Banbridge Men’s Thirds bounced straight back from their first defeat of the season with a convincing 3-0 victory against Bangor Thirds at Havelock Park at the weekend.
Goals from the recently returned Gareth Matthews, Gary Dean and Luke Woods saw them through to a routine victory.
The young squad started strongly and caused Bangor some early problems through the strong running of Gareth Matthews and Gary Dean.
Peter McKnight was controlling the centre of the pitch and it was his strong run forward that created the first goal.
After avoiding a couple of strong tackles, he released the lively Woods who squared the ball to Matthews and last season’s top scorer wasn’t going to miss from close range.
Banbridge went on to win a series of short corners but Anderson and Scott were unable to increase Bann’s lead. Bangor started to come more into the game as the first half progressed but Bennington and Green in the Bann defence prevented any direct shots on goal and the one clear chance was put wide by a Bangor forward.
Conditions worsened towards the end of the first half and Bann missed a couple of great chances as the first half came to the end.
With the pitch slowing down due to the constant rain, the game became quite scrappy during the start of the second half with
neither team able to put a series of passes together. Bann eventually managed to get a grip of the game again and afterwinning a short corner a switch to Dean was excellently converted on his reverse stick.
Bangor tried to get back into the game but failed to hit the target from a couple of short corners. Bann put the game beyond Bangor’s reach when after the best move of the game, Woods rounded the keeper and finished high into the net off a Bangor defender.
Bann could have added another couple of goals late in the game but the Bangor keeper made two good saves to keep the score down for his side.
The routine victory keeps Banbridge Thirds fourth in Junior Two with nearly the first half of the season over already.