Banbridge Men’s Thirds’ great run of form came to an end on Saturday after they were beaten 2-1 in the quarter finals of the McClements Cup by North Down Seconds at Havelock.
Banbridge welcomed back Luke Woods into the panel with Ben McConnell and Charlie Norris stepping up from the fourth XI.
Bann started the game well with McKnight and Brown linking up with the front line of Scott and Dean.
Bann won their first short corner midway through the half but the umpire failed to see the ball strike the foot of a North Down player before the ball was cleared.
North Down also won a couple of short corners but Bann defended them well. The best chance of the half fell to Kennedy in the last few minutes. After a quick break from defence, Brown found Dean on the right side of the circle and his cross found the unmarked Kennedy who failed to hit the target from close range.
North Down came out with a full press in the second half to try and increase the tempo of the game. Their tactic proved successful after a defensive error saw North Down win a short corner. When Bann failed to deal with a bouncing shot, the injector was on hand to knock the ball past Adair in the Bann goal.
The strike seemed to spur Bann into life and after a couple of short corners, Anderson managed to score one low to the keeper’s right to bring Bann back into the game.
Bann continued to press forward and squandered a couple of good chances when well positioned. North Down soon made Bann pay the price.
After a Bann defender failed to collect an aerial, the ball was well worked into the circle and a North Down midfielder fired into the corner.
Bann Thirds now have four games left of their league campaign with second place still up for grabs.