Bring on the Champions

Banbridge Town starlet David Gray in against against Glebe North on Saturday. Edward Byrne Photography INBL
Banbridge Town starlet David Gray in against against Glebe North on Saturday. Edward Byrne Photography INBL

Banbridge Town will try to retain the Bob Larmour Memorial Cup as they host Cliftonville at Crystal Park on Saturday.

Last year, Town won the trophy for the first time since it begun in 2006 thanks to a 3-2 victory including two goals from Gary Boyle.

Before Saturday’s annual highlight of Town’s pre-season calendar, the first team are also in action tonight (Tuesday) as they travel to take on Tandragee Rovers.

For the big game on Saturday, club manager Ryan Watson wants the Banbridge public to come and see what his side can do.

“It would be great to get a good crowd in to get a bit of an atmosphere,” he said.

“It would be good for them to see what we’re looking like at this stage and hopefully we can hold onto them for when the league starts.

“It’s always a good day at the club. It will be a good family day for local people to come out and support the club.

“There are usually a lot of people about and a good buzz at the ground.

“It’s usually a good competitive game and to bring the league champions to Banbridge is great.

“It doesn’t matter what sort of a squad they bring down

“Even their squad players will be good quality and have good fitness levels so they’ll certainly give us a good game.”

Cliftonville, of course, won the Danske Bank Premiership for the second season in succession last term. Watson, however, will have a depleted squad for their visit:

“The players are working hard in training but, at the minute, we just need the injured players back.

“Ryan Evans hasn’t kicked a ball yet with a bit of a knee problem.

“Mark Teggart is the same and Adam Pedlow is training but not joining in with the football in training yet.

“I’d like to get those guys back as the next few weeks progress to give us more competition
for places.”