TOWN Juniors U14s travelled to Lurgan Park to face St Mary’s in a Mid-Ulster Youth Shield semi-final clash and produced a superb performance to claim their place in the final.
The Juniors, who hoped to continue their fine run of form despite an injury ridden side started the game with solid defending as St Mary’s pushed for an early sight of goal.
However, with the locals back five on splendid form, they cut out any attacks that came their way. The two sides were unable to find the opening goal as both keepers made some cracking saves, with Juniors keeper Connor Ward determined to keep a clean sheet. Half time came with the score still in deadlock.
The second half kicked off with the Juniors straight on the attack with Jonny Rodgers getting the opening goal after 45 seconds, which he fully deserved. St Mary’s knew their backs were against the wall and had to withstand wave after wave of Banbridge attack.
Town were unable to break down the St Mary’s defence and find a cushion with a second goal - while they had to defend hard in order to maintain their narrow lead.
With some tactical substitutions to try and book their place in the final, Jordan Walker won the ball in midfield before playing a fantastic through ball for Jake Dennison to run onto and cut in from the right before smashing it low into the far corner of the net.
This second goal gave St Mary’s no time for a comeback, and the Juniors saw out the rest of the game to take a well deserved victory and continue their fine run of form. This week’s man of the match was Adam Dickson for a rock solid display at centre back.