Bann on cloud nine as skipper grabs a hat-trick

Eugene Magee (above) netted a hat-trick on Saturday as Stevie Dowds (below) failed to score, for once! Pic: Rowland White / Presseye.
Eugene Magee (above) netted a hat-trick on Saturday as Stevie Dowds (below) failed to score, for once! Pic: Rowland White / Presseye.

Banbridge stormed to a 9-0 victory at Civil Service on Saturday but despite such a comfortable victory, the match brought an end to a stunning run.

Top-scorer Steven Dowds had score in his last 20 competitive games, dating back to the group stages of the Anderson Cup.

He wasn’t on target last weekend, not that it really mattered to his dominant side, the rest of whom scored almost at will.

Captain Eugene Magee made sure to make up for the missing name on the score-sheet. He smashed in a hat-trick to lead his team to victory, Jamie Wright (2), Matthew Bell, Neil Gilmore, Hugh Mcshane and Fraser Mills also on target.

It was Magee who opened the scoring, slotting home Bell’s pass as he begins to show the type of form that earned him 185 Ireland caps.

Fraser nabbed the second before Neil Gilmore took full advantage of good work by his former Portadown team-mate Jamie Wright to fire home the third.

That was the game over as a contest already but, such is the importance of goal difference in the Premier League, Bann had to keep going to put away as many as possible. Magee converted the fourth before Hugh McShane slotted in the fifth.

All this and there was still only 20 minutes on the clock.

McShane turned provider for the six, laying on a chance for Wright to get in on the scoring. He got the seventh after the break before skipper Eugene completed his hat-trick with the eighth of the afternoon.

Bann had got that far without so much as a whiff of a short corner. When one finally arrived, Dowds was on the sidelines, no doubt itching to get hitting it. Bell showed himself quite an able deputy, however, slapping home the final goal of the afternoon.

Dowds did have a couple of opportunities himself with two more late corners but the Civil Service keeper was determined to be the first stopper to be the forward out this season.

Scant consolation that was for the goalkeeper as Bann continued their charge towards the league title.