Banbridge get their IHL campaign back on track

ON a heavy watered pitch Bann returned from a satisfying EHL Belgian tournament to face their Southern opponents Cork Harlequins at Havelock Park in their second All Ireland League game.

Bann were still without injured Dermy Reay and also due to injuries sustained at the EHL both the pacey forward Josh Moffett and the skillful defender Scott Forbes.

Bann started the game with tempo and confidence and were caused a few anxious moments within the Harlequins experienced defence.

It was Cork however had the opportunity to break the early deadlock but failed to capitalise on an uncharacteristic error from Bann defender Brown, but it was Bann who took an early lead in the seventh minute when Caruth had the easiest of tap ins from a Bruce McCandless cross which somehow evaded the Cork defence.

Ward could easily doubled Bann’s lead but was unable to convert when well placed. Despite some penetrating play from Bruce McCandless, Ward and Stephen Dowds, Cork defended resolutely and the first quarter ended with Bann very much in the ascendancy.

This trend continued and industrious midfielder Carlisle doubled Bann’s tally in the 20th minute after some good approach work by Bruce McCandless. Dowds squandered a golden opportunity provided by McShane, but his shot went narrowly wide.

The diving Caruth was unfortunate to see his shot deflect off a post after a great reverse cross from Dowds. Cork at this point had a couple of half chances but never really troubled a competent Bann rearguard.

The first short corner of the game was awarded to Bann 11 minutes into the third quarter and was clinically dispatched by the powerful Ross McCandless to extend Bann’s lead.

Coach Tumilty introduced schoolboys Bell, Brown and Magee fresh from their Irish Schools triumph as Bann continued to dominate the game. 

The 60 first minutes saw Bann awarded a pair of short corners and a fourth short corner competently put away by Stephen Dowds gave the home side a comfortable four goal victory in a game which they had dominated throughout.

Bann would have been happy with this bonus point result prior to hit off, but will be looking back at their many missed chances.

TEAM: G Lennox, R McCandless, S McCandless, S Forbes, P Brown, M Bell, B McCandless, R Beattie, D Carlisle, H McShane, D Ward, S Dowds, S Caruth, O Magee

Banbridge play the ’on form’ Leinster side Monkstown this Saturday at Havelock Park, hit off 5pm.