Rathfriland demolish Newbuildings in cup

Ally Wilson netted twice for Rathfriland on Saturday. INBL1618-224PB
Ally Wilson netted twice for Rathfriland on Saturday. INBL1618-224PB

Ally Wilson came in like a wrecking ball and scored twice to help Rathfriland Rangers demolish Newbuildings United in the first round of the Intermediate Cup.

The striker struck in both halves, with James Costello, Stevie Coulter, Jack Graham and Nathan McConnell also getting their names on the scoresheet in the rout of the north-west outfit at Iveagh Park.

And while the win was a welcome one, with the Rangers progressing in a fourth cup competition of the season so far, their busy fixture list is piling up with some crunch knockout clashes to come.

Newbuildings took a surprise lead on the 10th minute when their tricky winger slid in a delicious cross for the striker to sidefoot home past ‘keeper Mark Winstone.

A somewhat shell shocked Rathfriland failed to get a rhythm into their passing but they got a superb equaliser courtesy of Wilson’s left boot.

He picked up the ball on the edge of the area and curled a scrumptious effort into net to leave the keeper clawing at thin air.

Wilson then turned provider when some neat interplay involving Costello and captain Peter McCann resulted in the ball falling to him 10 yards out and he unselfishly squared for his strike partner Costello to stroke it home.

The second half started with a lacklustre Rathfriland failing to push on and increase the tempo in their play.

But 2-1 eventually became 3-1 when the experienced Stevie Coulter showed a touch of class with a sidefoot finish from Lockhart’s in swinging free-kick.

He then blotted his copy book, however, when he fouled an opponent in the box, and the penalty was dispatched by their superbly-coiffed young striker.

But Rathfriland increased their advantage when Jack Graham flew up the line quicker than a rabbit at a greyhound meet and struck a ferocious shot into the net.

And the Whites got a fifth when Lockhart left two defenders looking for a stool at the clubhouse bar before squaring to Wilson to slot home for his double.

Darren McGrath did all the hard work for the Rangers’ sixth, as his shot was parried into the path of substitute Nathan McConnell to finish.

The showing was an encouraging one ahead of tonight’s (Tuesday) Mid-Ulster Cup quarter-final away to Warrenpoint Town.

MOTM: Ally Wilson

RATHFRILAND: Mark Winstone, Jonny Roy, Conor Larkin, Stevie Coulter, Jack Graham, David Graham, Peter McCann, Jonathan Scannell, Thomas Lockhart, James Costello, Ally Wilson. Subs: Daryl Evans, Nathan McConnell, Darren McGrath.