Double joy for Bann U19s with two wins over Ports

Banbridge U19s proved themselves the province’s top team in 2013 by picking up both the Nutty Krust Floodlit Trophy and the Ulster Cup in May.

Bann beat a strong Portadown side in both finals, twice coming from behind to overcome their opponents in the floodlit tournament final.

They won that game 22-14, largely thanks to 12 points from the promising Macauley Little. He scored the first try himself after he received a pop pass from Neal Cochrane and touched down between the posts. He converted the resulting conversion and also kicked over after Kyle McConnell had burst clear to touch down the side’s second try, also under the posts.

Little then added a penalty in front of the posts after Kenny Wilshere scored the all-important third try, evading a last ditch tackle to touch down at the corner flag.

Two weeks later, Banbridge thrashed Portadown 26-3 in the Ulster Cup final at Ravenhill. Portadown’s only score came early on as out-half Graeme Currie kicked a penalty. From then on, it was all Bann. They had to do it without Little too, as he was forced to retire from action with a knee injury. Richard Graham scored the first try as the ball was switched right for him to touch down.

Matthew McDonald came on at the break and made an immediate impact, slipping out of two tackles to cross for his team’s second try after a lineout 30 metres out.

Ben Cross then showed some deft footwork as he stepped inside a tackle and raced away from the cover defence for the third try, both of those second half scores converted by Little’s replacement Adam Doherty. He added the fourth try himself between the posts as Bann ran out easy winners to cap off what was a fantastic 2012/13 season for the U19s.