Banbridge Rangers U17s edged out top of the table Greenisland 1-0 on Saturday thanks to Braldey Harper’s early goal.
It took just 20 minutes for Rangers to bag what turned out to be the winning goal.
The Greenisland left back took too much time on the ball with Matthew Holloway winning possession for the Gerd.
He played the ball to David Barr, who squared itl to Bradley Harper inside the box and the scorer hit his shot clinically on the turn into the bottom corner.
Greenisland were determined to equalise before the break but two big saves from Rangers keeper Nathan Hutchinson kept Rangers in the lead.
The first save of the game for the Hutchinson came when a Greenisland striker was played through one on one with Nathan making himself big and blocking the shot.
Moments later, he was called into action again when he tipped a shot onto the crossbar with his defenders able to clear the rebound and ensure their side’s lead remained intact.
Just before half time Rangers could’ve extended their leave, when Bradley Harper squared the ball to David Barr inside the box whos quick snap shot looked destined for the back of the net only for the keeper to pull of a good save.
At half time left back Dean McIlvena was brought on to make him first appearance of the season after picking up an ankle injury during pre season.
His deliveries from set pieces were causing the Greenisland defence all sorts of problems with Rangers twice going close with headers from corners.
The second half was more of a midfield battle with limited chances created until Greenisland themselves nearly scored from a corner when they played the ball short then drilled it across the 6 yard box only for Daniel McKinstry to clear the ball on the line.
With 15 minutes remaining Ranger brought on new signing Morgan Dodds to make his debut for the club and he was close to scoring on him debut only for his shot blocked on the line.
In a smart exchange between James McCann and Matthew Dodds from a corner, James was able to bring the ball into the box and hit a low cross into the path of Morgan who hit his shot first time, which was going into the bottom corner only for it to be blocked on the line.
Greenisland pushed forward to try and get a late equaliser but the Rangers defence and goalkeeper Hutchinson were able to hold strong and keep their first clean sheet of the season.