Bann maintain their march towards title

BANBRIDGE entertained Kilkeel at Havelock looking to extend their unbeaten run in the league and maintain their healthy lead at the top of the table.

Bann were again without Matthew Bell, Peter Brown and Bruce McCandless.

Banbridge started well and dominated the opening exchanges. Owen Magee and Colin Dowds playing some nice stuff in midfield. The continued pressure resulted in a short corner, this misfired and Kilkeel got the ball well cleared.

Bann were very much on the front foot and Stevie Dowds second drag flick was well saved by the Kilkeel goalkeeper.

From this save, Kilkeel retrieved the ball and started a fast break away, however they failed to get their shot away on Lennox’s goal.

Bann kept being patient in their build-up play and got their rewards in their third short corner of the game, Stevie Dowds fired a drag flick past the keeper. The goal opened the game up and Bann took full advantage of the extra space.

Hugh McShane stole a good ball in midfield and then fed the ball to Dane Ward, his squared ball was well finished by Simon Magowan to put Bann two up.

Kilkeel were still threatening on the counter attack, coupled with errors at the back for Bann gave them a few attempts on the Bann goal but these were well dealt with by Lennox.

Bann scored their third of the game from a short corner variation which was deflected in by Dane Ward at the back post, giving Bann a comfortable 3-0 lead.

However, Kilkeel were not lying down and struck back just before the half time whistle, Colin Dowds’ green card opened up space for Kilkeel and a crash ball played into the Bann circle was deflected into the net past Lennox.

Kilkeel started the better in the second half, creating opportunities and a playing with a higher tempo. They got their rewards with another goal, a great passage of passing was finished well by the Kikeel forward.

Bann struggled to get going in the second half and were fortunate not to concede again with Lennox making a few decent saves. Banbridge began to get a foothold back in the game, Owen Magee was unlucky not to score after beating several players he had his effort well saved by the Kilkeel keeper.

The keeper made another save from Dane Ward after he had been slipped through by Colin Dowds. Simon Magowan was also denied after a brilliant save by the goalkeeper.

Stevie Dowds gave Bann some breathing space with another low drag flick that the Kilkeel keeper could not keep out.

Simon Magowan doubled has tally for the day with a tap in at the back post to make in 5-2 as the final whistle went.

Bann now travel to Instonians on Thursday night hoping to take one step closer to winning the league title for the first time since 1989.