RATHFRILAND Rangers travelled to Markethill Swifts in yet another cup match on Saturday past leaving it to the second period of the game to seal the victory to the next round of the Bob Radcliffe.
The lure of an away fixture to Newry City in the next round certainly would have been enough to wet the appetite to progress to the next round of one of the most prestigious cup competitions in local football.
In the first half Rathfriland made it hard for themselves as they threatened to break down a dogged Markethill side who were industrious in their work ethic and application.
The supply was often good but Wilson and Beck both went close with headers while the home side had Rathfriland goalkeeper Shane Harrison at full stretch on more than one occasion.
A Ryan Evans cross was headed back towards goal by Stevie Munn but Ally Wilson`s stab was hacked off the line.
Markethill then had Harrison down to his right while before half time Ally Beck had the home number one doing likewise.
On the restart the visitors kept grinding away but the front pair of Wilson and Beck continued to be frustrated with the lack of a clinical gloss to the positive approach play.
The deadlock, however, was broken on the 75 minute mark – a Munn long ball was flicked on by Wilson to Beck with the latter retrieving the ball to slot home for 1–0.
This goal would signal the beginning of the end for Markethill in this competition as soon after debutant Ally Evans fed Michael Greene who fired hard and low into the box for Scott Ward to poke home for his second of the season.
With the game virtually wrapped up Ally Wilson got his second goal when he again combined with Beck to slot low into the net.
The game wasn’t a classic but Rathfriland put in a professional performance – they made hard work of it at times but a n away tie to Newry City in two weeks time was just reward for their afternoons work.
TEAM: Harrison, A Evans, Waddell, Munn, P Evans. Ward, R Evans, Henry, Beck, Wilson. Jess. Subs: Bell, Greene.