Banbridge Seconds sealed their palce in the quarter-final of the Irish Junior Cup on Saturday with a 5-2 victory over Glenanne.
It was the only Junior cup game in Ulster to go be played with the bad weather but the hardy souls were rewarded as both sets of fans had their hearts racing throughout a real thriller.
Bann started well and won a few early shot-corners to test the visitors. With Ross McCandless over the top it took a good defence to stop the first few flicks but a switch to Colin Dowds saw him hit a Glenanne player on the line and after a long discussion between the umpires the stroke was given and Colin Dowds coolly slotted it home.
However, Glenanne broke straight back and within five minutes, they were all even. With some ping pong hockey landing kindly to the Dublin side, they broke free and with the coolest of finishes to slip in under the advancing Bann keeper put the game level at 1-1.
Now Glennane smelt blood and dominated the rest of the half, really testing the Bann defence including a number of short corners which caused a triple save from Bann keeper Peter Bingham, who still needed the help of Timmy Watt to clear the ball off the line at the fourth attempt.
Bann came out the better side and with air cooling, this game was just starting to heat up. It was the mesmerising run from Captain Bill Malcomson that regained the lead for Bann as he beat four Glenanne players before slotting the ball past the keeper.
Again, this was the spark Glennane needed and soon they picked a pass from Bann and their number nine, who already had a goal to his name, was through but this time keeper Bingham game out on top with a good diving save.
The snow soon started to fall, the pitch marking become hidden and the ball a nightmare to see. Not two minutes later, a crossfield ball to an advancing run from a Glenn midfielder left another one on one. This time the Glenn player’s first touch let him down taking him wide but he recovered well to pass to a teammate who finished into the empty net.
The game was stopped for 10 minutes to let the snow blow over and this proved a real blessing for Bann.
After Bingham saved superbly from the Glenanne captain, Bann became alive. McCandless’ passes proved too much for Glenn and with supporting runs from Junior Burns, Josh Rowe and Ben Knox, Bann scored three goals in 10 minutes.
First, Ross McCandless sent his trade mark drag flick home for 3-2 to Bann. Mark Campbell then won the ball from the Glenanne defender and passed it to Sam Farson who muscled his way along the back line to pull back for Jake Rowe to lob the keeper.
Bann’s fifth goal came from some great work from Farson, leaving the Dublin defence for dead before slipping it past the keeper to Simon Magowan to finish it off and complete the scoring.