Eugene hat-trick brings a win at last
Banbridge made the journey to Lough Moss on Saturday and smashed past Annadale 5-2 to consolidate their third place in the IHL table.
Bann were missing Stephen Dowds and Gareth Lennox but that didn’t hold them back as a Eugene Magee hat-trick and goals from Bruce MCCandless and Johnny McKee secured a first win in four matches.
In the first quarter Banbridge were the dominant team with a lot of possession, Annadale had an early chance but the forward was unable to finish at the far post.
Banbridge then took control and Jonny McKee and Eugene Magee brought good saves from the Annadale keeper.
Against the run of play Annadale opened the scoring in the 8th minute with a rasping shot from the top of the circle which left Peter Bingham unsighted.
Bann kept on pushing for an equaliser and Eugene Magee converted Bann’s first PC in the 11th minute with a low shot.
Bann won a second PC which was blocked by the Annadale defence illegally resulting in another corner which came to nothing.
The score at the end of the first quarter was 1-1.
Bann continued to be dominant but there were fewer chances in the second quarter, as defences settled, with Drew Carlisle for Bann and David Smyth for Dale prominent.
Jonny McKee missed a good opportunity for Bann before Eugene Magee punished a defensive error in the 26th minute, to make the half time score 2-1 in favour of Bann.
Annadale won an early short corner, after good work by their forwards but they could not convert the chance. Bann were sitting to deep and inviting Annadale to attack and from some good right wing play Annadale won another corner, which this time they made no mistake giving Bingham no chance.
For the rest of this quarter both sides attacked hard but the defences stood strong.
Going into the final quarter the score was 2-2
The Banbridge Team of Mark Tumilty, Patrick Grimes, Simon Jess and John Clark must have had strong words during the break in quarters and changed the Bann approach with a much higher pressing game with Eugene Magee playing further forward.
During this quarter Bann were by far the dominant team.
From one the attacks, Josh Moffett won a short corner for Banbridge and Eugene Magee completed his hat trick, with a powerful tomahawk giving the Annadale keeper Jonny Moore no chance.
Banbridge were now totally dominating play, with Peter Brown and Eugene Magee prompting most of their attacks and with a great move down the left flank and a cross into the circle Bruce McCandless was on hand to apply the finishing touch and give Bann a two goal lead.
In the final minutes another superb sweeping move saw an early ball down the left wing find Jamie Wright, who managed to evade his defender and supply a superb cross on the reverse for Jonny McKee to finish in style.
Final Score 5-2.
This result means that Bann maintain their position of third in the EYHL and with the other results going their way, Bann are now five points clear of the 4th placed teams.
Bann are well positioned to be involved in the Irish Hockey League Finals which are being staged at Havelock Park over the bank holiday weekend of Saturday 30th April and Sunday 1st May.