Ballymacash Rangers 0, Banbridge Rangers 3
Banbridge Rangers extended their unbeaten run to two months with a confident performance away to Ballymacash Rangers last Saturday.
Rushmore Park is one of the most difficult places to visit in the league and with Ballymacash pushing the top sides close recently, it was expected to be a physically testing afternoon.
After a very bright opening 20 minutes from the away team, it was Ballymacash who ended up having the first sight at goal. A well worked free kick saw their right winger unmarked from eight yards out with only Ryan McConville to beat but the Gers keeper got his angles spot on to make the save.
The opening goal then arrived in the 25th minute through in-form winger Matthew Holloway who followed up his brace against Seapatrick with another well worked goal. Jonny O’Neill played in Jeff Brady down the left and when his ball into Feeney was laid off at the edge of the box, Holloway curled under the keeper.
Over the next 10 minutes Rangers terrorised Ballymacash with Lee Feeney seeing a driven effort turned over the bar before Jonny Porter had a shot cleared off the line.
In the 32nd minute there was bewilderment as the referee failed to award Banbridge a penalty after the keeper tripped Matty Holloway after being rounded. Holloway looked set his second goal as all he had to do was tap the ball into the open net but ended up with a caution.
Yet ‘justice’ was served only seconds later as the keeper played the ball out from the resultant free kick on the right hand side of the box but when it fell to Colin Cousins, he sent a low drive into the far corner for 2-0.
After half time, it was much of the same as Banbridge maintained a high tempo to force Ballymacash into mistakes. In the 53rd a press on their back four by Porter allowed Feeney an opportunity but he saw his shot curl off the inside of the post.
Banbridge introduced Spence and Cunningham off the bench and they created a new wave of problems for the home side. A third goal arrived in the final minute when Cunningham was played in from the halfway line, then checked the covering defender before reversing his shot into the bottom corner.
Saturday was as good a performance as Banbridge Rangers have had this season and with momentum building, there is a lot of optimism for the new year.
‘Man of the Match’ was midfielder Johnny O’Neill who covered every blade of grass and was a driving force for the ‘Gers in front of the back four that never put a foot wrong.
Next up for Banbridge Rangers is a trip to Kilkeel for their final match of 2016. The Gers are level on points with Valley in the league and drew 1-1 in the fixture at Cheney Park earlier in the season so an evenly matched game is expected.
BRFC Team: Ryan McConville, Ben Wilson, Chris Chambers, Nathan Baird, Jeff Brady (c), Jonny O’Neill, Stephen Teggart, Colin Cousins (Danny McKinstry ‘73), Jonny Porter (Dean Spence ‘66), Lee Feeney (Colin Cunningham ‘78) & Matthew Holloway. Subs not used: William Frazer & William Davidson.