BANBRIDGE’S opening home league game of the season saw them face a youthful Annadale side who had run both Pembroke Wanders and Lisnagarvey close in their last two games.
Bann were without Ben Cosgrove (hamstring) and Owen Magee (knee) for the game.
Banbridge started the game lethargically from the first whistle and within the first 20 seconds of the game Bann were behind, a long aerial from the back was underestimated by the defence and an Annadale forward was in acres of space who then easily passed the ball around a helpless Lennox in the Bann goal.
The mistakes continued throughout the Banbridge side as the Dale side pressed hard. After this Bann began to settle and started their familiar “passing game”.
Midway through the first half Bann were level, a brilliant passing move saw Simon Magowan and Peter Brown interchange with the latter slipping in Josh Moffett to finish from close range. Bann had a chance just before the half way mark through a switch short corner but a good save from the ‘Dale keeper saw the score level going into the break.
The second half saw Bann start the better and once again control the possession plus tempo of the game, however the pace of Annadale forwards troubled the Bann defence throughout which yielded several corners, fortunately Lennox dealt with these competently.
Dale then had a golden chance to snatch the lead one counter with a 3 on 1 on the Bann goal but the Annadale forward missed at the back post and Bann were given a lifeline. Lennox then denied another Dale forward who forced his way into the ‘D’ and let off a ‘snapshot’ which Lennox did well to keep out.
Bann then picked up their game and after a siege on the Dale ‘D’, drawing a few excellant saves from the Dale goalkeeper, Bann eventually took the lead in the last 10 minutes of the game.
A great passing move saw the ball transferred from right to left from the back, with Scott Forbes finding Colin Dowds in midfield who found space and threaded an exquisite ball to Ross Beattie who was waiting at the back post to tap the ball in.
After this Bann had their tails up and made it 3-1 in quick succession with an expertly finished drag flick from Stephen Dowds. Bann then had several chances to extend their lead but failed to convert their chances.