Banbridge Rangers Football Club hosted a youth tournament at Cheney Park on Saturday past with over four hundred boys and girls taking part from different clubs.
Three of the trophies went to local teams as Banbridge Rangers U9 won their competition while Rathfriland Youth U11s and U13s both beat their Banbridge Rangers opponents in their finals.
Jamie McKnight scored both goals for Rangers’ U9 team, who beat Hillsborough Boys in their decider.
Rathfriland U11s topped a really tight group with a tally of five points after draws against Annalong Rovers, Tangragee Rovers and a one goal victory over hosts Banbridge Rangers thanks to a goal from Thomas Ingram.
They started their final strongly with Rhys McKee and Ben Johnston testing the home keeper on a couple of occasions. Mid-way through the first half, Mark Bronte hit a right footed shot that flew into the roof of the net with the aid of a deflection. The second half saw the introduction of Paul Travers and Alexander Fitzsimmons to take control of the midfield and ensure the trophy was Rathfriland bound.
The U13s progressed thanks to a draw against Moira, a 3 -1 win over Annalong Rovers courtesy of two goals from Krystian Celmeirowski and a Jordan Davis strike.
The U13 final was a fast paced encounter with excellent football on display from both teams. The best chance of the first half fell to Banbridge Rangers but a heroic double save from keeper Cashal Haughey ensured the match remained on level terms. That’s the way it stayed until two minutes from time when a throw in on the left from Jordan Davis was headed in at the back post by Adam Bronte to ensure a memorable triumph and a fifth piece of silverware for the club this season.
Rathfriland also reached the final of the U15 tournament but lost out to National League side Glenavon, who scored with four minutes to go to snatch victory.
The day was split into two sessions with Under 7s to Under 10s competing for five competitions. The youngest age group was won by Windmill Stars from Newry who beat Tandragee Rovers in a penalty shootout.
The Under 8s saw a reversal with Tandragee Rovers pipping Windmill Stars in the final.
The Under 9 Elite section was one of the tightest competitions with Warrenpoint Town beating Portadown FC in the final on penalties.
The Under 10s section was won by Annalong Rovers who beat Tandragee Rovers 2-1 in the Final to draw the morning session to a close with every child participating getting a medal.
The weather held off to ensure that the day went to plan with eight cups going in seven different directions. Banbridge Rangers FC committee would like to thank all of the sponsors, volunteers and players for their assistance in the tournament, which proved to be another positive community event in Banbridge.
Banbridge Rangers youth teams will have their presentation evening this Friday at the Rugby Club. Any parents or family attending must let the relevant coaches know of numbers planning to attend.