Gillen heroics earn opening day victory for battling Old Boys

Banbridge Youth Club Old Boys played their first game in Mid Ulster Division Four at home on Saturday and claimed a fantastic 1-0 win over Belfast based Southside.

Bann netted the eventual winner within 10 minutes when Donaghy linked well with McKay, whose inch perfect cross found Rooney lurking at the back post and he hammered home emphatically.

That was enough to secure the win, largely thanks to MOTM Paddy Gillen, who was faultless in the YCOB goal.

An impressive Southside were on top for the remainder of the half but, despite losing the classy McCrum from the defence due to injury, the home side battled from front to back to contain the dangerous Southside attack.

The away side attacked relentlessly in the second half with Bann dropping deep to contain them and at times the local side had to resort to last ditch tackles.

The pressure looked to have told when the referee awarded Southside a penalty late on but Gillen made a fine save to deny the away team an equaliser.

While the away side had further chances, the outstanding Gillen was equal to them all, allowing the home team to grab all three points by the narrowest of margins and get their league campaign off to a successful start against a very strong side who will be in the mix for promotion.

Best for Bann on the day was goalkeeper Paddy Gillen, who put in an excellent display and it was his late saves that secured victory.

YCOB: Gillen, Cargin, Crossan, Kennedy, McCrum (Beattie 20), Magee, Loughlin, Donaghy, McKay Rooney, Murphy (Lyness 75). Sub unused: McGrath.