Banbridge Ladies 2nd XI faced Portadown 2nd XI in the first game of the New Year and came away with a valuable 1-0 victory, thanks to Sarah Gamble’s clincher.
Although they are currently sitting near the bottom of the table, Portadown have several games in hand and so that position is perhaps a false one. They certainly proved to be tough opponents for Bann when the two sides met earlier in the season and Banbridge knew they would have to fight hard to take a valuable three points away from this clash.
It took the opening minutes of the game for Banbrige to really settle in and find their form but once they did that, Banbrige began to play their game and take the upper hand on what was a closely fought match.
A strong attacking channel developed up the right side of the pitch utilising Joanna Palnoch, Elayne Brown and Sarah Gamble. That trio caused constant problems for the Portadown defence and always looked like providing Bann with the winning goal.
Alannah Magee, supported by Vicky Berry created strong attacking play from the midfield. This provided a strong link to the forward line of Ashleigh Mitchell, Nadene Black and Sarah Anderson, allowing Banbridge to really test the Portadown defence.
Banbridge remained steely in their determination and refused to give an inch in defence. Jessica Hassan made optimum use of the pivot play with
Kate Cunningham and Jo-Anne Lyttle being clinical in their tackling to deny Portadown any chance of taking the lead up front. Keeper Louise Beckett played a great game as well, seeing off any Portadown attempts on goal.
It was Sarah Gamble with a perfectly executed short-corner slip and strike that proved to be the point clincher for Banbridge. Portadown launched one final attack, however Megan Whan showed huge strength and fight to deny Portadown from getting a look in.
Player of the Match was Joanna Palnoch. Banbridge Ladies also gave their thanks to coach Robin Madeley and Umpire Sheree Totten.