THE ineveitable has finally happened.
Bsanbridge Town have been condemned to playing their football next season in Championship 2 after drawing with Tobermore United at the weekend.
Only a win would have done for the locals at Fortwilliam Park - and only for a last-minute goal by Adam McBurney they would have been beaten on the day.
Tobermore boss Oliver McAuley was looking for a win for other reasons as United were keen to bounce back from last weeks drubbing at Bangor whilst his Banbridge counterpart, Ronnie Haughey, knew that maximum pointes were needed.
Unfortunately neither man got his wish as United produced another stuttering performance and the draw, along with other results on the day, condemned Banbridge to life in Championship 2 next season.
It was a strange game with Banbridge well on top for long periods and Tobermore having little to offer at times against Town’s quick passing game but sadly their domination in midfield faded as they got the ball into the final third of the pitch.
Connor Downey and the lively Chris Kingsberry worked hard up front for the visitors but they rarely troubled Willie Hassan in goals for the injured Sammy Foster.
At the other end Kieran Maguire dealt easily with a snapshot from Neil Lamont and his strike partner David Patton went close with a shot from just outside the box.
Tobermore brought on Dean Stewart and Kris Magill midway through the second half and the changes seemed to tip the balance in favour of the home side and after some sustained pressure they took the lead when Patton stabbed home a Magill corner on 77 minutes.
Time was running out for Banbridge but sub Adam McBurney gave them a lifeline when he capitalised on a mistake in the home defence and nodded over the advancing Hassan to level things up in the last minute.
With the whistle literally in the referees mouth to blow for full time Patton could have won it for the home side when he found himself clear just outside the box but his tame lob fell into Maguire’s arms and the game finished all square.