Rathfern Rangers marked their 40th anniversary at their annual presentation dinner at Whitehouse Working Men’s Club.
Rangers finished seventh in the Amatuer League’s Division 1B - one place lower than the previous campaign - and they thus also missed out on their own target of a top four slot.
However, 1b’s top three of East Belfast, 1st Bangor OB and Newcastle were in a league of their own, with Portaferry Rovers 20 points adrift in fourth place. Rathfern were in the next pack of four teams chasing fourth and came up short by just five points. That was due mostly to an undistinguished end to the season, which really unraveled after losing 8-2 at third-bottom Ballywalter Rec at the end of February.
From there on in, Rathfern didn’t win another match, gaining just two points from a possible 18.
One of the bright spots, though, was the form of Philip Gordon, who, in his first year at the club was the First Team’s Players’ Player and shared the Manager’s award with Gary Orr. As mean and consistent as ever in front of goal, Orr chalked up 32 goals - just three short of the year before.
Chairman David McCrea announced the following winners who received their awards from managers Bill Campbell (firsts) and Ronnie Stockard (seconds).
Awards: First Team Manager’s Player of the Year; (tie) Philip Gordon and Gary Orr; First Team Players’ Player of the Year; Philip Gordon; First Team Leading Goalscorer; Gary Orr; Second Team Manager’s Player of the Year; Robert Brown; Second Team Players’ Player of the Year; Stephen McAuley; Second Team Leading Goalscorer; David Glendenning; Da Sugar Merit Award; Bobby Higgins.