9 °CMon, 10

Rangers knocked out of fourth Cup in four weeks

Louise McDowell

Reporter:

Louise McDowell

Rathfriland Rangers2 (Scannell, Roy)

Rectory Rangers5

Rathfriland Rangers entertained Intermediate B side Rectory Rangers in the Bob Radcliffe Cup on Saturday 6 October and were humbled by a 5-2 score line by the Portadown natives.

A truly disastrous result for the Whites in a competition they all but reached the final of last year before being expelled for a breach of rules.

Manager Aaron Black shuffled his pack once again with the surprise inclusion of himself in the starting line-up after an injury to McAlinden in training during the week. Marty Havern returned after a recent injury and took his place up front alongside Costello. Richard Henning also made his competitive debut for the Whites in place of the suspended Ferguson.

A glorious sunny day provided the platform for what was expected to be a competitive game with plenty of goals and the eventuality was just that.

The game was only 15 minutes old when Rectory struck first after a defensive mix-up between Black and Graham which resulted in their striker steering the ball past Henning in the Rathfriland goal.

After a small period of regrouping the Whites pulled level. A dipping ball was shielded by Costello in the box and he was clattered into. Johnny Roy stepped up and blasted the equaliser home.

The Whites seemed to have regained composure and within 10 minutes were in front in the tie when a looping corner fell to Johnboy Scannell to deliciously volley home.

On 40 minutes Teggart picked up a knee injury which resulted in him being replaced by O’Neill who went on to have an inspiring game. The half ended with the Whites picking up a series of yellow cards including one for left back Jack Graham.

Half-time 2-1

Manager Black was forced into another change at half-time when Havern, who was being eased back into action following his return from injury, was replaced with McCallister.

The home fans would have been forgiven for thinking that the second half would have been the Whites controlling the game with additional goals but how football can be a funny old game.

On 65 minutes the Whites hit the self-destruct button. Jack Graham lunged into a needless challenge which resulted in a second yellow card and a dismissal. From this moment on Rangers will want to forget what happened next.

On 70 minutes Rectory were awarded a free kick 30 yards out which Andy Mallen swung into the top corner past Henning. Within five minutes the away side were in front when their striker skipped past two challenges to slot past the onrushing Henning.

At 3-2 the Whites were shell shocked and lost all composure and shape. Clambering to try and steal a goal back they were caught advanced up the pitch allowing Rectory to again sneak in at the back and provide a one-on-one opportunity which their striker gleefully accepted and scored.

At 4-2 Rectory were not done and inflicted more damage on the Whites when they raced clear and again scored past the helpless Henning.

The full time whistle came to a dramatic game which seen the Whites notoriously dumped out of their fourth cup in the last four weeks.

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