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Rangers show plenty of fight, but too late for Ibrox men

By Billy Weir

Published 04/06/2015

Rangers manager Stuart McCall
Rangers manager Stuart McCall

Of course the FA Cup wasn't the only big match last weekend, there was one in Scotland too.

No, I don't mean the Scottish Cup final between somebody or other, no, this was the really big game, the battle to be the 11th best team in Scotland.

Motherwell were in the role of pesky kids to the evil henchmen of Rangers' plans to get back to the top flight in the Premiership play-off, a bit like the one in England recognised as the £100m game, although this one is more the £7.50 game and all the Macaroon bars you can eat.

A big game meant a big cast for BT Sport, their table tethered down in the sun-kissed surroundings of Fir Park as presenter Darryl Currie introduced Gary McAllister, David Weir and Gordon Strachan, asking the latter for a quick weather update.

"Don't be fooled, I'm hanging on here with the wind," he said, but don't worry, it was going to get a whole lot stormier later on.

"Motherwell stormed the Ibrox citadel, now they must guard the ramparts of their own fortress," said commentator Derek Rae continuing a theme, but Rangers possessed all the puff of an asthmatic ant.

At the interval there was no change to the 3-1 lead Well had from the first leg but it was all over soon after the restart when Rangers keeper Cammy Bell punched the ball into his net like a cat pawing at a balloon.

Two more goals followed as Rangers' certain return to the top league didn't end well, so the only decent thing to do was shake hands and move on. Ahhh…

Motherwell striker Lee Erwin's attempt to do this ended up with him pushing Gers defender Bilel Mohsni, who reacted in much the same way Rambo did when asking someone to refrain from doing this.

He drew first blood with a neat left hook after a right-foot volley before all hell broke loose and we needed the level-headed Erwin to explain what had prompted this fury.

"I tried to shake his hand and he told me to 'eff aff'," he said, which I believe is Tunisian for 'please desist and extricate yourself forthwith' and had Strachan, a bit like the striker himself, in stitches, when asked to sum up his qualities.

"He's made an impact - in the last 30 seconds. There's obviously no media training at Motherwell," he snorted, as Mohsni left to return to life as a holiday camp outside Drogheda while Rangers returned to life in the abyss that is the Scottish Championship.

The good, the bad and the ugly

THE GOOD: A fantastic few days for the Irish Open and a surprise winner in Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen producing a moment of genius from Sky commentator Bruce Critchley. “The Great Dane is the top dog at Royal Co Down,” he said, which was apt as he finished on Scooby Doo under...

THE BAD: A tad mystified as to why Fermanagh’s Ulster Championship clash with Antrim was only deemed suitable for highlights while all the other matches thus far have been shown live on BBCNI. Perhaps RTE’s pre-occupation with all things Dublin may provide the answer but it still smacks of a kick in the teeth for the wee teams.

THE UGLY: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, part tennis player, part character from the Bash St. Kids, annoyed Greg Rusedski with his celebrations at the French Open on Tuesday. “It worries me when a player celebrates so much after a quarter-final,” he said of a Frenchman celebrating in front of a French crowd in France. He should know better, being from Montreal, although what he knows about winning big quarter-finals is more of a mystery.

Belfast Telegraph

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