Banbridge Town qualified for the Quarter-Finals of the Mid-Ulster Cup after a tough encounter with Mid-Ulster Intermediate A Kingpins Dollingstown at Crystal Park on Saturday.
It took an 86th minute goal from substitute Mark Teggart to send the Championship Two side through but the visitors left Crystal Park with their growing reputation enhanced.
Sprinkled with a plethoria of ex-Banbridge stars, Dollingstown forced Town to grind out the result. It was the home side that settled into the game first though, Adam Pedlow forcing a save and Johnny Kernaghan lobbing wide of goal.
For the visitors, ex-Town favourite Dale Malone was quite a handful and a trademark free-kick after 22 minutes caused panic for the homesters. Gary Boyle had a ground shot safely held by Wilton and after a terrific 45-yard run down the left, the lively Pedlow blazed a great effort narrowly wide of the far upright. Former Town keeper David Wilton plucked the ball off Steven O’Neill’s head on 31 minutes as Banbridge strove for the breakthrough.
Malone was pulling all the strings for D’town and after 35 minutes, he had two attempts at goal blocked by last ditch tackles from Town defenders. Two minutes later Mattie McCartan tested Wilton but found the ‘keeper in top form. Not to be outdone, Town custodian Stephen Cairnduff held Chris Mackle’s drive and followed up with a fine save from Thompson on the half-time whistle.
On 66 minutes, the visitors had their best chance of the game when Malone sent Thompson scuttling through. The latter rounded Cairnduff but the Town ‘keeper recovered to narrow the angle and the chance was gone. Ryan Watson then brought on Mark Teggart. It was his introduction that gave Town a new impetus and with four minutes remaining, they finally breached the Dollingstown rearguard.
Adam Pedlow attacked down the left and found Teggart who cut inside a couple of defenders and blasted a fine drive into the far corner of the net to put Town 1 - 0 ahead. Stunned Dollingstown searched for the equaliser although it was Banbridge who came closest to scoring again. Steven O’Neill had his shot blocked by Wilton after rounding two defenders but Teggart’s goal was enough to keep their Cup run alive.