Dowds hat-trick sets up Cup first round victory

Stephen Dowds says his Banbridge side are out to win the Irish Senior Cup after his hat-trick set them on their way to a smashing 8-0 win over Cork Harlequins in the first round on Saturday.

It’s 27 years since they brought home the trophy but they began this campaign with a win. Simon Magowan netted a brace while Eugene Magee, Josh Moffett and Bruce McCandless also got themselves on the score-sheet.

The victory sets up another lengthy trip as Mark Tumilty’s side have been drawn away to Cork CoI in the next round on Saturday 30th November.

Top-scorer Dowds was understandably delighted with Saturday afternoon’s work.

He said: “It was very surprising to go down there and win so convincingly but we’ll certainly take it. It’s usually a really tough battle when you go there but I think they’ve lost a few of their senior guys who have been playing there for years.

“All of my goals came from open play for a change. Usually I score from short corners so it was nice to get three from open play. None of them were too spectacular but I’ll not complain too much.”

Dowds and Co are now getting set for another lengthy trip to play the second round but the striker is hoping it’ll all be worth it come the end of the season.

“We’re hoping to win it,” he said plainly.

“The two Irish Trophies are our focus this year. It’ll be another long trip in the second round but it has to be done I suppose.”

Banbridge are currently sitting top of the Ulster Premier League, three points above Lisnagarvery, having beaten their rivals back in September.

“We’ve had a great start to the league. Winning that first game against Garvey is always very important too,” said Dowds.

“We’re disappointed not to be in the final of the Kirk Cup on Boxing Day but now we’re just gearing up for the post-Christmas period when things will really start to kick in.”

This Saturday, Dowds and his side make another trip to take on Raphoe in a league game.