U18s end campaign on a high

BANBRIDGE Rangers Under 18s finished their league campaign on Saturday by hosting Crumlin United who are joint top of the sixteen team Mid Ulster Juvenile Division alongside Armagh City.

After a poor opening half to the season the Under 18s fortunes turned around after Christmas and saw them join the top six in the league who had created a significant gap from the rest of the pack.

After three minutes Jordan McCracken opened the scoring for Banbridge Rangers with a superb volley inside the box from a Lee McCullough corner.

Within five minutes the game was reversed by Crumlin scoring twice in quick succession through some hesitation at the back and soon followed up with a third on the ten minute mark in a pulsating start to the game at the Tech. Banbridge Rangers lost Kyle Sergeant to injury midway through the half and after a reshuffle Rangers started to gain their composure back but lost a fourth goal on the half hour mark with left winger Ciaran supplying a perfectly weighted ball in between the keeper and back four.

At this stage it looked like Crumlin would take control of the game but attitude of the Rangers players remained positive and Jordan McCracken fired home his second of the day to reduce the visitors lead.

Ten minutes into the second half saw Crumlin score again to make it 5-2 to put the game further out of sight for the Gers. Manager Ryan Gregg changed a few of the players around releasing goalkeeper Adam Johnston up front alongside McCracken who finished off his hattrick slotting past the keeper to make it 5-3.

With fifteen minutes to go Adam Johnston was sent through one on one with the keeper and finished like a true striker to remarkably bring the score back to 5-4. Banbridge Rangers pilled on the pressure with McCracken and Johnston both being denied by the keeper when in search of the equaliser.