Double hat-trick for Dowds as Bann hit double figures

Banbridge tantalised the Harlequins defence, netting a startling 14 goals on Saturday afternoon. INBL1438-291EB
Banbridge tantalised the Harlequins defence, netting a startling 14 goals on Saturday afternoon. INBL1438-291EB

Banbridge showed their ruthlessness in their pursuit of the Ulster Premier League title on Saturday, thrashing Belfast Harlequins 14-0.

With goals coming early in the first half from Stephen Dowds and Neil Gilmore, it seemed like the Belfast men were in for a tough game.

And so it transpired. Bann continued to put pressure on the Harlequins defence with Stephen Dowds adding a third to the Banbridge score line with a well-placed drag flick.

As the game continued, Harlequins found it difficult to break through the defensive line of Carlisle, Brown, Bell and Forbes only having their first circle penetration 15 minutes into the game, but to no dividends.

Soon after, on form Neil Gilmore added his second to the score-sheet following good approach play from Peter Brown and Jamie Wright.

More goals from Dowds, Mills and McCandless meant the Banbridge men went into half time with a 7-0 lead.

With nothing to lose, Harlequins came out strong at the beginning of the second half, winning their first short corner of the game. The resulting corner was deemed to be too high following a hit from the top of the circle to Banbridge’s relief.

The game seemed further out of reach for the visiting team as McCandless, Gilmore and Mills added more goals to the tally.

As the game continued, Dowds kept scoring, finishing with an impressive six goals for the game. Gilmore also finishing with another impressive individual tally of four goals and McCandless and Mills with two a piece taking the final score line to 14-0. A dominating performance with many positives for the Banbridge men to take into Tuesday night’s Kirk Cup game against Newry.

Banbridge continued their winning run in the Kirk Cup last Tuesday with a 3-1 win over Cookstown at Havelock.

Scott Forbes opened the scoring, slamming home after Fraser Mills beat two defenders before pulling the ball back.

Ten minutes into the second half Mills netted himself to make it 2-0.

Ewan Butler eventually got one back for the visitors but Bann kept going and showed the fight that they are well known for. Neil Gilmore continued his top class start for the club and got Bann’s final goal with a powerful reverse after a penalty corner break down.