TOWN Juniors U11s were denied a penalty to earn a deserved draw against second placed Carniny on Saturday.
In a classic encounter the opening exchanges saw Banbridge impose themselves on the match and when Carniny broke a firm tackle from Jack Arlow meant that the threat was short lived. James Orr used the ball well down the right and Jamie Feeney constantly posed a threat up front.
As the game progressed Ross Shields was doing a great job of keeping the Carniny attack quiet and when called upon the central defensive pairing of James Orr and Cameron Sands were cool in distribution and refused to panic, consistently finding a Banbridge shirt with passes.
Keeper Michael McGrath - a spectator for much of the half came off his line impressively to stop Carniny attacks.
On 15 minutes Shea Winters played a great ball through the defence that almost let Ben Johnston in for a shot on goal and this was followed by intelligent play from Jake Corbett who was using the ball well all game.
The remainder of the half went the same way with possession lying with Banbridge and speed of defence getting them out of trouble when Carniny tried to counter leaving the scores 0-0 at the break.
Immediately after the restart good build up play from the Juniors led to Josh Woods forcing a corner taken by James Orr and Ben Johnston firing a shot over the bar.
The deadlock was broken on 39 minutes when a shot from the right was parried by Michael McGrath and the unfortunate James Orr couldn’t keep the loose ball out.
Banbridge hit back straight away as Dozie Ajeh chased down a long ball, it was half cleared and fell to Ben Johnston who shot brilliantly high into the net giving the keeper no chance to level the game at 1-1.
Although Banbridge still had most of the ball Cameron Sands had to make tackle after tackle to win the ball and dribble skillfully out of defence to set up more attacks.
Unfortunately Carniny took the lead from a contested thrown in which dropped to a forward who poked the ball home.
Banbridge continued to play the better football but were just unable to put the ball into the net.
With 10 minutes left on the clock the game’s big talking point came as Shea Winters dribbled past a defender and as he pulled the trigger he was tripped inside the box but the ref eree refused to award the penalty much to the disgust of Town’s management and supporters.
This was a great team performance from Banbridge who played with great confidence and were unlucky not to get something from this game.
Man of the match went to Jake Corbett for his hard work and excellent distribution.
Team – M. McGrath, J Orr, C. Sands, J. Arlow, R. Shields, J. Woods, S. Winters, J. Corbett, B. Johnston, D. Faulkner, J. Feeney, D. Ajeh