AMATEUR LEAGUE: Murphy nets four for managerless Rangers

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Ryan Murphy’s four-goal salvo fired Grange Rangers into the third round of the Cochrane Corry Cup and lifted the gloom that surrounded the club following the departure of manager Stephen King and four players.

When King took the reins at struggling Islandmagee, he brought his brother Matti, Tiago Leite, Robert McFaul and Philip Gregg to Wilbourne Park, but club secretary Wayne Lewis stepped into the breach and guided his makeshift team to a 4-2 win at Kelvin OB.

Murphy and Davy Thompson – two midfielders thrust forward in to the attack – proved to be a potent force up front as they combined to set up all four goals.

Kelvin opened the scoring with a close-range tap-in before Murphy slotted in an 18th minute equaliser, only for the hosts to regain the lead from the penalty spot.

Just before the interval Murphy restored parity when he repeated his earlier strike, winning the one-against-one with the keeper.

In the 55th minute Rangers hit the front for the first time when Murphy again ran through unopposed to complete his hat-trick. And with Rangers continuing to have the upper-hand, he added a fourth in the 70th minute by blasting into the net from the edge of the box from another Thompson knock down.

Grange Rangers: Heaslip; McCrindle, White, McMullan, Johnstone; McGookin, Cooper (C), McCoy, Simmons; Thompson, Murphy. Subs: Leitch, Brown, Hunter.

On Saturday, Grange Rangers could move third place in Division 2C - if they beat Ballynagross at Foundry Lane.