Bob Radcliffe Cup 1st Round Proper
Rathfriland Rangers 5
Rathfriland Rangers hosted Warrenpoint Town Reserves in the first round proper of the Bob Radcliffe Cup and after an edgy first half turned things around in the second period to win by a three goal margin in a seven goal cup fixture.
The visitors didn’t look as if they sat bottom of their league table as in the early stages they pushed Rathfriland to the limit, and they were rewarded with a 10th minute goal when a double attempt from close range eventually hit the back of the net to make it 1 - 0.
The Warrenpoint ‘keeper, however, was in tremendous form with a couple of great saves but he couldn’t do anything to stop Ross Black’s equaliser from 20 yards on the half hour mark.
Disappointment, however, registered again for Rangers when they conceded a second within two minutes when the No 10 netted with a neat finish from inside the box bringing the score back to 2 - 1 a scoreline which remained until half time.
Manager Clifford Sterritt unhappy with his side’s performance rang the changes with three substitutions at the break, and it must have pleased him with the second half performance being much more of the standard expected.
On 55 minutes “The Whites” found their second equaliser of the day when a great touch and lay off by James Costello to Ally Wilson, saw the latter’s shot nestle just inside the post for an accurate finish.
The visiting ‘keeper again made an excellent stop from Tommy Lockart but the home side took the lead when Lee Feeney’s chip to the back post saw Connor Larkin rise highest to head home to put rathfriland 3 - 2 up.
John Scanell and Darren McGrath were typically industrious but were frustrated with further clearances by the ‘Point rearguard.
Rathfriland then were awarded a penalty which Ally Wilson duly despatched to make it 4 - 2 and a further neat exchange between Wilson and captain Costello had the latter beat the outstretched goalkeeper with a calm finish leaving the final score at 5 - 2 and a tie with Lurgan Celtic the last sixteen of the competition.
Overall a shaky start by Rathfriland maybe under estimating manager Ronnie Haughey’s men but once they got their style and shape albeit after a half time pep talk they deservedly went on to win the game.
Team was as follows:
Shane Harrison, Peter Markey, Decky Allister, Connor Larkin, Aaron Black, Ross Black, John Scanell, Tommy Lockart, Darren Mc Grath, James costello, Karl McVerry.
Subs were as follows:
Lee Feeney, Ally Wilson, Chris Havern.