Seapatrick are down as Rangers earn a draw

Seapatrick were relegated to Intermediate B on Saturday after a tense 1-1 derby draw with Banbridge Rangers at Cheney Park condemned them to a bottom two finish.

It took a late Chris McEvoy goal to give Seapatrick a point but they did put in a late, late rally for survival only for two superb saves from Steven McMinn to ensure Rangers remain above them in the table and leave them to relegation.

In the first half, Banbridge Rangers had the edge in terms of possession and chances with Ryan McIlroy firing over from an inswinging Dean Mallen on 15 minutes.

Some good work down the left hand side saw Mark Wilton latch onto a loose ball inside the area on 28 minutes but his shot on the turn was blocked. The ball then spun fortuitously into the path of Rangers striker Colin Cousins and he certainly took full advantage of that by blasting past McGrath for the opening goal.

On 36 minutes, Banbridge Rangers had a penalty appeal turned down when they felt Jonny O’Neill was bundled over in the box when trying to shield the ball.

After the half-time break, the first opportunity of the second period presented itself to Banbridge Rangers with centre half Ryan Gregg heading a clearance into the path of Gareth Fulton but his toe poked shot was well saved by Seapatrick stopper McGrath.

Seapatrick were on the counter-attack almost immediately with Cunningham being slipped in behind the last defender and he tried to curl around Rangers keeper McMinn but was denied by a superb save.

The chance gave Seapatrick a lift and with Rangers being run in centre midfield, they began to put pressure on the Gers defence. On 65 minutes, winger McEvoy found himself one on one with Steven McMinn but his shot was saved by the Gers keeper’s feet.

Several changes failed to lift a Banbridge Rangers side devoid of shape and stamina and when a Seapatrick winger pulled back from the byline with eight minutes to go, McEvoy was on hand to blast into the top corner and give the visitors hope that they might just be able to come back and hold onto their Intermediate A status.

Neither side was able to create a match winning chance in the final minutes and both teams finished with a point apiece.

Banbridge Rangers have another big game this Wednesday evening in Glenavy against Crewe United who are just above them in the table. Kick-off is at 7.45pm.