked most likely to score next but it was Crumlin who were gifted a goal through a defensive lapse on 59 minutes.
Dean Gordon could have pulled one back after rattling the crossbar with just over 25 minutes to go and then went close with another shot that curled narrowly past the post.
With 20 minutes still to go, the Gers scored to bring it back to 3-1 after a goalmouth scramble with Jonny O’Neill getting the decisive touch.
The joy was short-lived though as Crumlin United wrapped up the tie with a fourth goal taking advantage of slack defending when Bann were pushing for a second goal.
Dean Gordon was almost rewarded for his shift up front when he made an opening for himself only to be denied by a fingertip save.
Despite late pressure from the away side, it wasn’t going to be enough to progress to the next round although credit to the team for a strong finish and a decent account of themselves especially when missing nine regulars from the squad.
This weekend sees a return to Friday night matches for Rangers with a trip to St Mary’s in an Intermediate A league match.
Kick off is at 8pm at Annagh United’s 4G pitch on the Tandragee Road in Portadown.