Rangers lose before Kernaghan resigns

Rathfriland Rangers forward Stephen McArdle in recent action. Photo: Iain McDowell/Rathfriland FC
Rathfriland Rangers forward Stephen McArdle in recent action. Photo: Iain McDowell/Rathfriland FC

Rathfriland Rangers were beaten 1-0 by Orangefield OB on Saturday to fall to the foot of Division 1A before manager John Kernaghan resigned.

The Whites were missing recently Lurgan Celtic bound Hutchinson and leading goalscorer and playmaker Johnny Kernaghan, both of whom were a big loss on a day where both teams struggled to find any sort of rhythm to their game.

Early on in the fixture James Costello danced his way through only to delay his shot when eyeballed by the opposing goalkeeper. Unfortunately Orangefield OB then took the lead in the 10th minute when a ball centred into the eighteen yard box was flicked into the net to give the visitors the lead.

The referee then was kind to the home side when goalkeeper Maguire pulled down their centre forward in what looked a clear cut penalty but it was to no avail for the Belfast team. Rathfriland lacked the same bite in centre midfield as Orangefield showed particularly in the holding role just in front of the back four.

Rangers best chance came just before half time when Costello squared for Stevie McArdle but his rising shot went just wide of the upright.

Early in the second period Rathfriland had a great appeal also for a penalty but again the referee waved play on. Lockart was a threat with great footwork at times while Maine at the centre of Rangers defence made some great tackles.

The visitors were always a danger especially on the break and Maguire was called into action to deal with their offensive play.

In the end the vistors held out for a narrow 1-0 win meaning they take the valuable three points back to east Belfast.

RATHFRILAND RANGERS: Kieran Maguire, Lee McDowell, Ian Weir, Philip Maine, Kieran McCourt, Stevie McArdle, Darren McGrath, Nathan Baird, Lockart, Costello, O’Reilly.

Subs: Ian Lawless, James Pollock, Cathal Tumelty.