Banbridge Juniors U16s welcomed Markethill Swifts down to the Woodlands in Gilford last Saturday, as they clashed in a Mid Ulster Youth League fixture.
The local lads hit the ground running as they settled straight away and began passing the ball about swiftly, causing danger early on. Ryan Sloan and Jack Hamilton dominated the midfield, while Jake Dennison and Liam Farrell provided a real threat from the wings.
Markethill tried to play mainly on the break, however Jordan Walker and Ryan Jones remained rock solid at the back, with keeper Ryan Angus easily gathering anything that came his way.
Despite a lot of huffing and puffing, neither team was able to break the deadlock before half-time.
With the second half underway, the Juniors again began to turn the screw early on as they hunted for that illusive opening goal. Ryan Sloan was driving forward well from midfield and forced back the Swifts defence.
With 13 minutes on the clock, Liam Farrell sent Sam McAllister bearing down on goal, he won his battle of strength to shrug off a defender before placing the ball into the corner and opening the scoring.
Markethill found themselves level on 18 minutes with a very fortuitous goal. A long ball forward came off the bar and landed at the feet of their striker who levelled despite a great save by Ryan Angus who, to his credit, has turned in three wonderful performances as a stand in.
The Juniors were not phased however, and shortly restored their lead on the 25 minutes mark when Jake Dennison hit a thunderous strike on the volley which flew past the keeper who had no chance.
Markethill again levelled the scores on 28 minutes with a hopeful punt which looped up and over and into the net.
With time running against them, the Juniors kicked off and rallied, aided by their trademark never say die attitude they pushed forward for a winner.
And with only two minutes left on the clock, new signing Mark Adams hit a wonderful through ball on the volley which was straight into the path of an in form Jake Dennison who made no mistake as he lashed in his second, and the Juniors third goal as he wrapped up all three points.
This week’s man of the match was winger Jake Dennison who battled right to the end and bagged himself two wonderful goals.