BANBRIDGE Rangers set up a mouthwatering clash against Valley Rangers in the second round of the Bob Radcliffe after they saw off the challenge of fellow Intermediate A side Lisanally Rangers in Armagh on Saturday.
Rangers travelled to Armagh with six players missing through holidays and injuries but dominated the opening half an hour of the game at Millfield.
The opening goal arrived on 21 minutes with midfielder Mark Wilton timing his run to beat a high offside line and collect a through ball before finishing low into the bottom corner with a composed finish.
Rangers held much of the possession with Robbie Baird and Peter Dean providing the threat from wide areas.
In the later stages of the half Lisanally started to come into the game more and after a spell of pressure they found an equaliser through Mark Trainor on 42 minutes after some hesitancy in the Gers backline.
After the interval both teams were out to keep it tight for the opening quarter of an hour with chances few and far between.
On 70 minutes Banbridge Rangers were awarded a free kick twenty five yards out after Ryan Gregg went on a mazy run and was brought down by a late challenge.
The stage was set for Rangers’ very own deadball specialist Neil Clydesdale who didn’t disappoint with a rasping free kick that curled and dipped over the wall before nestling underneath the crossbar.
Andy McLarty and Ryan Weir made way on the flanks and immediately started to put Lisanally on the back foot with some incisive running and good deliveries into the box.
Banbridge Rangers missed several good chances to make the victory more comfortable as Lisanally tried to pressure Rangers late on but to no avail. Banbridge Rangers move into the next round with a home tie in September at Cheney Park against Valley Rangers who had a very good win over Fivemiltown United on Saturday.
Banbridge Rangers continue their cup exploits this week with two games starting with a home tie against Lisanally Rangers in the Preliminary round off the Mid Ulster Cup with kick off at 6.30pm at Crystal Park.
This is followed by the biggest game of the season to date on Saturday when Rangers travel to Newry to face current Mid Ulster Champions Camlough Rovers in the first round of the Premier Cup. Kick off is at 2.15pm with the winners looking to set up a quarter final tie against Dollingstown with the aim of being part of the Intermediate A cup final at Christmas.