Ahoghill Thistle 1 Enniskillen Rangers 5

Enniskillen Rangers' Irish Junior Cup three-peat remains well on course after a superb win away to beaten semi-finalists over the last two years Ahoghill Thistle.

And, Rangers did it the hard way, coming from a goal down after five minutes to produce a classy first half display to race into a 3-1 lead at the break with goals from Neil Coulter, Jason Keenan and Christopher Currie.

A Willie Burleigh header 10 minutes into the second half pretty much sealed the game and while Ahoghill enjoyed some possession and chances thereafter, Rangers rounded off a deserved win when Mark Cutler slotted home late on for a convincing 5-1 win.

Manager Michael Kerr was suitably delighted as his team's winning run in the Blue Riband trophy in Junior football stretched to 23 games.

"I thought from start to finish today we were fantastic," enthused the boss.

"The only downside for me was the early goal, we had started well but they caught us a bit flat footed but after that we took control of the game, we stuck to our game plan, we stuck to our guns. We said if we stuck to our passing game and our rotations off the ball and our movement we would not be beaten. To a man the boys were fantastic including the three boys that came on."

Rangers did start well to this action packed game with Currie firing wide and Burleigh then getting beyond the keeper but was unable to finish as the visitors played into a strong breeze.

The holders were however rocked on five minutes when danger man Randall Reid picked the ball up in midfield and slotted a simply ball in behind the Rangers defence for Paul McIntyre to race through and slot past the advancing Jerome Carleton.

Rangers needed a strong response and they got it from a corner a minute later.

Keenan's low ball was flicked on by the excellent James Turley and Neil Coulter fired home from close range.

Rangers continued in the ascendancy with Turley pulling the strings in midfield and Keenan squared for Burleigh but Alan Norton blocked superbly. Turley's neat turn played in Keenan but he fired over as did Michael Simpson when set up by Currie.

Burleigh had a shout for a penalty waved away before Rangers made their superiority pay before the break.

A brilliant tackle by David Crozier saw the ball break to Burleigh who played in Keenan. The striker rounded the advancing Sean Ward in the Ahoghill goal and fired home adeptly from an acute angle with his left foot for 2-1.

It was no more than Rangers deserved.

Indeed, it got better before the interval as Rangers broke from an Ahoghill corner with devastating effect.

Simpson and Keenan were involved as the former rolled the ball into the path of Currie who fired home from 14 yards for 3-1 at half-time.

Ahoghill came out strongly at the start of the second half but Rangers showed their clinical side as Conor Watson crossed from the right and Burleigh used all his strength to hold off the centre half and power a header home for 4-1.

Game over to all intents and purposes, Ahoghill never gave up and did enjoy their best spell of the game. McIntyre hit the underside of the bar with their best effort before Rangers sealed the game.

Ciaran Smith played a great ball through for Cutler who rounded the keeper before slotting home for 5-1 and a convincing win for the 'Gers.

Back in the semi-final and closer to an historic third win, manager Kerr is not looking too far ahead though.

"We will look no further than the semi-final, it is very pleasing to get back there for a third year. It is an occasion we know really well and we will relish it. But for us, our next match is the most important, we have Lisnaskea at home and we will be ready for that and we will not be taking the foot of the gas. We are experienced enough now to know we have to be ready for every game, we will get switched on at training again this week."