Brady’s brace leaves Gers three points clear after victory over champions

Banbridge Rangers are sittiing pretty at the top of the table. INBL1538-249PB
Banbridge Rangers are sittiing pretty at the top of the table. INBL1538-249PB

Banbridge Rangers have moved three points clear at the top of Intermediate A after seeing off the defending champions.

Tandragee Rovers were the visitors to Cheney Park but went down 4-2 after Rangers twice came from behind with Jeff Brady netting a brace.

Jeff Brady scored twice at Cheney Park. INBL1538-252PB

Jeff Brady scored twice at Cheney Park. INBL1538-252PB

Rovers had started like a house on fire with Mark Bicker capitalising on sloppy defending to curl in after only three minutes.

Within the next ten minutes Rangers had three players booked and conceeded a penalty and it looked like the game was beyond them, even at that early stage. However, goalkeeper Ivon Blevins produced heroics to save Lee Wells’ penalty.

Blevins was the only one keeping the score down as he made several good saves including a fingertip save from a Corbett header.

In stoppage time at the end of the first half, captain Colin Cousins rattled the bar with an overhead kick but in reality the Gers should have been well out of sight.

Banbridge Rangers Chairman John Patterson handed over a cheque for �130 towards the Rhizo Kids charity on Saturday. Local toddler Emily Morrison, of Ballyroney, was diagnosed with Rhizomelic Chondrodysplasia Punctata and the club were able to add to the fundraising day. Accepting the donation for Rhizo Kids is Alan McMinn Jnr who brought his Massey Ferguson tractor into Cheney Park after taking part in the Tractor Run at the Corbet.  Also included are Alan McMinn Snr and club secretary Mark Wilson.

Banbridge Rangers Chairman John Patterson handed over a cheque for �130 towards the Rhizo Kids charity on Saturday. Local toddler Emily Morrison, of Ballyroney, was diagnosed with Rhizomelic Chondrodysplasia Punctata and the club were able to add to the fundraising day. Accepting the donation for Rhizo Kids is Alan McMinn Jnr who brought his Massey Ferguson tractor into Cheney Park after taking part in the Tractor Run at the Corbet. Also included are Alan McMinn Snr and club secretary Mark Wilson.

A determination to make amends in the second half began with a quick equaliser as Jeff Brady diverted in a Cousins half-volley.

Tandragee Rovers regained their lead within three minutes through a fine effort from Simon McClean from 25 yards.

Rangers’ second equaliser came almost immediately as Stephen Teggart fed Cousins into the channel and his toe poked snap shot caught Rovers keeper Richard McGivern flat footed and sneaked into the bottom corner.

With their tails up, Rangers drove forward with some superb one touch football and eventually created the goal to move them in front for the first time. A combination by substitute Neil Clydesdale and Brady saw the ball make its way to Jonny Porter at the edge of the box and with his back to goal he teed up Andy Mallen who stroked the ball into the bottom corner with ease.

In the final ten minutes the three points were wrapped up by Brady who was able to score a rebound after his ball to Teggart was initially saved.

Banbridge Rangers have now beaten last year’s winners and runners-up in one of the best starts in years. If they can beat Crewe United at Cheney Park this Saturday they are guaranteed to move six points clear before the Irish Cup game against Seapatrick.

Man of the Match was Ivon Blevins, who made the comeback possible with his first half saves. A huge thank you to Captain Cooks who generously sponsored the match day at Cheney Park on Saturday.

RANGERS: Blevins, O’Neill (Dodds 88), Chambers, Gregg, Frazer, Porter (Crooks 86), Teggart, Ward (Clydesdale 58), Mallen, Brady, Cousins.