Rathfern Rangers came back from 3-1 down to complete the league double over Grove United with a 5-4 home victory on Saturday.
Rangers boss Bill Campbell up against one of his former clubs said: “All credit to the boys, they showed a lot of character, they rolled their sleeves up and started to play their football, passing Grove off the park. I think we deserved our victory.”
Rathfern set the wheels turning on 20 minutes when the referee spotted Gary Orr’s shirt being tugged. It wasn’t entirely obvious, but Orr made Grove pay, dispatching the resultant free-kick into the bottom corner.
The opening goal stirred Grove into life and the home side were caught off-guard straight from the restart, failing to deal with a long throw. Two minutes later, things deteriorated further for Rangers when Grove took the lead.
Rathfern were were caught col again at the start of the second half when a Grove forward nodded the ball wide of keeper Ryan James.
Rangers, however, knuckled down and establishing a foothold when Orr nodded in a Ricky Marks cross.
It was no surprise when they were back in tandem with Orr completing his hat-trick, after Grove failed to clear their lines from a corner.
They were given another boost when Grove’s Aaron Sharkey was dismissed for dissent. Orr hit the crossbar before United managed to snatched the lead once more on 80 minutes.
But Rathfern were soon back on an even keel with Willie McMurdie nodding in a David McBride cross. Fittingly it was Orr who provided the final chapter with a dramatic winner.
Om Saturday it’s back to the Diamond for the visit of 1st Bangor OB.
Rathfern Rangers: James – Montgomery (Boyles), Logan (Beattie), Kerby, Preuss – D McBride, Marks, W McMurdie, Gilbary (Gardiner) – Orr, Moore.