Title hopes remain

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Title hopes remain thumbnailRangers’ own James Costello in action at Iveagh Park.

THIS game was a repeat of the previous week's fixture with a very similar result. The Whites rounded off a great week with a comfortable 3-0 home win to keep their title hopes alive.

Rathfriland made changes to the starting line up, with Kane and Scannell coming in for the suspended Wilson and Larkin. Gracey continued in goal with the injured Harrison hoping to return to action soon.

The game kicked off in beautiful conditions with both teams enjoying early spells of possession. Rathfriland took the lead with the first goal of the game when Ryan Kane's free kick beat the 'keeper but crashed off the crossbar and striker Costello followed up to slot home.

The visitors then had a couple of notable chances of their own, which Gracey had to deal with. A. Black and Evans were defending against a tricky Foundary striker in Michael Chines, but they thwarted any threat the veteran striker tried to establish.

Johnboy Scannell was his usual busy self in midfield trying to orchestrate bustling runs to aid the front men of Kane and Costello.

The Whites nearly had a second when some neat interplay from Ross bBack and Costello resulted in the later clipping a ball into Teggart for a clear run on goal, but a fantastic last ditch tackle dispossessed young Teggart and left him frustrated.

Half time came with a 1-0 scoreline to the home team.

The sun was splitting the trees for both teams to grace the hallowed Iveagh turf and the second half produced a footballing spectacle which both sets of fans would have enjoyed.

The Whites started the half brightly and carved open the Foundary defence on several occasions. Teggart should have produced a better finish after a good run by Costello, but he failed to find the target when through on goal.

The fighting fit Stevie Coulter was having great joy rampaging up the right side for the Whites and it was Coulter who broke on the wing and crossed for Costello to control, before rounding a defender and curling an effort into the corner to settle the nerves.

Once 2-0, it soon became 3-0 when Teggart burst into life and jinked his way past a Foundary defender and blasted a thunderbolt past the visiting 'keeper.

Foundary battled for a goal but couldn't break down the back five of the Whites. With the game becoming stretched, Rathfriland introduced promising 16-year-old attacking midfielder Ryan Sloane.

Sloane, a product of the Rathfriland Juniors youth system, earned a well-deserved debut for the 1st team. Indeed Sloane seemed to enjoy the occasion as his first impact on the game was a lovely turn past a Foundary defender to please the home crowd.

Edgar and J. Black were introduced into the game with both having positive impacts on seeing out the result. The game finally ended with some tempers flaring after some rash tackles, but three points was served to the home side by the final whistle by the referee.

Team: Gracey, Roy, A.Black, Evans, Graham, Coulter, R.Black, Scannell, Kane, Teggart, Costello.


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