Young Thirds hold on against experienced Thirds

BANN Thirds got off to a slow start on Saturday afternoon, allowing an Isnt team mixed with experience and youth to play their game.

Ten minutes in, the first Inst goal was scored after a long ball was played to a quick forward who pounced on the opportunity to score and hit hard into the bottom corner.

Bann had not learnt their lesson as shortly after, another goal was scored by the Belfast side via the same approach.

It was only until midway through the first half that the Thirds started to play hockey - some neat play between the midfield and forwards led to a circle entry and a corner won - this was converted by Clarke Neville with a drag flick into the net.

At 2-1 Bann were starting to look the better side with Bill Malcolmson, Matthew Warnock and David Armstrong all creating chances to score.

Eventually, Bann got their reward as Malcolmson scored the equaliser.After half time coming from two goals down, the Thirds continued to play well, creating more and more chances through the forwards.

Ten minutes into the half a superb ball out of midfield found Gareth Matthews who cooly slipped the ball under the ‘keeper to make the score 3-2 to Bann.

A win looked as if it was on the cards. However, Inst were not finished - despite excellent defensive work from Andrew Ferguson and Ben Knox, Instonians managed to win a series of corners- on which the last they converted to make the score 3-3.

Both teams then pressed hard for the winner but to no avail - credit must be awarded to man of the match Andrew Ferguson for preventing a final Inst strike on the whistle, receiving an injury to the face.

Taking it on the chin - literally - Ferguson walked of with the rest of his team mates accepting the draw, but certainly more is to be expected from the next game for the in-form Banbridge Thirds.