Bann warm up for season opener with Dublin win

BANBRIDGE completed their pre-season schedule when they entertained a third Dublin side in two weekends in the shape of Glennane.

Bann were out for revenge after being on the wrong end of a heavy defeat to the same opposition earlier this year in the semi finals of the Irish Senior Cup.

A number of injuries saw Stevie Dowds, Owen Magee, Colin Dowds, Ben Cosgrove and Hugh McShane sidelined and the home side were without Scott Forbes and Ross Beattie who were on holiday as well as Gareth Lennox. This made way for debuts for schoolboys Peter Bingham in goal and David McCracken.

Bann started quickly on what was a hot afternoon at Havelock Park and after a sustained period of sharp play and successful passing Banbridge went ahead after Glennane failed to clear a ball into their circle which was eventually forced home by Ian Livingstone.

Banbridge’s back four were dealing capably with any forays into their territory and Philip Brown was being utilised to great effect on the right hand side, pushing forward at any opportunity and interlinking well with Dane Ward who found himself in an unfamiliar midfield role.

Banbridge added to the scoreline midway through the have when the Glenn’s defence failed to deal with an innocuous ball forward and Simon Magowan pounced on this lapse in concentration by latching onto the ball on the 25 yard line, advancing quickly into the ‘D’ and dispatching a fine strike into the bottom left hand corner.

This lead was extended again just before half time when a turnover ball in midfield fell to Josh Moffett who found Dane Ward in space on the left flank and he was able to finish superbly from what was a seemingly impossible angle.

The second half saw the game open up significantly and Bann’s advanced level of fitness allowed them to create many opportunities to add to the scoreline.

Philip Brown moved into midfield to replace younger brother Peter and Thomas Sturgeon was introduced to the defence. David McCracken was given his opportunity to impress on the right hand side and didn’t disappoint demonstrating tidy skills and intelligent running in the opposing 25.

Glennane were being deprived of possession by the home side for long periods who continued to move the ball quickly and efficiently within the midfield and forward line.

Banbridge went four goals up when Matthew Bell scored from a drag flick at a short corner which was won after a strong run into the circle by Scott Caruth. Glennane got back into the game scoring two goals in quick succession before Banbridge finished the scoring through Simon Magowan who finished clinically from close range.

This was another beneficial game in what has been a successful pre-season campaign seeing a number of younger faces impressing and stepping up to play at an advanced level.

Bann begin their Kirk Cup games this week, travelling to Stormont to face Civil Service on Wednesday evening at 8pm before playing Instonians at Shaw’s Bridge on Saturday at 1pm.