BANBRIDGE travelled to take on league leaders Annadale knowing a win would take them back to the top of the table.
Banbridge welcomed back Diarmid Reay, Jonny McKee and David McCracken but school boys Timothy Watt and Matthew Hurst were both ruled out due to injuries pick up during the Irish schools tournament.
Annadale were quick out of the traps and were pressing Bann back in their own half for the first ten minutes. Bann began to play themselves into the half and after a good move involving McKee and Woods Bann won their first short corner. A missed push out was collected directly by McCandless at the top of the circle and after entering the circle slapped the ball past the Annadale keeper to open the scoring.
Annadale were still controlling the game and after a good move down the left hand side of the pitch the ball was played along the baseline to an unmarked attacker at the back post who deflected the ball in for the equaliser.
The remainder of the half was end to end with Bingham requiring to make a good save and McCracken shooting wide at the other end.
Annadale again started well in the second half and took the lead when a ball was crashed into the circle and deflected off Anderson’s foot past the unsighted Bingham.
The goal seemed to spur Bann into action and some excellent attacking play between McAnulty and Bell lead to Bann’s second short corner. On this occasion the push out was accurate and McCandless crashed in a powerful drag flick to the left hand side of the goal giving the Annadale keeper no chance.
Bann were now controlling the midfield and McCracken and McKee worked the ball well down the left hand side of the pitch to find McAnulty who drove into the circle and unleashed a power strike past the Annadale keeper to give Bann the lead.
Annadale tried to get back into the game but a resolute defence stayed strong and denied Annadale any real goal scoring opportunities. Bann killed off the game when the ball was worked into the circle by Woods and when the ball was passed to McAnulty he made no mistake to increase Bann’s lead.
Bann controlled the remaining period and will be delighted with taking all three points from a tough encounter. Bann now travel to Stormont next Saturday to take on Civil Service.