BANBRIDGE Rangers secured their second win in a row on Friday night past against Broomhill at Cheney Park.
This is the first time the two sides have met since the Richhill based team finished runners up to Rangers in last year’s Intermediate B League Campaign.
The win was more comfortable than the end result with the entire squad putting in another confident display led by Captain Colin Cousins who scored both goals on the night.
The opening 10 minutes play was as frenetic as expected but it was clear to see that the Gers had more of a hunger to win each individual contest and loose ball. By the midway point in the half Banbridge Rangers were in control off the game and started to press Broomhill deeper with openings being carved out down each flank.
On 22 minutes the opening arrived through some quick build up play down the left hand side where Jason Gourley checked inside his marker to deliver a pinpoint cross with the outside off his boot to Cousins who confidently sidefooted a volley into the top corner.
Broomhill sat back to contain for five minutes and almost snatched an equaliser on the counter attack but striker Richie Nesbitt misfired unopposed from inside the box.
Jason Gourley proved to be a thorn in the Broomhill side and had a close range effort well saved by the keeper with the ball spinning off his glove and across the goalline before being swept out for a corner.
On the half hour mark Rangers doubled their lead through Cousins who finished off with another driven shot after a quick exchange of passes.
The game should have been out of sight as a rattled Broomhill succumbed to a barrage of chances with Ryan Weir seeing a shot at the end of a mazy run well saved and Ryan Gregg who blasted a shot off the post after several neat one twos from centre half saw him bear down on the static keeper.
The second half started with Banbridge Rangers dictating the tempo of the game through the enigmatic partnership of Matty McKnight and Mark Wilton in the centre of midfield.
On the hour mark Chris Chambers arrowed in a free kick that was headed goalwards by a Broomhill defender who was relieved to see the ball shave the outside off the post. Mark Wilton followed suit by taking on two men wide right before cutting in a releasing an effort from 30 yards that curled outside the top corner at the last second.
Peter Dean was fortunate to receive only a caution after making a rash challenge on a Broomhill striker who was clear off the last defender but still was over yards to goal which probably influenced the refs decision. Substitute Andy McLarty then went close with five minutes to go when a cross beat the covering defender but McLarty tried to control on the chest from four yards out when a deflection of some shot would have surely beaten the sprawling keeper.
In the second minute of stoppage time Broomhill created a rare clear cut chance when a two quick passes around the box saw Ryan Harper have time to pick his spot low into the bottom corner to deny Rangers a clean sheet.
Banbridge Rangers finished with another three points in the bag to go level with fifth placed Camlough Rovers who have several games in hand but visit Cheney Park on Saturday with kick off at 12.30pm. This is still Camlough’s home fixture but their pitch will be unplayable for several weeks due to the incessant rain and they requested the switch.
Banbridge Rangers Reserves game against Annagh United Reserves will follow at 3pm on Cheney Park with the Swifts also due to play at home against Gilford Crusaders Reserves.