Valley make AUL push

by Stephen Findlater

RIVERVALLEY Rangers’ boss Stephen Doran says his side is hitting form at the perfect time as they bid to go up as champions of AUL Premier B.
Thumping wins over Valley Park United and Castleknock Celtic on Tuesday night have pushed them four points clear of the chasers, finally breaking them away from the pack after a blistering run of form, winning four of their last five games.
The matches are coming thick and fast at this stage, a far cry from Rivervalley’s run of just one league game between January and April as cup concerns and weather-affected fixtures left Premier B on the back-burner.
But, since getting back in the swing of things, Doran says they are in flying form.
“With 13 points out of 15, we are now in position where if we win all our games, no one can catch us,” he told GazetteSport.
“Our two wins over Hardwicke were massive for us. To win Premier B and go up was always our aim from the start of the season but it got a bit interrupted, especially when we lost three in a row. But beating a title rival like that was defining moment.”
He adds that they were lucky not to lose too much ground during the period when they were not getting much Premier B pitch time.
“Lots of teams took points off each other during that time so to stay in the top three when we could have dropped down was hugely important. It shows the quality of the league that everyone takes points off everyone else.
“Take FC Transilvania who we play on Friday. They are battling against relegation but they are a strong technical team with very good touch and passing.”
The other Transylvania in the division, Real, look like the main rivals in the title run-in despite sitting sixth. They have five games in hand and are, potentially, the best placed club to catch Rivervalley.
Rangers last two games have yielded a massive 14 goals, ten against Valley Park, four against Castleknock, showing the momentum they now have in the tank.
Indeed, it is even more impressive considering the side has five players on the long-term injury list and the regular two or three niggles that go with this phase of the season with two matches each week.
Ronan Murtagh has taken on the goalscoring mantle from the injured Danny Murphy – who scored 18 in the first half of the campaign – while goals are coming in from all other angles.
“We are not going to use that as an excuse. The players we have coming in from the Saturday team are all of a high standard for us to win the title and we want to go up as champions.”

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