By Mike Fitzpatrick
Rangers 0-9, Donegal 2-8
Denis Tuomey’s young Rangers side were forced to go home singing the blues following a defeat from their old rivals from Ulster in this Div. I junior football clash at Gaelic Park.
Despite being the first side from New York to clinch a playoff berth last year following some early season victories, it seems as if Rangers will take a little longer to do so this time around. Some fine displays from the Blues were not enough on the day against this heavily experienced Donegal side which had in their ranks such attacking talents as Dermot Boylan, Gary Dowd and Liam Gallagher. Dowd, although playing deep on Sunday, still managed to get on the scoresheet to keep up his good form for the season.
The game opened with Donegal moving into a lead thanks to efforts from Gallagher and Niall McGready, and although some accurate efforts from Andy Brady of Rangers managed to pull them back into the tie, it was Donegal which held a two point lead at half time.
Either side could have clinched it at various stages of the game, but as time wore on, it was the Ulster side which managed to maintain a hold on the game.
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Donegal brought on Shane Melly and Leslie McGettigan who both registered on the scoresheet, Melly’s goal putting quite a distance between the sides.
Brady continued to bang them in for Rangers, finishing with a respectable six points, though Donegal’s accuracy in front of the posts killed off any Rangers hopes of starting their season with a win.
Further efforts from Boylan and Anton Diver gave Donegal the five point advantage over their adversaries.
This is always a tough division to get out of, although the two sides on display here will surely be there or thereabouts come September and the playoffs.
Rangers: John Williams, Malachy McHugh, Philip Bermingham, Kevin Martin, Tomas Maher, Tommy Bermingham, Niall Duggan, Rory Hussey (0-1), Dave Phelan, Dave Ryan (0-2), Mike Sheridan, Andy Brady (0-6), Mike Rennicks, Cormac Murray
Donegal: Frank Molloy, Pat McGill, Enda Lohan, Pat Colgan, Gary Dowd (0-1), Gary Rocks, Owen Farrell, Niall McGready (0-1), John P. Boyle (1-0), Liam Gallagher (0-2), Anton Diver (0-1), James Doherty, Michael Doherty, Dermot Boylan (0-2), Maurice McBride. Subs: Shane Melly (1-0), Leslie McGettigan (0-1).