RATHFRILAND Rangers hosted Rathfern Rangers in their last home league fixture of the season and after the ninety minutes deservedly ran out 3–1 winners.
Ally Beck gave Rangers an early lead with a slightly deflected shot and then Ally Wilson put them 2–0 up with two minutes to make it 2–0.
The home side then lost captain Kevin Henry to injury with the evergreen Paul Gibbons replacing him in the centre of the pitch.
The Rathcoole side never really threatened in the first period as Wilson again went close with a shot blocked on the line and Ryan Evans also went close. Paul Brown was always lively with his pacey runs but the visiting `keeper was at his best before half time with another two great stops although Glenn Waddell had to clear one off the line to prevent the visitors from pulling a goal back. In the second period Rathfriland continued where they left off with a two headers testing the `keeper again but Rathfriland`s David Wilton pulled off the save of the match with a flying point blank save from the No 10 parrying it over the crossbar in the process – a world class save.
Evans and Beck continued to threaten on the flanks but Scott Ward got on the end of a cross to head in Rathfriland`s third and effectively seal the points. Rathfern though never gave up and pulled a goal back within minutes when the central midfielder went on a super run finishing it off with an even better long range strike to make the score 3–1. This was another three points to keep in touch in the promotion race with the game really being won in the first ten minutes with those two early strikes. Next stop Dunmurry YM on Tuesday evening.
Team: David Wilton, Simon McWilliams, Neville Gibbons, Glenn Waddell, Aaron Marks, Kevin Henry, Scott Ward, Ryan Evans, Paul Brown, Ally Beck, Ally Wilson.
Subs: Paul Gibbons, Paul Walsh, Brian Adair.