Bangor GG serve up a ruthless performance against Rathcoole
By Daire Walsh
BANGOR Greenhills Greenpark returned to winning ways in Leinster Senior League Premier One Sunday with a comprehensive victory at the expense of Rathcoole Boys in Greenhills Park on Tuesday evening.
Following a 3-0 defeat to Swords Celtic just two days earlier, Bangor were aiming to make home advantage count. With Victor Grundy, Kevin Coffey and Ronan Hannaphy in fine attacking form, they managed to do just that.
Rathcoole were also on the wrong side of the result in their previous encounter – a 2-1 reversal at the hands of Balscadden FC. While it was another disappointing night for the Frank Cox Park outfit, Alan Richie’s charges can take some solace from an encouraging final-quarter.
Bangor took just under two minutes to break the deadlock after Coffey was released on goal and slipped a low shot through the legs of Rathcoole netminder Arran O’Neill. This was precisely the kind of start the visitors were hoping to avoid and they suffered an additional set-back just three minutes later.
Darren Goode delivered an enticing corner on the right-wing, which was met by a powerful header from Grundy. The latter offered a physical presence at centre-forward and subsequently doubled his account with just seven minutes gone on the clock.
Conor Murphy’s cross evaded the outstretched arms of O’Neill, leaving Grundy with a simple finish to the Rathcoole net.
Rathcoole did string together some nice passages of play and were desperately unfortunate when skipper Dylan Richie’s long-range free-kick crashed off the woodwork in the 17th-minute.
Instead, it was left for Bangor to grab a fourth off another set-piece. Ronan Hannaphy rose above a host of bodies to head another corner past O’Neill.
To his credit, O’Neill never allowed his head to drop and produced a string of fine saves as the half wore on. Additionally, Grundy and Hannaphy had goals ruled out for offside in the 21st and 24th minutes respectively.
At the opposite end, Rathcoole striker Stephen Raymond headed marginally over the crossbar and had another effort that kept Bangor’s Stephen Carruth on his toes.
After discovering ample space inside the Rathcoole half, Goode raced away for an outstanding individual finish, helping Bangor to establish a 5-0 interval lead and despite some alterations to their attack, further daylight was created on the resumption.
Having taken Grundy’s spot in the front line, Lee English finished coolly to the net off a Coffey pull-back. By the 48th-minute, the Bangor management had made fourth substitutions – ensuring the competition for places remains strong within their ranks.
Gavin Deveraux was the last man to be given a run-out, replacing Murphy on 66 minutes. Before his withdrawal, the marauding right-back had registered Bangor’s seventh and final goal of the tie.
Finding room at a tight angle, Murphy unleashed a fierce drive into the bottom left-hand corner. Another replacement – Jamie Keating – had looked set to grab a goal of his own, only for O’Neill to thwart his advances.
Rathcoole kept plugging away under extremely difficult circumstances and finally got their reward when Sean Brogan climbed above Carruth to head home on 78 minutes. They were beginning to find pockets of space inside the Bangor defence and Jake Kothert grabbed a second for his side with a clinical strike on the edge of the box.
BANGOR GG: S Carruth; C Murphy (G Deveraux 66), S Philips, C Ayres (Y Assis 46), D Roberts; K Murray, C Harkin; K Coffey (K Honner 48), D Goode (J Keating 48), R Hannaphy; V Grundy (L English 46).
RATHCOOLE BOYS: A O’Neill; E Aubeave, D Richie, J Coleman (A Kelley 46), C Cafferty; W Graves, S Rafferty, S Hyland, T Mooney (D Lenthern 66); S Brogan, S Raymond (J Kothert 46).