Banbridge continued their 100% start to the season with another routine victory on Saturday, this time a 5-0 success over Cork CoI in the IHL opener at Havelock.
Cork CoI were without the services of the injured John Jermyn who proved to be a big loss for the away side, who almost held out until the end of the first quarter.
After green cards for Bann’s Bruce McCandless and two Cork players in the feisty opening exchanges, Bruce Mccandless opened the scoring.
The Irish international showed some quick thinking taking an early free and walking into the circle for a free shot which he dispatched into the bottom left corner.
In the second quarter, the Cork side came out fighting and produced their first chance of the game. A ball crashed in from ex-international David Hobbs was well dealt with by keeper Gareth Lennox.
The cards kept coming and Andrew Gray received a yellow taking the Cork side down to 10 again. The home side kept coming with Bruce McCandless and Kyle Marshall again linking well to get a shot but it ended up being well saved by the Cork keeper. The second goal of the game came from Stephen Dowds. Bruce McCandless won the day’s second corner with some great skill and Dowds flung it into the top corner.
The young Kyle Marshall continued to do well in defence to hold off any Cork attacks.
Banbridge dominated the third quarter and were rewarded with only four minutes left when Frasier Mills converted a strong reverse shot. Cork seemed rattled and received their second yellow of the game when Phillip Smith put in a very heavy tackle on one of the Bann players. Bann got their fourth when Jamie Wright calmly finished after good link play from McKee.
The fifth goal came from Hugh McShane who powered a hit into the bottom corner. The rest of this period really showed the difference in fitness between the teams, Banbridge powered through the final minutes, remaining in control. Stephen Dowds and Jonny McKee showed their class with some great skills torturing the Cork defence.
Bann’s next IHL game will be at UCD on 1 November.