Record scorer Wilson pleased to be back

Record goal-scorer Ally Wilson says he is delighted to have returned to Rathfriland Rangers.

Having left the club to join Championship One side Lisburn Distillery back in June, Wilson rejoined the Northern Amateur Football League Division 1A team over the Christmas period.

In his last three-year stint at the club, he twice broke their season scoring record, netting a startling 51 goals in the 2011/12 season and an even better 53 in 2012/13, when the club finished as runners-up in the league.

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The 27 year-old returned with the side further down the table in ninth spot after 12 games. However, their win over Rosario lifted them up to seventh place in the tightly-packed league table. Now just seven points off top spot and with two games in hand on league-leaders Dundonald, Wilson is delighted to be back.

“Rathfriland is my club,” he told the ‘LEADER.’

“I’ve always been in contact with people at the club.

“I’m building a house at the minute and I’m getting married soon. I’m working down south at the minute too and all the travelling was getting too much because we were training in Belfast. I made the decision that I wanted to play closer to home and then there was only one club that I was going to sign for.

“I had been doing well, playing and scoring goals at Distillery. I liked it there and I have a lot of time for the manager, Tommy Kincaid. There are no hard feelings there at all. The decision was just based on the travelling.

“I needed to be closer to home and I had to put my family life first.”

Rathfriland, of course, have recently installed a new manager with John Kernaghan coming in to replace Brian Adair, who left to join Championship One side Loughgall. The striker is certainly in optomistic mood following the change, which came just days after his return had emerged.

“At least the club can get some stability now,” he said.

“For me, Brian leaving was not a big worry because it’s the same team on the pitch. We’ll still do well. At this level, it’s about the team you have on the pitch and we’ve got a good one.”

Lisburn Distillery boss Tommy Kincaid said: “I’m disappointed things didn’t work out for Ally at Distillery and I wish him all the best at Rathfriland.”

Meanwhile, another new Rathfriland signing, Thomas Lockhart, made his debut as a second half substitute during Saturday’s 3-1 win over Rosario, in which Darren MCGrath netted a hat-trick.

Young forward Lockhart - who has had a spell with Danske Bank Premiership side Crusaders - was a major hit during his time at Moneyslane where he was a regular scorer, and although his appearance from the bench was brief, his pace, touch and set-piece delivery showed that boss Kernaghan could well have made a shrewd acquisition.