Wednesday 13 December 2017

Rangers earn the bragging rights

Late strikes win Gorey showdown

Dean Goodison

Matty Kavanagh of Gorey Celtic turns away from the challenge of Eric Quinn of Gorey Rangers
Matty Kavanagh of Gorey Celtic turns away from the challenge of Eric Quinn of Gorey Rangers
Nathan Brennan of Gorey Rangers gets a pass away as Ross Reardon of Gorey Celtic closes in

Late goals from Gary Murphy and Joe Bolger propelled Gorey Rangers past ten-man Gorey Celtic in Mullaunfin on Sunday and to the summit of the Wexford Football League Premier Division table.

Gorey Celtic 1 Gorey Rangers 3

The game looked to be heading for a draw after a stalemate second-half until the hosts' Danny O'Reilly was dismissed for a second bookable offence with 13 minutes to go. Suddenly, a game that was limping to a conclusion burst to life.

Unsurprisingly, it was Rangers who looked the more likely to succeed, a man to the good.

They went close to breaking the 1-1 deadlock when a good ball from the left by Nathan Brennan picked out Gary Murphy on the edge of the area.

His shot, which was curling towards the top corner, was brilliantly saved by Ciarán Gartland.

However, the visitors didn't have to wait long for their goal. Just over 60 seconds later Rangers broke three-on-one.

The hosts were a little naive allowing that situation to develop, but once it had there was no stopping their opponents.

Eric Quinn did superbly, drawing the last defender and waiting for the right moment to deliver the pass.

Gary Murphy was also excellent, staying onside before controlling the pass and dinking over the onrushing Gartland.

To be fair, Rangers were fairly comfortable through the seven minutes of added time but were still able to add a clincher right at the death.

Dylan Vickers flipped Joe Bolger in on goal, and the attacking midfielder rounded the goalkeeper and fired to the net, despite being hacked down in the process, to clinch victory and top spot.

Earlier, the Ramstown side started as well as they finished.

Within the first 80 seconds they were ahead when Eoin Kinsella's free-kick to the back post found Ryan Cullen unmarked and he turned the ball home from close range.

Rangers were the better team until, almost out of nothing, Ross Reardon cracked a 25-yard volley into the top left corner of Gavin Griffiths' net in the 16th minute to equalise for Celtic. From then until the sending-off it was an even contest.

The closest the home side went to taking the lead in the first-half was when Craig Foster cracked a left-footed effort off the top of the post from the edge of the area.

At the other end Stephen Hempenstall opened his body well but side-footed wide from Eric Quinn's cross.

Chances were at a premium in the second-half.

Celtic defender Ross O'Connor's header forced Griffiths into a sharp save from Mark Nolan's cross from the left with 17 minutes remaining, but the game only really opened up once the hosts went down to ten, allowing Rangers to take the points.

Gorey Celtic: Ciarán Gartland; Ross O'Connor, Darren Brennan, Craig Foster; Thomas Cloke, Matt Kavanagh, Danny O'Reilly, Ross Reardon, Mark Nolan; Dean McCann, Lee Cullen. Subs. - Darragh Curran for McCann (74), Jake Cassidy for Cullen (81), Dion Leeson for Nolan (86), also Danny Dixon, Jacob Freimans.

Gorey Rangers: Gavin Griffiths; Conor Casserly, Kevin Kavanagh, Ryan Cullen, Nathan Brennan; Dylan Vickers, Eoin Kinsella; Mark Woods, Joe Bolger, Eric Quinn; Stephen Hempenstall. Subs. - Gary Murphy for Hempenstall (46), Jamie Howard for Kinsella (68), Adam Terrett for Woods (89), also Dan Brennan, Darragh Brooks.

Referee: Micheál Franklin.

Wexford People

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