RATHFRILAND Rangers hosted another cup tie at Iveagh Park on Saturday this time against another Division 1A side, Drumaness Mills.
On a bright afternoon the two teams battled hard but with little chances at either end, the games was by no means a classic compared to some of Rangers` recent fixtures.
As early as the third minute Drumaness could and should have taken the lead when the ball glanced off one of their strikers.
Ten minutes later Ally Wilson glanced a header over the crossbar while Johnny Jess also had a high rising shot well saved.
A lot of the play took place in the middle third of the pitch as the physical side to the visitors game was always cancelling out the offensive Rathfriland play.
Shane Harrison in the Rathfriland goal brilliantly clawed a cross out of the air and then set up Ryan Evans on the right but his centre was cleared.
On the half hour mark Rangers took the lead when Ally Wilson turned and neatly slotted the ball into the bottom corner to make it 1 – 0.
Before the half time whistle the visitors had a chance but the team went in at the break with Rathfriland a goal to the good.
In the second period the match continued to be a tight one with the big Drumaness defenders throwing themselves at everything that the home side would throw at them. Drumaness then drew level when they scored a carbon copy of Rathfriland`s goal with a low shot into the bottom corner of the same goal.
Rangers continued to press with both the Evans fullbacks supporting the wide players well allowing more service into the box but the final touch just did not seem to be there.
At times the match threatened to boil over with the physical side to Drumaness`s game making fr the odd yellow card. Ryan Evans then stung the hands of the `keeper with Jess and Beck also going close.
With the game looking as if it was heading for extra time Rathfriland were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box and who else other than Ally Wilson stepped up to curl a brilliant free kick into the top corner leaving the `keeper completely stranded and the final score at 2–1 to Rathfriland.
Overall a hard fought victory for Rathfriland in this competitive cup game – the game was not a classic but another Division 1A scalp will be satisfying to claim a passage to the next round of the competition.
TEAM: S Harrison, A Evans, P Evans, D Allister, G Waddell, K Henry, S Ward, R Evans, A Beck, A Wilson, J Jess. Subs: C Larkin, S Munn, A Bell.