‘It’s a great achievement’ says Bann boss

Banbridge captain Eugene Magee with Marianne McCall of GOC Estate Agents and UHU President Ann Rosa. Pic: Rowland White / Presseye.
Banbridge captain Eugene Magee with Marianne McCall of GOC Estate Agents and UHU President Ann Rosa. Pic: Rowland White / Presseye.

It was one of Banbridge’s biggest games of what has been an outstanding season so far but the result was a familiar one.

The 3-1 Kirk Cup success over Cookstown was the fourth win over the County Tyrone side already this term and their 24th match without defeat, including the Anderson Cup.

Bann breezed through the competition, scoring 33 goals in their six games, conceding just three and it was the style of the victory that delighted their boss.

“With the amount of players who try to win tournaments and don’t manage to do it, it’s a great achievement to win the Kirk Cup, especially in the manner that we did,” said Head Coach Mark Tumilty.

“I thought it was very convincing. As far as I’m concerned, we got through the groups and the semi-final comfortably and then came out on top in the final in a pretty convincing style as well.

“The lads got their rewards for a good performance in what were very, very difficult conditions for everyone. The lads had barely any feeling in their hands with the cold, wet weather but they all worked very hard to make sure they got the win.

“I think we’re beginning to show that we can manage the big matches and make sure we get the right result. The lads are all maturing really well now.”

Goal-scorer Stevie Dowds took his tally to 50 goals for the season, including Anderson Cup games. He’s in unstoppable form and his goals again meant he was key to Banbridge’s success. “He always is,” said Tumilty.
“He opens up teams with his ball-carrying.

“He was very unlucky not to score with his first corner and then the feeling went in his hands a bit after that. His record is second to none. Even looking back through the years, I don’t know if anyone could match his record this season.

“All credit to him, he is maturing really well.

“There was good movement all over the pitch and several of the guys put in real match-winning displays.
“Drew Carlisle was fantastic and Johnny McKee showed real composure for a school kid to set up the goals the way he did.

“Hugh McShane had an absolutely outstanding second half and Bruce McCandless was very, very good as well.

“We’re all absolutely delighted with the performance the lads put in and, obviously, with the result.

“It’s a great way to end 2014 and sets us up well to go into 2015 hoping for a big year.”