BANBRIDGE Town Juniors U12 Lisburn League team put in a heroic performance last Wednesday night against Ballymena despite having only nine players available for selection.
Ballymena defeated the juniors heavily on the opening day of the season and have been riding high up the league all season. However, against all the odds Banbridge dominated Ballymena from start to finish with their teamwork and incredible effort to emerge victorious.
Ironically Banbridge got off to the worst possible start conceding an own goal from an inswinging corner after only five minutes. But to their credit Banbridge picked themselves up and began an amazing fightback.
It all began when Duffin, who was playing as the lone striker and terrorised the defence all night was hauled down inside the box. Up stepped Dillon to finish the penalty on the rebound and made it 1-1.
With only five minutes remaining before the half Duffin again broke in behind the defence and gave the keeper no chance to put the juniors 2-1 up at half time.
As the pressure mounted and Banbridge inevitably got tired Kelso had to pull off some fine saves to keep the juniors in front.
The midfield three of Dillon, McKinstry and Fearon covered every blade of grass on the pitch and as the game entered the last ten minutes these boys who bossed the midfield, fed Duffin who managed to slip through and score his second and put the juniors 3-1 up. Dillon and Duffin had more chances to extend their lead only for some great goalkeeping in the last few minutes and as the referee blew the final whistle there was a huge sense of disbelief and joy from the boys as they had truly produced an unbelievable result and performance.
Every player was exceptional on the night and cannot be praised highly enough.
Team: Gregory Kelso, David Barr, Paul Morgan, Jamie McCandless, Harry Campbell, Ciaran Duffin, Danny McKinstry, Neil Dillon, Gavin Fearon