Clarke’s strike earns Thirds the victory

THE squad of 12 Banbridge players started the brighter of the two sides and had a few early chances.

South Antrim started to come back into the match with a few chances of their own.

The ball was well worked down the right hand side with Aaron Reid getting the ball into the circle to find Matthew Warnock unmarked to slot the ball under the opposing ‘keeper.

Bann kept the pressure up but a counter attack saw South Antrim win their first penalty corner. It was well worked and a good deflection saw the match levelled up.

It didn’t take long for Banbridge to get back in front. Good attacking work from Shane Boyce saw Banbridge win a penalty corner and a well placed drag flick from Clarke Neville beat the goalkeeper.

Bann kept up the pressure but couldn’t extend their lead with the South Antrim keeper making a lot of good saves.

South Antrim got back into the game with a shot come cross with a chest height deflection to beat the Bann keeper Peter Bingham.

With the match approaching half time both teams had chances to go into the break with the lead, South Antrim took advantage of a goal mouth scramble to make it 3-2 at half time.

The second half started similarly to the first with Scott McCandless controlling the midfield and setting up chance to get the match back on level terms.

Bann could not get the ball past the in-form keeper.

Good defensive work from Clarke Neville and Michael Ferguson kept the South Antrim attackers out of the circle.

The game started to open up the final whistle approaching, McCandless slotted a ball through the S. Antrim defence which found Warnock with a one on one chance, with the keeper coming out on top.

The home side kept the pressure on with late penalty corner chances from Clarke Neville but couldn’t get the vital goal and the match finished 3-2 to S. Antrim.