BANBRIDGE Juniors U13's played host to Cookstown Youth on a wet Saturday morning last weekend.
The game began with both sides seeing a lot of early possession creating chances at either end. Both teams failed to capitalise from good scoring opportunites with Banbridge having the better of the chances.
With half-time approaching it seemed as though it would be level pegging at the break, however Cookstown caught the Banbridge defence on the break and a cross from the right on the 28th minute found a player to head home for the visitors to lead 1-0 at the break.
The second half saw Banbridge new signing Caleb Scheiss make his debut. The locals piled on the pressure in search of a goal but couldn't find the breakthrough despite waves of attacks.
With both teams battling hard for control of the midfield Cookstown managed to double their lead with a fine individual strike finding the top of the net leaving the Banbridge keeper with no chance.
The Juniors made a few tactical substitutions to inject fresh legs into a very fast paced game. The Banbridge boys now upped the anti pressing Cookstown to their limits. A cross from the right found substitute Michael Rafferty who did well to lay off to the hard working Connor Ward who snatched a well deserved goal back to make it 2-1.
This inspired Town to throw everything at the Cookstown defence but their ever resiliant back four held firm. As the game went into its final stages Caolan Clarke took a quick throw to Michael Rafferty who chipped in a pinpoint ball to substitute Ethan McDonald that left him one on one with the goalkeeper. The wee man kept his cool and placed a delightful chip over the oncoming keeper to find the back of the net to square the contest at 2-2.
With both teams trying to find the winning goal in the last three minutes of the match, Town had to keep their cool to successfully defend a series of Cookstown corners to the final whistle.
Well done to Banbridge for their never say die attitude. This week's man of the match was David Houston for his outstanding work rate and display of leadership as captain.