Stagecoach West of Scotland League
Central District First Division
RANGERS recorded a win in their final league game that ensured that they go into next season’s Super League First Division as champions.
In the end, it was a fairly easy win although they did get something of a fright when Greenock took the lead shortly after half-time.
Two goals in a couple of minutes though put them back on track, and thereafter the result was never really in doubt.
A dull, blustery day for this game, which, following Thorniewood United’s result the previous evening, meant that Rangers would have to lose by six clear goals to be pipped to the title.
Greenock won the toss and had wind advantage for the first half.
They started well enough and made the early running although they had been assured of a continued presence in the first division, following other recent results.
Not many shots on target from either set of forwards in the early play and typically Mitchell somehow managed to send the ball wide of goal for Greenock from only four yards after around twenty five minutes.
Rangers only then began to play and had a spell of quite sustained pressure during which Kelly made several good openings.
With just ten minutes till the interval Joe Barclay went off with a minor leg problem, to be replaced by Livingstone.
It was still goalless at half-time though, despite a few more good chances falling to Rangers.
A shock for Rangers within three minutes of the restart – Jamieson was given an opportunity when the ball was lost in the box and he knocked it in to put Greenock ahead.
It was a shortlived lead though, within a couple of minutes McAteer had equalised with a great finish from just inside the eighteen yard line and two minutes later Paddy Flannery added another with an opportunist goal from close range.
His overly exhuberant celebrations earned him a yellow card though and a little later he could have earned another when a minor fracas erupted in midfield.
Things were soon calmed down though and when McAteer got his second, and Rangers third, with a diving header in the seventy fifth minute, the game was as good as over.
A couple of further changes were made, Hamilton and Nimmo replacing Waters and Kelly, but Rangers were cruising.
Doyle almost added a fourth with a great drive from just outside the box which Monke did well to tip over the bar.
The full-time whistle was greeted with scenes of joy from players and fans alike and the Central District First Division trophy was presented by West Region official, John Fyfe.
A well deserved award for players and the management team of Eric Sinclair and Martin Mooney, who have achieved a remarkable turnaround from last season’s mediocre showing.
President and secretary, Russell McKay, said: “As president, and on behalf of the committee, I would like to thank the loyal band of supporters who have followed the team, home and away, throughout the entire season. The players really appreciate the support.”
Now into the Evening Times Cup, Rangers will meet Super League Premier Division winners Irvine Meadow at Duncansfield on Saturday. Kick-off is at 2 p.m.
KILSYTH RANGERS: Duke, Waters, Carr, Doyle, Hogg, McLellan, McAteer, McPeake, Barclay, Flannery and Kelly. Subs: Livingstone, Hamilton, Nimmo, McDevitt and McWilliams.
GREENOCK JUNIORS: Monke, T. Docherty, McCormick, K. Docherty, Stirling, Cairns, Fleming, McDonald, Mitchell, Brown, Jamieson. Subs: McLure, Pettigrew, Mooney, McKay, Waterson.
A minute’s silence was observed prior to the kick-off to mark the passing of former Rangers committee member, and oldest supporter, Joe Irvine.