A Matti King hat-trick was the highlight of Grange Rangers’ emphatic Junior Shield win at Foundry Lane.
Sammy McGookin also got his name on the scorecard in the 4-1 win against Clonduff. The Down Area League side came to Ballyclare boasting a one hundred per cent winning start to the season.
The visitors opened the scoring in the 7th minute and almost scored a second three minutes later when keeper Mark Deegan was beaten again, but the ball rebounded off the post.
King opened his account with an easy tap in after Tiago had dispossessed the keeper and rolled the ball across the face of the goal, but generally play was in home territory with Deegan much busier than his opposite number.
Rangers were fortunate to turn round on level terms, but they upped the pace after the interval, after nosing ahead in the 55th minute, when King volleyed Dean Johnston’s cross in to the roof of the net.
King completed his treble in the 70th minute with a top corner finish from a Ryan Murphy pass, and just before the final whistle King was the provider for McGookin to complete the scoring with a back post touch in.
“We are into the next round, but I was somewhat concerned in the first half when we had to play second fiddle. However our superior fitness told in the final quarter and we were well worth the win,” stated manager Stephen King.
“We were very disappointed last week when we failed to complete the league double over Whitehead Eagles, but we bounced back to get this important cup win,” he added.
Rangers have been drawn away to Taughmonagh in the second round of the Junior Shield.