Feeney’s faith in young stars pays dividends for Banbridge Rangers

Banbridge Rangers' Jonny Porter celebrates scoring against Seapatrick
Banbridge Rangers' Jonny Porter celebrates scoring against Seapatrick

Banbridge Rangers made their shortest journey of the season when they travelled to Havelock Park aiming to keep up an impressive record of never being beaten by their rivals from Seapatrick in any competition.

Seapatrick manager Ian McDowell was taking charge of his first derby game, as was Banbridge Rangers manager Lee Feeney. McDowell opted for experience bringing in Brian Adair and Glenn Waddell.

Feeney opted for youth with 17 year old Matthew Holloway justifying his second start in a row with a superb brace of goals in the first half and 18 year old Stephen Teggart who played a vital role in all three goals.

It was the Village side who had the better of the opening quarter of an hour with neither side being allowed time to settle on the ball.

As Banbridge Rangers grew into the game the pendulum was starting to swing when a shot from Teggart, which looked to be going well wide, was turned in by an outstretched leg of Matthew Holloway to give Banbridge Rangers the lead in the 22nd minute.

With five minutes to go until the break, a corner routine for Banbridge Rangers saw a host of bodies rush into the six yard box which allowed Jeff Brady the room to fire a low shot into the box.

As the ball headed towards goal and with McGrath about to save Holloway stepped in front of the ball and flicked into the far bottom corner.

Seapatrick got a goal back in the 84th minute after a swift counter attack but the village side was unable to press home their advantage.

Banbridge sealed all three points right on the stroke of full time after Teggart streaked down the left wing and crossed low for Porter to hammer home the third.

Banbridge Rangers travel to Lisburn on Saturday to face Ballymacash whilst Seapatrick are also on the road against Tandragee Rovers.

BRFC Team: Ryan McConville, Ben Wilson, Nathan Baird, Chris Chambers, William Frazer, Colin Cousins, Jeff Brady, Stephen Teggart, Matthew Holloway (Jonny O’Neill ‘72), Dean Spence (Scott Ward ‘81) & Colin Cunningham (Jonny Porter ‘61). Subs not used: Mark Wilton & Lee Feeney.

Referee: Kenny Tipping (Lurgan).

Banbridge Rangers Reserves 2-4 St Marys Reserves

Banbridge Rangers Reserves bowed out of the Wilmor Johnston Cup on Saturday after going down 3-2 to St Marys Reserves at Cheney Park.

Rangers Reserves started very brightly with a few chances falling the way off the home side. Aaron Chambers put the best of these chances just past the post after six minutes.

St Mary’s grew into the game and effectively used their pacey striker to create an opening but when he was denied by a top save from Jonathan Parkes the rebound was blasted in from close range by their other striker who reacted quickest.

The Gers were playing decent football but conceeded a second goal from a St Marys corner which was headed in at the back post before half time.

A change at half time saw Bradley Harper come on to give the Gers some impetus up front and within five minutes the arrears were halved. A cross was handled by a St Marys defender and Aaron Chambers confidently dispatched to make it 2-1 and get the home team fired up.

In the 53rd minute the tie was level as Dean Gordon, making his first start after injury, danced past several challenges before executing the finish.

Banbridge Rangers looked much more likely to grab a winner as the game progressed but were caught on a break to make it 3-2 and then when pushing for an equaliser in the 87th minute the Gers were punished further by St Marys who secured a 4-2 victory.

Next up for the Reserves is a trip to Kilkeel to play Valley Rangers Reserves in the amid Ulster Shield. The winner on Saturday will book a place in the Quarter Finals and kick off at Ballinran is at 1.30pm.

BRFC Team: Jonathan Parkes, Russell Hilland, Matthew McCrum, Ryan Woods, Wayne McAllister, James McCann, Daniel McKinstry, Matthew Dodds, William Davidson, Aaron Chambers & Dean Gordon. Subs: Bradley Harper, James Monteith, Jason Adamson & Matthew Smyth.