Rangers remain in hunt for play-off place

THIS Saturday Rathfriland Rangers have their last league game of the season – against Ballymacash Rangers at Iveagh Park.
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And there’s all to play for.

Rathfriland still have a chance of a play-off against Dergview for a place in the Championship - if they defeat the visitors and Armagh City lose at home to Lisburn Distillery.

An Armagh defeat and a Ballymacash win would see the Lisburn outfit progress to the play-off.

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Rathfriland's Matthew Holloway collects his award after being named on the NIFL PIL Team of the Year.Rathfriland's Matthew Holloway collects his award after being named on the NIFL PIL Team of the Year.
Rathfriland's Matthew Holloway collects his award after being named on the NIFL PIL Team of the Year.

It's a far cry from Rangers' opening day 5 -1 home defeat to Queen's and makes for a memorable occasion on the last day of the Whites' first season in the league.

All PIL games this weekend have a 2pm kick-off.


Rathfriland travelled to play fellow play-off hopefuls Queen's at The Dub on Saturday hoping to avenge that heavy defeat to the students on their NI Football League Playr-fit Premier Intermediate division debut.

Queen's opened the scoring in the 28th minute. Rathfriland hit back almost immediately through a Brian Johnston goal and took the lead five mins later with a Jack Chambers effort deflected in off a Queen's defender.

HT: 1-2.

In the second half Rathfriland pressed the hosts but couldn't extend the lead until the evergreen Andy Kilmartin scored from the spot in the 87th minute.

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With the points in the bag, the scoreline was given a slightly flattering look when Harry Campbell netted in the 95th minute.

FT: 1-4.

Rathfriland's play-off hopes hinged on Armagh City dropping points at Coagh United and with the Holm Park outfit racing into a 3-0 lead that seemed to be that. Coagh, however, had other ideas and stormed back for a 3-3 draw to keep Rangers' hopes alive until the last day of the season v Ballymacash.

Club representatives and nominees attended their first NIFL awards night in Belfast's Crown Plaza Hotel on Saturday night.

Rathfriland players Ruairi Fitzpatrick and Matthew Holloway were both selected for the PIL Team of the Year while Ruairi was also a nominee for PIL Player of the Year, eventually won by Limavady’s Alex Pomeroy.

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NIFL chief Gerard Lawlor gave special mention to Rathfriland, in their first Irish League season, for the standards they have set on and off the pitch.


Rangers Reserves travelled to Lurgan on Saturday for a repeat of the cup semi three weeks ago.

The reserves got off to a flying start with a great move down the right ending in a cross being finished at the back post by Joshua Ingram.

It was Ben Johnston who made it two on 20 minutes when he rifled a left-footed shot across the keeper and into the top right corner.

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It soon became three when Adam Loughlin was on hand to finish from 10 yards out. The Lurgan keeper pulled off a couple of great fingertip saves but couldn't stop it becoming four on the half hour mark. Zach Annett burst through the Lurgan defence, into the box, only to see his initial shot blocked by the impressive keeper. However, he was on hand to finish off the rebound. HT: 0-4.

The game was put to bed five minutes into the second half when Ben Johnston fired low into the bottom right-hand corner.


Rangers Reserves hosted a midweek Reserve Championship match against Seapatrick Reserves, winning 4-0.

Andy Stewart got the home side off to an early lead, before Sam McCallister made it 2-0.

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The visitors battled hard and made it tough for Rathfriland, but two well taken late goals from Nathan Baird left the final score at 4-0.



Rathfriland Swifts overcame the odds with a tremendous performance in a Mid-Ulster League Cup thriller.

Rathfriland took the lead in the 11th minute when William Martin scored with a well-placed header.

Celtic then levelled but the home defence of Megaw, Fitzsimmons, McDowell and Waddle ensured the game remained tight until the break.

HT: 1-1.

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The game seemed to be heading to extra-time when Jordan Hylands rounded the keeper and fired into the empty net.

FT: 2-1.

A gritty performance that sets up a final against Ballyoran Reserves on May 16 at Seagoe.

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