Bann go six games unbeaten in league

BANBRIDGE travelled to Deramore in their sixth league game of the season to face a Belfast Harlequins side struggling at the wrong end of the table.

Unbeaten so far, Banbridge were looking to consolidate their strong start going into the new year.

Banbridge were again without Bruce McCandless who was away on international duty.

Bann started the game slowly, coupled with a high and intense press saw Harlequins threaten early on. First, after some slack defending , Harlequins were 3 v 1 on Lennox but failed to convert.

Next after some decent skill they won a corner but was well defended by the Bann defensive unit.

After taking a while to get used to a lively pitch, Bann began to get their slick passing hockey going.

Owen Magee showed some terrific skill on the right, cutting infield to feed Colin Dowds who finished brilliant, hard and low into the Harlequins goal. This settled the team and they started to control possession and the tempo of the game.

A lot of fouls were committed by the ‘Quins players in this period with green cards being brandished.

It was soon 2-0, Scott Forbes doing well to win a corner, Stevie Dowds was denied illegally on the line and a stroke was awarded, Stephen stepped up and converted to the right leaving the keeper no chance.

Bann were well and truly on top at this stage, with little threat coming for ‘Quins.

It should have been three just before the break, but after Dane Ward’s first time shot was kicked off the line by the defender,a stroke was awarded, this time Stevie was denied by the keeper to keep the score at 2-0 going into the break.

The second half started with Bann dominating again and yet more poor tackles from ‘Quins, resulting in a yellow card.

Bann increased their lead through Dane Ward who finished well after a great ball from Drew Carlisle.

The game became increasingly scrappy, with a lot of ball bypassing both midfields due to Harlequins now half court press. This did not stop the Bann men trying to play their brand of hockey.

After several half chances, Bann made it four, a well executed short corner by Scott Caruth, low and hard to the keepers left. Harlequins looked to play on the break but the Banbridge defence competently dealt with any attacks, with Lennox untroubled throughout.

As the game began to wind down, Bann were awarded another corner, Stephen Dowds made up for his earlier stroke miss to make it 5-0 to Banbridge.

This extended Banbridge’s unbeaten run in the league to six games and with one game remaining until the Christmas break, Banbridge sit on top of the Premier League.