Reserves hit for six and dumped out of Johnston Cup

BANBRIDGE Rangers Reserves exited the Wilmor Johnston Cup at the Quarter Final stage last Friday night when they travelled to take on a very strong Armagh City Reserve team.

The match was switched from Tuesday to Friday evening as the weather dictated that a 3G pitch would be the only sure way of fulfilling the fixture.

In the opening 15 minutes there was very little between the two teams as a fired up Rangers side knew they had to come out of the blocks flying to deny one of the best teams in Mid Ulster this season.

Andy Mallen had two efforts from long range test the keepers bearings and at the other end Jonny Parkes plucked two efforts out of the air with good positioning.

As the half wore on Banbridge Rangers inability to keep hold off the ball in midfield allowed Armagh City to push them back further into their own half. On 28 minutes the first goal arrived through a counter attack with some very free flowing football from Armagh. Rangers had three corners to test Armagh within the next five minutes but high deliveries saw them come to nothing.

With nine minutes remaining off the half Armagh City worked another clear shooting opportunity with a late midfield runner beating the offside trap with to slot under Rangers keeper.

The second half was always going to be an uphill battle for Rangers young squad who were limited to two shots from Chambers and Mallen at the edge of the box in the opening ten minutes. Armagh City found the back off the net on 57 minutes to make it 3-0 and extinguished any chance of a reprise by adding to their total within four minutes. Fresh legs were introduced for the last half an hour with every Gers player working tirelessly to keep Armagh at bay but two goals in the last five minutes sealed an emphatic win and a place in the last four for Armagh City Reserves.

This Saturday Banbridge Rangers have been scheduled to play Rathfriland Swifts away and hoping it will be third time lucky as the weather has postponed this fixture twice over the Winter period. The Swifts travel to Lurgan to take on Silverwood Utd Reserves after having their away game to Broomhedge being called off last Saturday morning. Both games kick off at 2.15pm.