BANBRIDGE Ladies entertained Belfast team St Matthews last Thursday evening in the somewhat unfamiliar surroundings of Dromore Leisure Centre.
It seemed like the change in venue was about to bring about a change in luck for the local ladies as they went in a half time leading 2-1.
It was Cull who opened the scoring on 25 minutes when she broke from midfield to latch on to an incisive pass from Brush on the right wing and clip the ball over the advancing keeper.
The lead was shortlived as St Matthews leveled on the half hour.
With only a few minutes remaining of the first half Napier carried the ball into the box andafter some clever footwork shot strongly to find the back of the net.
This was just reward for a very well contested first half which saw the Ladies playing some of their best football against the NIWFA Division1 joint leaders.
This was a crucial match for both sides who are still chasing points for very different reasons. Shortly after the re-start though it was St Matthew’s who again equalised after determined pressurewas exerted on their right side and well crafted ball was delivered into the box which their centre forward duely despatched.
Banbridge Ladies were struggling to beat a very well organized and disciplined defensive off-side strategy being used to great effect by St Matthews. However, Redpath managed to spring the trap when Brush timed her run and picked the ball up up in the centre circle. Brush carried the ball forward and kept her cool to go around the keeper whilst evading on-rushing defenders to calmly slot home.
It looked as though the visitors were now playng a dangerous game when Napier decided this time that the way to beat the off-side trap was to go solo. With one of her silky runs Napier carried the ball past three defenders but the opposition keeper came out to to narrow the angles and Napier’s shot narrowly went wide of the goal.
St Matthews, though, were not done yet and continued to press and still employ their off-side tactics. This paid dividends on 80 minutes when they drew level for the third time.
Momentum was now with them and within another two minutes they took the lead for the first time. The locals tried to rally but the game ended once more with the Ladies going down by 3-4.
The club would like to thank Linwoods Bakery and Dairy Products, Armagh for their generous sponsorship of the match ball for this game.