Banbridge Rangers’ first team weren’t the only ones tonet nine goals last week.
Their U16s proved just as ruthless in front of goal with a 9-1 victory over Rathfriland, a result that got them back to winning ways after their disappointing draw with Annagh United the previous week.
The game started evenly enough only for the breakthrough to go Rangers’ way when Matthew Dodds drove through the heart of the Rathfriland midfield and played in Matthew Smylie who scored a trademark goal when he cut in onto his right foot from 20yards out with his strike sailing past the keeper.
Rangers went 2-0 up when again Matthew Dodds was provider as he slipped the ball through to Bradley Harper who closed in on goal and placed the ball round the out-rushing keeper into the back of the net.
With Rangers now two up, they piled on the pressure to get more before half-time and they soon got another goal when Matthew Holloway broke down the right and crossed the ball for Andrew Trimble who neatly finished past the keeper.
Rangers were able to get another before the break with the move of the match. Danny McCallen received the ball at right back and played forward to Holloway. He then played a quick one-two with McCallen who sent Holloway down the right again who took on his man and drilled the ball low and hard into the box for Bradley Harper to tap in for his second of the day.
The second half started brightly for Rangers with Andrew Trimble getting his second. A Rathfriland defender received the ball from a throw in and was put under pressure by Matthew Dodds who stole the ball, dashed down the wing and crossed into Andrew who tucked the ball past the keeper.
Five minutes later Simon McAllister was introduced into the game and was able to get on the score-sheet with his first touch of the game. The ball was played over the top by Daniel McCallen and got a nick from the Rathfriland defender to fall into Simon’s path. He made no mistake and slotted into the bottom corner.
Straight from kick-off, Rangers got their seventh of the day when Ryan Woods scored an absolute screamer on his debut. He stole the ball from the Rathfriland midfielder just inside the Rathfriland half, looked up, saw the keeper of his line and lobbed him from all of 35 yards. What a way to introduce yourself to the team.
With Rangers in control, a double substitution was made to freshen up the team and this change soon paid dividends when David Barr received the ball from centre half Reuben Cobb. He then turned his man and out hit a 25 yard strike that flew straight into the top corner, certainly another contender for goal of the season.
Rangers were then hit on the counter attack by Rathfriland and with a well-worked move conceded their first goal in nearly six hours of football.
Within minutes, Rangers were on the score-sheet again when David Barr danced through three challenges inside the box and smashed home. Rangers had two late chances through Alex Cochrane and Reuben Cobb to make it to double figures but were unable to increase the tally.
Although there were plenty of goals scored, it was right back Danny McCallen who was awarded Man of the Match after a superb and consistent performance in a position that was new to him.