Rangers cruise to Irish Cup win in Portaferry

Ryan Gregg put in a solid display in defence. INBL1532-224EB
Ryan Gregg put in a solid display in defence. INBL1532-224EB

Banbridge Rangers came through their Irish Cup with a 3-0 win and a glowing report away to Portaferry Rovers.

The hosts have been one of the stronger Amateur League teams in recent years with their rapid rise through the divisions but goals from Colin Cunningham, Chris Chambers and Jonny Porter sealed a win for the visitors.

Rangers signalled their intent when midfielder Jeff Brady went close by hitting the bar early on. Some nice football down the left soon led to the opening goal on 16 minutes when Cunningham deftly headed home a cross into the far corner.

Portaferry pressed hard but the centre half pairing of Ryan Gregg and captain for the day Chris Chambers stood firm and dealt with everything thrown at them.

Rangers were unlucky not to double their lead following great long range strikes by Cunningham and Andy Mallen, which both forced great saves from the home keeper.

Chris Chambers smashed an effort off the post from a corner but it remained 1-0 at half-time.

Ivon Blevins kept the Gers in front with a great one handed save and as the football pendulum usually swings in a match, the Gers were awarded a penalty seconds later.

The counter attack that followed the save saw a break through the midfield with a superb ball from Andy Mallen to Jeff Brady who was upended by the keeper with Chambers stepping up to confidently convert.

This took the heart from the hosts and more constant Rangers pressure led to goal number three. Another exquisite ball from Mallen led to a one on one for Jonny Porter, who rounded the keeper and slid home.

Jerry Philip made his second appearance of the season after jetting back from St Lucia whilst 15 year old Matthew Dodds made his Irish Cup debut from the bench along with a cameo from Richard McMinn.

It was a very solid performance against a team with a superb home record, which was exactly the reaction required after the set-back against Hanover during the week.

This Friday night the Gers are in Bob Radcliffe action away to Dungannon Swifts Reserves with kick off at 7.45pm at Stangmore Park.