Rangers close in on first title in 18 years with fine win

Rathfriland Rangers forward Ally Wilson was on the score-sheet on Saturday. Photo: Iain McDowell / Rathfriland FC

Rathfriland Rangers forward Ally Wilson was on the score-sheet on Saturday. Photo: Iain McDowell / Rathfriland FC

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Rathfriland Rangers moved to within nine points of securing their first league title in 18 years with a comfortable win over strugglers Dundonald on Saturday.

The Whites collected another three points through goals from Thomas Lockhart and James Costello in the first half and an Ally Wilson strike after the break.

Clifford Sterritt’s men played some scintillating football to claim their 17th win of the season.

The opener came after four minutes when Wilson’s long-range shot deflected off a defender and into Lockhart’s path, with the winger taking the ball in his stride and tucking it into the net.And within 20 minutes, Costello doubled the advantage.

Wilson played his strike partner through with a clever pass and Costello tucked it underneath the advancing ‘keeper.

The visiting supporters were treated to some of the Whites’ best play of the season so far, and Wilson’s goal in the second half was the cherry on top of the cake.

Ross Black swung a free-kick deep into the box that skipper Conor Larkin headed back across the goalmouth and Wilson connected with an acrobatic overhead kick to score spectacularly.

Dundonald had a chance to cut the deficit with a penalty but it was skied high over the bar.

The points were never in any danger for the Whites, though, and three more wins will guarantee them the NAFL Division 1A league title.

But there is still work to do, with a massive clash against fellow title chasers Lisburn Rangers at Iveagh Park on Saturday (30th April).