Doubles for Ally Wilson and Thomas Lockhart helped top-of-the-table Rathfriland Rangers demolish Dunmurry Rec at Ashley Park on Saturday.
The attacking duo were too hot for their opponents to handle, with Aaron Black and Jonathan Scannell adding a goal apiece to compound the home side’s misery.
The victory ensured the Whites remain at the summit of NAFL 1A, level on points with second-placed Lisburn Rangers but with four games in hand.
Wilson opened the scoring within five minutes of the kick-off, slamming home a penalty after Lockhart was brought down by the Rec ‘keeper.
And even though the Rec saw more of the ball and had the better of the territory in the first half, the Whites doubled their advantage just before the break when centre-half Black surged forward and cooly applied a perfect finish to a superb team move.
Lockhart notched his first on the hour, collecting a long punt forward from Rathfriland ‘keeper Shane Harrison before driving the ball into the corner of the net.
And he doubled his tally momemts later, rolling in a pinpoint effort from the edge of the box.
Scannell added a fifth with 16 minutes remaining when he sunk the ball from six yards after Ross Black’s corner fell kindly to him.
And in the final minute, Lockhart almost clinched his hat-trick, only to see his rasping shot bounce back of the bar, but Wilson was on hand to follow it up for goal number six.
A thumping win against a side that are flying high in the league was a statement of intent from Rathfriland, and opponents will be wary of the firepower the Whites possess.
But this was also a fifth consecutive clean sheet for Harrison and his back four, and that ability to blunt attacks could stand them well as the title run-in nears.