Lisnaskea Rovers 0 Enniskillen Rangers 5.

Enniskillen Rangers sauntered to a 5-0 win over a Lisnaskea Rovers side that had the bare 11 at the Castle Park Centre on Saturday.

Indeed, it looks as if it could be a long season for newly promoted Rovers while the win for Rangers and results elsewhere put them top of the table for the first time in many years.

Much football yet to be played in the Mercer Cup but Rangers have started how they would have wanted and have full points from their first three games before the two week hiatus for the Irish Junior Cup first round, a trophy the Ball Range club is defending.

Rangers player manager Michael Kerr is not getting carried away.

“I am happy with three wins out of three and while it is very early days, we are top of the table but that is where we want to be. However, I told the boys in the changing room that I was disappointed with the performance on Saturday especially in relation to our finishing. We have to be more clinical and at times we took too many touches on the ball,”said Kerr.

“We know that we have lots of stuff to work on and there will be no comfort zone as we have much work to do.”

It has been a tough start to the campaign in all ways admits Rovers boss Darren Graham.

“Listen there were a few boys who did not want to tog out due to the Ronan Melarkey death and that is totally understandable while the Gaelic is hitting us,” revealed Graham.

He added: “Fair dues to the players who turned out they gave everything and we held Rangers for about 35 minutes. A fter that it went downhill but I can’t fault the effort of the players. We will get stronger and all we can do is battle on.”

This was a very one sided affair with Rangers dominating possession and trying to break down a Lisnaskea rearguard effort that did not lack for effort from the 11 players that donned the jersey for the club.

In truth, though, Jerome Carleton did not have a save of note to make in the whole game and it was just a case of could Rangers break the deadlock, when would they do it and how many goals would they rack up thereafter.

Moreover, Rangers did make a few changes from the win over Lisbellaw the week previous with Ben Brown, Stuart Rainey and Ciaran Smith all earning starts. As it turned out, it took Rangers over half an hour of probing and attacking to break down a Lisnaskea side that battled for every ball.

Jason Keenan had the first real chance for the ‘Gers but his shot was partially blocked out for a corner from which the ball fell to Michael Kerr but he shot just wide.

Neil Coulter then had a free header from another corner but he did not connect well with the ball which went wide of the post. Keenan then hit the target with a shot but his effort was saved by Matthew McGrade in the Lisnaskea goals. Lisnaskea’s only real effort came from a free kick 25 yards out but Matty Morrison’s effort cannoned off the wall and away to safety.

Rangers then broke the deadlock after a great run down the left by Currie and as he raced into the box he was felled by a sliding challenge from Morrison for a penalty. Keenan stepped up to fire low into the corner of the net past McGrade for 1-0.

Rangers made it 2-0 not long after with their best move of the game as Smith picked up the ball and played it to James Turley who dummied the ball, allowing it to play in Currie whose cross was smacked home by the in-rushing Mark Cutler.

At the start of the second half Keenan shot over the bar after being found by Kerr but it was 3-0 soon after. Rainey made a strong run through the heart of the Lisnaskea midfield and combined with Keenan to set up substitute Andy Johnston who slotted home for 3-0.

Keenan made it 4-0 with Currie again the provider as he found Keenan who cut back onto this right foot before firing into the corner of the net.

Not long after, Keenan completed his hat-trick when he rose unchallenged to head home a Cutler cross to complete the scoring on what was a comfortable day for the ‘Gers.

A minute’s silence was observed before the game as a mark of respect to the late Ronan Melarkey who died so tragically in a car accident and had played for Rovers in the first game of the season.