Last Tuesday evening Banbridge U15 Girls travelled to Lisnagarvey to play Portadown in the Final of Ulster Hockey’s Under 15 Plate Competition.
Banbridge settled into the game very quickly and looked strong and determined forcing the Portadown defence to work continuously.
Their opening goal came just after five minutes when D’Arcy Campbell picked up the ball at the edge of the circle and took firm control of it and slotted it past the Portadown keeper. Banbridge continued to put pressure on the Portadown defence and Jo-anna Berry had a couple of near misses before being taken off injured.
Banbridge continued to press and were soon awarded a penalty corner. The Banbridge girls had practised their corner routines precisely leading up to the match and this paid off when Charley Brush’s push out to D’Arcy Campbell was firmly stopped and fiercely slammed into the net leaving the Portadown keeper without a chance.
Banbridge continued to attack in an attempt to get their next goal and after being awarded a penalty corner, the same precise routine worked flawlessly again and they went into the break up 3–0.
The second half saw Portadown come out determined and they immediately piled the pressure on the Banbridge defence. The Banbridge defence were solid and worked tirelessly but eventually conceded a penalty corner which was expertly put home by the Portadown player. Soon after, Portadown added to their score, this time from a penalty flick.
The game was played on a knife-edge with both teams putting pressure on their opposition’s defence and both keepers being kept busy. Both teams came close to scoring from open play on a number of occasions but the ball couldn’t find the back of the net.
Nevertheless, Banbridge fought hard and held onto their lead. This was a great performance by the whole team to give a well deserved victory and bring the silverware home to Banbridge.
Great end of season and thanks to Simon, William, Ashlea & Sheree for coaching and umpiring through the season and to parents who ‘taxi’ the team about.