Banbridge Rangers suffered a 4-1 defeat at Camlough Rovers on Saturday and can only have a lack of clinical finishing to blame.
The same can’t be said for Rovers marksman Declan Monaghan who scored a hat-trick from his three clear-cut chances.
The opening half hour saw the Gers dictate much of the tempo with Camlough chasing shadows but defending resiliently. On 18 minutes, Rangers had a penalty appeal turned away after Jeff Brady went down just inside the box.
Banbridge Rangers had a succession of set-pieces but were unable to convert any of the free-kicks or corners presented and on 28 minutes the opening goal arrived for Camlough against the run of play.
A floated cross from right back into the area saw Harker unchallenged but when he went to palm the ball down after trying to pluck it out of the air and Monaghan was on hand to tap in once it came his way.
Camlough were on top for the next five minutes as the Gers regrouped and got their rythym going again before the interval.
When the teams came out for the second half, they were greeted to an onslaught of rain along with the crossfield breeze but it didn’t stop the goals flowing as three were scored within four minutes of the restart.
The Gers were made to pay for two defensive errors within the opening 30 seconds when a ball was played into the left channel and the low cross was miskicked allowing John Grant to blast home Camlough’s second of the day.
On 48 minutes, Camlough went 3-0 ahead when Monaghan was played into the channel and he finished with deadly accuracy.
The Gers were given a lifeline almost straight from the restart when Jeff Brady burst onto a through ball from Mallen but was taken out by a Camlough defender inside the box and Chris Chambers stepped up to rifle the penalty into the top corner.
Camlough looked disorientated with the goal and two minutes later the arrears should have been reduced. Beattie was presented with an open goal at the back post but his shot went into the turf before bouncing just over the bar.
On 56 minutes, a shot from Coly Cousins looked bound for the top corner only for Camlough keeper Joe Goodwill to get a hand to it. Then Chambers saw a looping header cleared off the line to Mark Wilton who repeated Beattie’s feat by striking the ball into the ground and seeing it bounce inches over the bar.
Camlough defended well and despite the Gers making several changes they were unable to turn further attacks into goals and were then hit for a fourth goal on the counter attack in stoppage time with Monaghan securing his hat-trick.
This Saturday is the second derby game of the season between Banbridge Rangers and Seapatrick with kick off at 2.15pm at Cheney Park.