Banbridge bow out of main cup competition
Bann HC 2 Monkstown 3
Banbridge bowed out of the main cup competition at the first attempt with defeat at home to fellow All-Ireland League side Monkstown.
After a by in the first round, Bann were hoping to put their recent disappointing league form behind them but the same frailties in front of goal haunted them as they lost another game in which they dominated possession.
Head coach Scott McCandless was forced to reshuffle his pack once again with injuries to Owen Magee, Bruce McCandless and Eugene Magee, and Johnny McKee rested ahead of Ireland’s crucial World Cup qualifying tournament next weekend.
Peter Bingham replaced Luke Roleston between the sticks.
Bann started the game in offensive mode with Joel Reid almost getting on the end of a great move between Matthew McKee and Christopher Curry down the left flank.
But it was the Dubliners who took the lead from a penalty corner when Bingham saved the first effort only for Mark Gibbons to knock in the rebound.
The second quarter saw the home side dominate and they equalised when a through ball from Witherow cut open the Monkstown defence to allow David Finlay to slip the ball to schoolboy Louis Rowe who nonchalantly lifted the ball over the on-rushing keeper before rolling it into the empty net to the delight of the home faithful. Rowe almost doubled the lead a minute later when his twin brother Charlie set him up only for the shot to hit the post and go wide.
From the restart, Peter Brown stole the ball from the defence but visiting keeper Ross Clarke forced the reverse shot past the post. Dane Ward saw his blistering drive creep just wide minutes before half-time.
While Bann were buoyant, Monkstown demonstrated they were not to be dismissed with two quick goals at the start of the third quarter.
Guy Sarratt fired a penalty corner low into the Bann goal, and a series of poor defensive tackles saw Jaz Henry slot in at the back post from open play.
Bann were now in all out attack as the visitors sat back in an attempt to hold onto their lead.
Curry, Phillip Brown and Sam Farson saw their efforts saved by Clarke while Louis Rowe’s effort was picked off the line after some last gasp defending.
The home side got one goal back in the final quarter when Farson converted a penalty corner routine but even removing the goalkeeper and going to 11 outfield players could not see Bann get the crucial equaliser.
So many chances gone begging in what proved another frustrating afternoon for the Ulster Carpets sponsored Banbridge side.
No game next weekend for McCandless’ side due to the international fixtures but Bann are next in action at Corinthians in Dublin on 30th October in the EY League.
Squad: Peter Bingham, Alexander Tinney (captain), Phillip Brown, Sam Farson, Charlie Rowe, Peter Brown, Luke Witherow, Mark Cowan, Hugh McShane, Dane Ward, David Finlay, Louis Rowe, Christopher Curry, Josh Moffett, Matthew McKee, Joel Reid.
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