VIDEO: Watch highlights as Rangers exit Irish Cup

Andrew Mallen in recent action for Rangers INBL1540-291PB
Andrew Mallen in recent action for Rangers INBL1540-291PB

Banbridge Rangers exited the Irish Cup on Saturday away to Trojans in Londonderry, who proved too strong with several superb players amongst their ranks.

Despite the bus journey taking over two hours it was the ‘Gers who started brighter and should have taken the lead in the twelfth minute when Andy Mallen fed Colin Cunningham in behind the Trojans back four, but the ‘Gers striker hit the post after rounding the keeper.

Cunningham made no mistake ten minutes later to put Rangers 1-0 up after heading in a pin point Frazer cross from six yards out.

The goal seemed to spur Trojans into life and when the Gers made some crucial errors the home side benefitted from three goals in eight minutes.

The first was a thunderbolt from Darren McFadden who was with Institute last season in the Danske Bank Premiership and proved to be the main goal threat for much of the match.

In the 33rd minute McFadden doubled his tally and put Trojans in the lead.

Within a minute Trojans were gifted another goal this time with former Derry City midfielder Darren McCready having all the time in the world to deftly lob goalkeeper Matthew Freeburn from 15 yards.

After half time the fifth goal of the game was going to be key and despite a positive opening few minutes, Banbridge Rangers were hit on the counter attack with winger Caolan Cooley firing into the roof of the net from an impossibly acute angle.

Rangers carved out the next few chances with Cunningham seeing a curling effort towards the far top corner tipped over for a corner whilst Chambers had the Trojans keeper back peddling after a free kick from inside his own half skimmed the top of the crossbar.

With just over twenty minutes to go Neil Clydesdale sent a bouncing shot goalwards, which the keeper could only parry but Cunningham’s dink across the box failed to be converted.

A minute later the game would be well out of grasp when Stephen Teggart was shown a second yellow card and Trojans dictated much of the play from there in.

A goal line clearance from Frazer and two good stops from Freeburn denied Trojans but with three minutes to go Cooley was able to tap in a fifth goal from close range.

In stoppage time an audacious effort from McFadden could have seen the lofty hit man score a hat-trick but Freeburn proved equal to the task with an acrobatic save.

The Irish Cup dream ended for Banbridge Rangers in the Creggan but the hospitality received was superb.

This Saturday the Gers take on Tandragee Rovers in a return league fixture at Madden Road only a fortnight after a close encounter in the Premier Cup went the way of Rovers.