Understrength Gers blow Windmill away

Colin Cousins tucked away Rangers' first goal on Saturday, INBL1616-260EB
Colin Cousins tucked away Rangers' first goal on Saturday, INBL1616-260EB

Banbridge Rangers progressed to the semi-finals of the Premier Cup for the third time in four seasons by defeating one of the favourites, away from home and with an undrestrength team.

Saturday’s 2-1 win against Windmill Stars came via early goals from Colin Cousins and William Frazer.

The Gers were without eight members of their squad and with two wingers playing at centre half along with three teenagers starting, it was a case of nothing to lose.

In the 10th minute though, a free kick was played into the box by Mark Wilton and it fell fortuitously for Cousins who controlled with his back to goal and execute a half volley on the turn from ten yards out to open the scoring.

A breakaway down the right wing from the industrious Dean Spence then saw a cross evade all players in the area apart from left back William Frazer who took a gamble into the box which ultimately paid dividends as his shot was diverted in to double the lead for Banbridge Rangers.

Stars immediately responded and within 60 seconds, a toe-poked shot had come off the post.

The home team were allowed to dictate play and midway through the half they halved the arrears when a McKeown shot was parried by goalkeeper Chambers and quickest to react was Joe McLaughlin who fired in the rebound from close range.

Gers had chances to extend their advantage but Stephen Teggart saw a shot saved and recent signing from Rathfriland Chrissy Havern headed wide.
At the other end, Maguire rose well to head towards the bottom corner in the 77th minute but goalkeeper Chris Chambers pulled off a tremendous save by scooping the ball out as it shaved the inside of the post.

Windmill were reduced to ten men late on when full back Shane King went over the top of the ball with a reckless lunge on Wilton.

Next up for Rangers is Dollingstown at home this Saturday in the Bob Radcliffe. Kick-off at Cheney Park is at 2pm.