Banbridge YCOB 4
Valley Rangers 2
For the first time this season Youth Club Old Boys finally had a full squad available for Saturdays game and the strong XI fielded imposed themselves from the first whistle on Saturday against a classy Valley Rangers side.
Both teams created early chances with good attacking football but the deadlock was broken 15 minutes in when a Mark Loughlin corner struck a Rangers defender and beat the helpless keeper.
Rangers came back strongly but could find no way past a resolute Bann defence. A good break down the right-wing from Cathal Crossan found Neil McDowell in the box who controlled well, turned smartly and blasted past the keeper to put Bann in the driving seat going in at half-time 2-0 ahead.
Rangers came quickly out of the blocks in the second half though and grabbed two goals within 15 minutes to level the game. The Old Boys fought their way back into the game with Tony McCreanor and Mark Loughlin in particular bossing the midfield for the last half hour.
The pressure told with a string of Bann corners and they deservedly regained the lead when another dangerous Loughlin corner was met by captain Paddy Kennedy who buried a bullet header into the back of the net from six yards out. Rangers took chances pushing hard for an equaliser but Bann defended resolutely. With five minutes left on the clock a great header from Cathal Mathews sent through Neill Wilson who scored with a brave finish. The game ended with a pleasing 4-2 win for the home side rewarding the attitude and desire each member of the team displayed.
BANBRIDGE YCOB: Bradman, Quinn, Porter, Kennedy, Hillen, Matthews, Loughlin, McCreanor, Meara (Crossan 10), Wilson, McDowell (Murphy 80).