Belfast Telegraph

Owens' title bid after breaking record

Crusaders 3 - Rathfriland 0

By Kris Jack

Jordan Owens may have become Crusaders' all-time top scorer in Saturday's 3-0 victory over Rathfriland Rangers, but the only target he had going in to the game was to make sure his side lift silverware come the end of the season.

Having had recent opportunities to break Glen Hunter's 157 strike record, which he equalled against Coleraine in mid-December, Owens felt that his time would come against Clifford Sterrit's battlers from the Amateur League.

"It's good to get it off my back," he said, "I know people were expecting me to get in the last two games, but today I was sure I could get it myself.

"I wasn't even concentrating on it, but people were keeping me up to date with the goals and then you get close to players like Glenn Hunter and David Rainey, they were top strikers.

"People were expecting and wanting it done against Cliftonville and Linfield, and maybe we didn't put a good performance in against Linfield, but today I got it so it's off my back and I move on from it."

Modest in his achievement, Owens was quick to keep his focus on ensuring more domestic success at Seaview.

"Now we move on, we've got some big games coming up and the most important thing is the league now. Now I'll just concentrate on putting the ball in the back of the net for the rest of the season and see where it takes us."

Rathfriland Rangers made Crues work for their win, particularly in the first half, where a resolute defence held out under extensive pressure for 35 minutes until O'Carroll slid the ball under Shane Harrison from eight yards

Five minutes in to the second half, Owens scored his 14th of the season and 158th in total for the Hatchetmen, tapping in from a few yards out after a Snoddy ball across goal. Jordan Forsythe then finished the game as a contest on the hour with a fine finish with the outside of his boot having cut in from the right.

CRUSADERS: McKibbin, Mitchell, Magowan, Robinson, McLean, Forsythe (Adamson, 82 mins), Caddell (Clarke, 46 mins) Snoddy, O'Carroll, Carvill, Owens (O'Flynn, 65 mins). Unused subs: Whyte, Vauls.

Rathfriland: Harrison, C Havern, J Black (Baird, 66 mins), Larkin, A Black, R Black, Scannell, McGrath (Feeney, 73 mins), M Havern, Wilson (Lockhart, 56 mins), Costello. Unused subs: Fegan, Gracey.

Man of match: Matthew Snoddy

Match rating: 7/10

Referee: Tim Marshall (Irvinestown)

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