Academy give a Royal lesson in the McCullough Cup away to Raphoe

Banbridge Firsts open their McCullough Cup campaign with an emphatic win in Donegal.
Banbridge Firsts open their McCullough Cup campaign with an emphatic win in Donegal.

Royal and Prior 0 Academy 12

A foggy 7am start to their McCullough Cup campaign saw the Belmont Hotel backed Banbridge Academy 1st XI begin their journey to Raphoe.

After an invigorating warm up led by captain Johnny McKee, the Banbridge side opened the scoring within a minute of play, with the final touch coming from prolific forward Robert Scott.

Banbridge continued to dominate attacking play in the first half with goals coming from David Armstrong (2), Timmy Watt, Peter McKnight, Jake Rowe, Johnny McKee and Aaron Reid. Following half time, Raphoe intensified their defensive effort, however, Banbridge still managed to find the net with goals from Robert Scott, Sam Farson and Jake Rowe.

A pleasing performance with an excellent result due to energetic movement by the forward line of Armstrong, Gallagher, Scott and Farson coupled with the slick defensive team of Hurst, Green, Bennington and Watt.

The 1st XI look forward to their next Cup test involving RBAI Cup on September 27.

Seconds show potential at Methody

Methody 1XI 2

Banbridge 2XI 1

Agnew’s men travelled to Belfast to face Methody 1XI in their first competitive match in the McCullough Cup. The visitors dominated possession and territory in the first 20 minutes but were unfortunate to concede due to a lack of concentration in the defence.

The 2XI’s quickly regained composure and put the Methody team under pressure and had a great chance to equalise with a fantastic run from Ben McConnell left Josh Peacock with his opportunity but the chance was spurned. But again, they conceded on the break after a sloppy bit of defending let a duffed reverse in the far corner from a tight angle.

Agnew’s words at halftime spurred the team on and after a skilful run from Aled McCluskey left Ben Mcconnell again in space and, the ball, maturely, was passed across goal to a waiting Ryan Jordan to score.

Reinvigorated by the goal the seconds continued to press, good attacking play by Cowan, Peacock, Liggett and McCluskey winning short after short. One of these looked sure to be converted after Sam McMurray appeared to have a hit a perfect shot, deflected up by a shin pad, however the umpires decisions were conflicted and, unfortunately, the decision went against the Bann side.

Banbridge had numerous other chances to score and the finishing of the team must improve for this season to be a success. However, a good number of encouraging signs from this years crop of young Seconds.

Fifteens continue form at Friends

The Academy U15 side continued their impressive start to the season with a hard fought 2-1 victory against a strong Friends School Lisburn side.

With a goal coming from Jay Brackenberry before the half and from Isaac Black 10 minutes into the second half. A good performance and a strong start to the season continues.

Five star U14’s at

Raphoe

Raphoe 1

Banbridge Academy 5

Banbridge Academy opened the scoring early on with a scrappy goal ending in a clever chip over the Raphoe keeper by Mark Barlow.

The game was levelled just after half time with the Raphoe striker breaking through on goal and finishing well.

Straight from the restart the Academy side went infront after a well weighted through ball from Barlow found Phillip Campbell who ran into the circle and finished well into the bottom corner.

It went 3-1 after a mistake from the Raphoe left-back let Lewis Bingham run into the top of the circle who smashed the ball into the bottom corner.

Soon after that Banbridge went 4-1 ahead after a well worked short corner found the end of Barlow’s stick who powered the ball past the Raphoe keeper.

It soon became five when another well worked short corner found Barlow who fought off the Raphoe defenders chopping at his heals to drag flick the ball past the Donegal keeper. Overall this is a great result for the Academy U14’s.

Young U13’s side find Friends in fine form

The Academy 13s found FSL in great form in Lisburn with the hosts hitting top gear in a 4-1 defeat of a young and emerging Academy 13s side. A one sided first half found Friends too hot to handle with three well worked goals.

The second half saw the U13’s battle hard to earn a 1-1 second half score line.