Rangers downed in reverse of mid-week victory

Rathfriland Rangers finished on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline as they hosted Downpatrick FC at a sun-splashed Iveagh Park on Saturday.

It was perfect revenge for the visitors, who had been beaten 2-1 by Rangers just days earlier in the midweek game thanks to a Darren McGrath double.

On Saturday, Downpatrick seemed to just edge it the whole way through, if not on passages of football, certainly on desire and will to win.

There were chances at either end early on but it was Downpatrick who broke away to take the lead on 15 minutes when their forward thumped the ball low into the corner from a very acute angle.

Darren McGrath forced the away goalkeeper into a decent save with Ally Beck also making him work at the other end.

Downpatrick, though, won more of the 50:50 balls and had an edge to their game giving them the ability to create more chances in the last third.

On the half hour, the home side drew level when they were awarded a penalty when Ally Wilson was hauled down in the box, McGrath adding to his two mid-week goals with a well taken penalty.

Rathfriland lost Ian Weir and Ryan Evans to injury in the first half, which did nothing to help their cause.

The opposition regained their one goal advantage five minutes before the break when they broke away down the right and centred for the forward to force himself in front of the defender and volley into the net with a top class finish.

In the second period, Downpatrick were not letting up and came out with determination and bite to their game, which only served to confirm the difference between the teams on the day.

Rathfriland’s keeper did brilliantly to pluck a couple of dangerous crosses out of the air but the visiting keeper also made a super double save from McGrath and Lockart respectively.

Both teams had chances before the end but Rangers couldn’t force a way back.