Rangers narrowly beaten in Border Cup final

Rathfriland Rangers were left deflated after narrowly losing 1-0 to Derriaghy CC in the festive Border Regiment Cup Final at Seaview.

Rathfriland FC captain Ross Black and Derriaghy CC captain with referee before kick off

Despite being favourites, it will not be remembered as being the most entertaining cup finals but Rathfriland will be disappointed that they never really got going in their usual vein of neat football – once their fellow Premier League team got their noses in front with a goal mid way through the first half they had something to hold on to and fight for – a goal that ultimately decided the contest.

In the fifth minute Rathfriland’s Adam Neale fired a low shot wide of the post while at the other end Rathfriland goalkeeper McMullan pulled off a fine save from a downward header. Rathfriland had other attempts on goal but unfortunately not on target with Neale, Holloway, Fitzpatrick and Graham all failing to make the opposition’s keeper work.

Derriaghy forced a stream of corners as they proved to be a handful from set pieces but on the 34 minutes they broke away with Rathfriland having various opportunities to clear and in failing to do so allowed Ethan Taggart to steal in and fire low in to the bottom corncob to make it 1-0.

Match officials lead out the teams

Rathfriland’s only other chance of getting on the scoresheet in the first half was Adam Neale running in at the back post after a great ball in from the left hand side.

In the second period Derriaghy’s No 11 made a great run and long range effort which McMullan held on to and then they head on to the roof of the net from a corner – the men in blue continued to look the most likely to score.

A great ball in from the left by Fitzpatrick had Adam Neale sliding in “Gazza Euro 96” style at the back post but he just failed to connect with Scannell then firing another low shot wide of the target.

McMullan also had to rush out of his goal to close down the Derriaghy No 9 although Rathfriland forced two corner but as with previous attempts they failed to hit the target.

Teams enter the Seaview pitch for Border Cup Final

In the end Derriaghy held out to be 1 – 0 winners of the 2021 Border Cup – a cup final that will not live long in the memory for the Rathfriland team or the fantastic large contingent of Rathfriland supporters. Congratulations to them however on getting there especially after the memorable semi final against Crumlin Star.

TEAM:

Rathfriland Rangers: Bryan McMullan, Danny Devlin, Jack Graham, Brian Johnston, Ross Black (Captain), Jordan Hayes, Ruairi Fitzpatrick, Andy Kilmartin, John Scannell, Adam Neale, Matthew Holloway.

Subs: Sam McCallister, Rhys Kelly, Jesse Carson.

Teams line out before kick off
Rathfriland Rangers team photo before kick off with mascot Rathfriland FC Youth player Nathan Groves
Jack Graham lines up to take a free kick.
Derriaghy CC photographed before kick off
A big thank you to the large turn out of Rathfriland FC supporters
Dejected Rathfriland players and management after the final whistle
The Rathfriland Rangers players collect their runners up medals
Derriaghy CC celebrate their 1-0 victory