They again emphasised their dominance of the Armagh senior football championship when they brushed aside the feeble challenge of Armagh Harps with almost contemptuous ease to chalk up their 19th title in 20 years yesterday at the Athletic Grounds.
It was a sparkling display of cohesive, attacking football by the champions. The game was still in its infancy when the Rangers hit top gear and an early points blitz was followed by a 28th minute goal from Rico Kelly that sent the champions in at half-time with a 1-10 to 0-5 advantage.
If the first-half brought little comfort for the city side, the second period proved nothing short of a nightmare. With David McKenna imposing at midfield and Tony Kernan, Kyle Carragher, and Michael McNamee on fire up front, Rangers piled on the pressure, particularly in the aftermath of McKenna’s superbly-taken 43rd minute goal.
In all, Harps managed just five scores from play and might well have fallen by an even heavier margin had Rangers not spurned a series of scoring chances. They finished the match strongly against a totally demoralised Harps outfit that failed to respond to the promptings of skipper Gareth Swift who landed five points from frees.
P Hearty; P Hughes 0-2, A Rushe, P McKeown; S Finnegan, M Aherne 0-2, J Morgan; J Hanratty 0-1, D McKenna 1-1; M McNamee 0-4 (1f), S Kernan 0-1, T Kernan 0-5 (2 ‘45’s, 2f); J Murtagh, R Kelly 1-1, K Carragher 0-4.
O O’Neill 0-1 for Rushe (h/t), D McConville for McKenna (45), G Carragher for Kelly (50), D O’Callaghan for Morgan (54), S Farrelly for Hughes (55). A Cunningham for Hanaratty (Black card 37).
P Morrison; C McKee, M McCoy, M McConville; K Loughran 0-1, C White, J McElroy; C Vernon, D McKenna 0-1; R McShane 0-1, P Kelly, C Stevenson; U Lennon 0-2, G Swift 0-5 ( all frees), C Coulter.
R McGrath for McCoy, C Murphy for Stevenson (both h/t), P Campbell for Kelly (35), S Grimley for Lennon (45), S McCoy for Coulter (57).
Oliver Hearty (Belleeks).