For the second time this season Banbridge Town wreaked revenge upon a team that had dumped them out of a Cup competition.
Back in August, Town lost 2-0 at the Limavady Showgrounds in an Irish Cup fixture, but December’s model is made of sterner stuff.
First impressions seemed to be that Town would suffer the same fate as their previous visit when Limavady took the lead as early as the fourth minute.
But a second half revival and goals from Kevin Anderson, Stephen Greene and Ryan Moffatt earned an impressive 3-1 win.
The result leaves Town four points behind leaders Donegal Celtic with a game in hand, although chasing Newry, Tobermore and Limavady have all played fewer fixtures.
It was Joe McCready that opened the scoring and rocked Town, whose first chance saw Neil clydesdale denied.
Town’s Tuda Murphy was by far the busier of the two goalkeepers and he had to be at his best when he saved another Unitetd shot that received a nasty deflection. Limavady had a good chance to double their lead when, in the 24th minute, McCready was put though by Owens but the chance was missed.
With 10 minutes left of the half, Banbridge at last began to create something of their own. Andrew Wilson, in a taste of things to come, scorched past defender McKeever but the run and subsequent cross came to nothing.
Words were clearly said in the half time talk as Banbridge emerged from the dressing room a completely revitalised side. They dominated the match from the kick off and had only six minutes to wait before Kevin Anderson fired home the equalising goal after excellent work by Clydesdale.
Town dominated possession and at every opportunity gave Wilson the chance to run at the veteran defender McKeever. It was from this avenue that Town took the lead in the 71st minute.
McKeever finally lost patience and fouled the winger. He picked up a yellow and his punishment was doubled when Stephen Greene headed home Ryan Moffatt’s free-kick.
To no-one’s surprise, Town went further ahead in the 77th minute. Good battling by Andrew Wilson allowed James Wilson time to effect a perfect cross to the feet of Moffatt and although his initial left foot shot was blocked, he fired home the rebound with his right.
Limavady’s McCready was able to remind everyone what a dangerous player he can be when he fired a shot from 25 yards out which whistled just past Murphy’s post. Banbridge created one more chance but McCartan shot wide when well placed.
In the last 10 minutes, Limavady forced a series of corners and crosses but Murphy dealt with them comfortably and in the dying minutes, when the home side were awarded a free kick some 20 yards from goal, it was Murphy, bravely diving at the feet of Limavady’s forwards, that averted any danger.
At the final whistle, Town supporters formed a guard of honour when the players left the field as a tribute to a second half performance as good as anything seen from a Town team this season.
BANBRIDGE TOWN: GK; Murphy; James Wilson; Acheson; Green; Devlin; Anderson; McCartan; McCreanor ; Moffett; Clydesdale (Sub McCavitt 90+1); Andrew Wilson (Sub Pedlow 88)
Subs not used: Hayes; Thompson; Taggart