Banbridge Town U12s.......................3
(AET, Cookstown win 5-4 on pens)
SATURDAY saw Banbridge Town U12s travel to Cookstown to face Cookstown Youth in the first round of the Mid Ulster League Cup.
Both teams saw plenty of the ball in the opening exchanges, with the match being played at a frantic pace.
On nine minutes the deadlock was broken by Cookstown having a speculative shot on goal which found the bottom corner of the net.
Town quickly responded and two minutes later forced a corner which Curtis Lee McKeever swung into a crowded penalty box finding Steven Campbell, who scored a fine back heel to even the score.
This fired up the Banbridge boys who then continued to pile on the pressure and on the 19th minute Banbridge forced a free kick in a dangerous area which was played in by Curtis Lee McKeever. A goalmouth scramble ensued with Cookstown only clearing the ball as far as the on fire Curtis Lee McKeever’s head who made no mistake finding the back of the net.
Cookstown responded throwing everything they had at the ever resilient Banbridge defence who stood firm, but on 25 minutes a long range harmless shot took a wicked deflection off a Banbridge player, wrong footing the keeper, making the score 2-2 at half time. The second half got underway with both teams going toe to toe from the start. On nine minutes Cookstown forced a corner which Town failed to fully clear, now swinging the game in their favour. Banbridge Town were now forced to do their fair share of defending and hitting Cookstown on the counter attack. It was from one of these attacks that a loose ball came back to Morgan Gallagher who calmly sent in a super lob to beat both the defence and the keeper. With 14 minutes left to play both sides gave a good account of themselves but didn’t manage to secure the all important winning goal. This being a cup match the game progressed into extra time, again with both teams playing hard however unable to break the deadlock.
With extra time now played and the scores still level the result could only be decided through penalties. With five brave, young players from each team now going one on one with the keepers, Cookstown were to come out on top winning 5-4.
This week’s man of the match was Morgan Gallagher for an exceptional work rate and never say die attitude.