Rathfriland Rangers victims of cup upset

Thomas Lockhart was on target last weekend. Pic: Rathfriland FC

Thomas Lockhart was on target last weekend. Pic: Rathfriland FC

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Rathfriland Rangers suffered a chastening defeat to NAFL 1B side Grove United in Belfast to end hopes of a repeat of last year’s heroics in the country’s top cup competition.

The Whites took on Crusaders in round five last season but a generally slack performance cost them their first defeat of the season on Saturday.

On target for Paul Kirk’s men were Jonathan Scannell (2), Thomas Lockhart and David Graham, but poor spot-kicks in the shootout meant it would be an early exit.

Lockhart struck a wonder-goal to level the scores just after the half-hour, his dipping volley crashing over the line off the underside of the bar.

And Scannell made it 2-1 before half-time when he lifted a shot over the keeper. Grove levelled on 89 minutes and took a 4-2 lead in extra-time.

Graham and Scannell hauled Rangers level but eventually paid the penalty for a poor shoot-out.