Rangers the Real deal

by Gazette Reporter

RONAN Murtagh’s peach of a half-volley saw Rivervalley Rangers secure their place in the top tier of AUL football as they beat Real Transilvania 1-0 on Tuesday night to win Premier B.
And manager Stephen Doran says it is not just a big moment for the club but for the local community who have backed the side.
“This side is not just from Swords, all the lads are pretty much from Rivervalley,” he told GazetteSport.
“It’s what we wanted to do when we got this team together and, in fairness to the community and the local sponsors, they have back us. We had a three-year plan to get into Premier A but we have managed to get three within two seasons.”
The tie against Transilvania was a tricky one, the first half a cagey affair with few chances, lacking the usual quality that the Swords club has displayed to date this campaign, allowing it to become a “nitty-gritty” battle.
Rivervalley, though, stepped up their tempo in the second half, playing some beautiful football and eventually got the goal that they deserved, a pitch length move from goalkeeper worked up to Philly McCabe.
He picked out Murtagh who brilliantly held off two men before unleashing an unstoppable shot to the roof of the net from 20 yards out.
In the wake of a series of injuries and players going travelling, Murtagh’s goals have been a massive factor in filling the void left by Dano Muprhy.
He netted almost 20 goals in the last 10 games of the campaign and while Doran did not want to pick out any specific stars, he could not deny the importance of that run of form.
“We have got a really great squad but goals are so important. He is a massive talent and his goals have come at a crucial time of the season.”
Tuesday’s win put them out of reach of Transilvania, the last remaining side that could have caught them after a pair of key wins against Hardwick in the last month that pushed them within touching distance of the title.
Usher Celtic – who Rangers play on Friday evening in their last match of the campaign – were the other contender.
Transilvania, though, has a wealth of back matches and, bolstered by some fresh faces, produced a strong run late in the season to potentially get in the title frame, making their meeting a possible title decider.
Winning against a key rival made it all the sweeter for Rivervally and they will look forward to doing some damage in AUL Premier A in 2016/17.

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