Rangers go top of the league with win
Banbridge Rangers 8
BANBRIDGE Rangers moved to the top of Intermediate B last Friday with an impressive victory over mid table rivals Broomhedge at Cheney Park.
Geordie McCallister side have now gone unbeaten in the league since November 7 and have six matches remaining to continue their push for a place in Mid Ulster’s top stream for next season.
The crowd of almost 100 spectators didn't have to wait long on the first goal of the night, coming from a free kick just inside the Banbridge half after Scottie Ward was brought down late. Captain Chris Loney had the vision to pick out Chambers unmarked at the back post who chested the ball before unleashing an unstoppable half volley to give Rangers a lead after only 10 minutes.
Rangers had a let off several minutes later when Broomhedge missed a great opportunity with their striker skying the ball from four yards out.
Rangers kept the tempo high and on 25 minutes Bradley Hughes was released down the left hand side on a quick counter attack. Hughes carried the ball into the 'hedge box before cutting inside his marker and sliding the ball under the 'keeper to double Rangers lead.
Bradley Hughes continued his impressive display creating the third of the match after dispossessing the away right back. Hughes retrieved the ball on the byline before picking out fellow winger James Beck who fired home Rangers third.
Rangers were forced into a change on the left hand side with Wayne McAllister replacing William Frazer with about 10 minutes remaining to the half and had a further setback when Broomhedge were rewarded with a goal to reduce Rangers lead.
The Broomhedge resistance lasted all of three minutes when Jason Gourley broke free lifting the ball over the last man and smashing past the keeper to extended Rangers lead to three goals again leaving the score at 4-1 going into half time.
After the interval Rangers were brimming with confidence and with less than five minutes on the clock Jason Gourley controlled a long ball on the edge of six yard box before placing the ball into the far top corner for arguably the best the on the night.
On 55 minutes Rangers hit their sixth of the night when Wayne McAllister came in off the right hand side and blasted his shot low and hard beating the 'keeper at his near post with his sublime left foot.
With an hour on the clock Rangers display of attacking prowess was showing no bounds and when another surging run from Scott Ward released John McCahon there was only going to be one end product.
McCahon fired his cross along the front of goal line for Jason Gourley to slot home from two yards out. Fortuitously for the prolific striker his shot was mistimed but the spin on the ball saved his blushes and secured his third hat trick of the season.
Broomhedge lifted their game after this and could have got a second consolation only for a timely intervention by Jonny Porter who was as consistent as ever alongside Chambers at centre half.
With 15 minutes remaining John McCahon put his name to the score sheet with a fine free kick from the edge of the area after sub James McCallister was pushed after going through on goal.
Rangers carried the high tempo to the end of the match raining shots in on the away 'keeper who pulled off a string of saves to keep the score in single figures.
Banbridge Rangers have a weekend off before returning to action in the Wilson Cup at home against Seagoe Utd who inflicted two of Rangers three defeats in the league this season with a semi final against Hanover on the cards awaiting the winner.