Rangers stay on top of AUL

by Gazette Reporter

RIVERVALLEY Rangers solidified their place at the summit of the AUL Premier B with a convincing win over St Brendan’s on a weekend where games were few and far between in the capital.
Stephen Doran’s side welcomed a Brendan’s side struggling in the division to the AUL on Sunday morning looking to take advantage of the lack of games around them and move further ahead at the top of Premier B.
It was the visitors who started the better however, applying early pressure and looking sharper to the breaking ball. Despite a few corners and free-kicks though, Brendan’s failed to create much clear-cut chances and allowed Rangers to grow into the game. Were it not for some wasteful shooting and perhaps some added finesse in the final third, Rivervalley would have probably gone in ahead at the break, but as it were, the sides went in scoreless.
The hosts looked sharp after the break and began to zip the ball around, limiting Brendan’s to possession deep in their own half. Just after the hour mark, the deadlock was broken and unsurprisingly, it came from a move inspired by the Rivervalley striking pair.
Daniel Murphy won the ball 30 yards from goal, turned swiftly, spotted his partner-in-crime John O’Donoghue on the move, played the pass and O’Donoghue applied the finish.
The lead was doubled in spectacular fashion eight minutes later through Adam Elbouzedi. Standing over a free-kick 25-yards from goal, the creative talent, full of technique, wrapped his boot around the ball and watched it sail straight into the top corner.
To their credit, Brendan’s gave it a go and went close to pulling one back moments later but for a top save from Kevin Matthews. In a one-on-one battle with the Brendan’s frontman, the big keeper, who had just come on for his Rangers debut in place of Ian Doran spread himself and dropped low to make a smart save.
Deep into injury-time, the gloss was put on the win when Murphy grabbed a deserved goal.
Taking control of the ball around the half-way line, the deadly striker went at a tired Brendan’s back-line, cutting through them with ease before breaking into the box and applying a tidy finish to round off the win.
The win leaves the Swords side five points clear on top of Premier B. It’s a comforting cushion as this side are set to contest a number of massive cup fixtures in the coming weeks, such as the Leinster Junior Cup third round and the FAI Junior Cup fifth round.

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