Rangers bow out but make Armagh earn the win

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Lisburn Rangers went out of the Irish Cup on Saturday as Armagh City ran out 3-0 winners at Holm Park.

In a game dominated by the fierce wind blustering straight down the pitch from the clubhouse end of Holm Park, Rangers weren’t as far off the pace as the scoreline would suggest.

With Armagh playing with the wind at their backs, there was always the threat of Rangers being blown away by half-time.

However, they held out until seconds before the whistle, much thanks to their in-form goalkeeper Colin Tinsley.

He had to be at his best to make a string of saves from dangerous duo Shea McGerrigan and Philip Donnelly.

Donnelly had gone close with two free-kicks that had to be beaten away, as did a sternly struck McGerrigan effort. The former Dungannon winger was just as dangerous outside the box as his free-kick set up Stefan Lavery, whose header dropped wide just when it seemed he would open the scoring.

Rangers had chances of their own. Jamesie Adams danced round his marker inside the penalty box just past the half-hour mark and, amid stern penalty claims after he was clipped, former Cliftonville stopper John Connolly was forced into a top save.

Joe McGurk also shot wide after coming on for play-maker David Graham, who had to be withdrawn with a foot injury mid-way through the first half.

Had he been able to stay on, would his presence have made a difference for Rangers?

Perhaps, and they could well have done with him after Donnelly lashed home a 30 yard effort before the break.

Into the second half, Rangers had the breeze but without Graham, troubling the Armagh back line was proving a struggle.

At the other end, the talented McGerrigan was again in search of a goal and Tinsley superbly tipped another effort wide.

He got his goal on 57, a cross-come-shot drifting in at the back post. Time was left for Donnelly to complete his double with a clinical finish and for Rangers’ sub Andrew Erwin to see red in injury time.

On the scoreline, a harshly heavy defeat for a hard-working Rangers side who, with the help of skipper Peter McCann, were by no means blown away.

RANGERS: Tinsley, Irwin, Doherty, Johnston, Evans, McCann, Graham, McCall, Chisanga, Adams, White.

Sub: Erwin, Cummins, McGurk.