Bann to face Monkstown after un-Corking CoI side

There was more joy for Banbridge Firsts on Saturday as they beat Cork Church of Ireland 4-1 to reach the third round of the Irish Senior Cup.

Bann were back to full strength with Owen Magee and Drew Carlisle back in the squad.

Having made the long trip south, Banbridge started the game off on the front foot, pressuring Cork from the first whistle. Bann had their first chance within five minutes with Josh Moffett shooting over from the top of the circle.

Banbridge continued to exert pressure on the Cork back four and soon had the break through. Eugene Magee played a delightful reverse pass to Scott Forbes who found Colin Dowds in the circle, who deflected home from close range. Cork had chances of their own, a short corner half way through the first half was well blocked by Colin Dowds. The hosts continued to push for an equaliser but this left them short at the back. Bann nearly pounced with a swift counter but Stevie Dowds’ effort went narrowly wide of the goal.

Banbridge doubled their lead through Stephen Dowds moments later, when he rifled the ball past the Cork keeper. At the back, things were kept secure by Phillip Brown, Drew Carlisle and Matthew Bell, who snuffed out any attacking threat.

Cork nearly pulled one back before the half time whistle, a stray ball found a Cork player in the circle and his effort was goal-bound before Phillip Brown cleared it off the line. Bann went into half time deservedly leading 2-0.

Bann continued where they had left off in the first half, with great pressure and ball pace around the back. They were soon 3-0 up with a bizarre goal.

Phillip Brown’s long ball struck the post but fortunately for Banbridge Josh Moffett was on hand to tap into the net. This gave Bann a more comfortable lead, it also opened the game up more as Cork searched for a way back into the game.

Bann continued to create chances and found lots of space behind the cork back four. Stevie Dowds was unlucky not to double his tally but a fantastic save denied his drag flick. A fourth goal put the result beyond all doubt and it was the pick of the bunch as well. Adam Marshall did well to hold the ball up and feed Simon Magowan who beat his man and found Bruce McCandless who was on hand to tap into the net. The game wasn’t over there however, Cork secured a short corner with three minutes to go and this time made it count putting the ball past Gareth Lennox. The final score was Banbridge 4-1 Cork Church of Ireland.

In the next round, Banbridge travel to face holders Monkstown in what promises to be a fantastic game of hockey.