At last! Town get first win of season

BANBRIDGE Town have finally won a game - albeit on penalties.

They travelled to Warrenpoint Town for Saturday’s Bob Radcliffe Cup tie to defend the title they won last Christmas, going into the game off the back of an encouraging performance against Ards last week.

Town were able to name new signing Keith Fannin in their team and the Cavan GAA star impressed in the centre of the park.

Within five minutes of the game Chris Kingsberry found himself through on goal but ‘Point goalkeeper Power saved well to deny him.

This was to be the story of the day as Town found themselves one on one with Power quite a few times with the goalkeeper ending up on the winning side.

Kingsberry had five one on ones throughout the game, Conor Downey had two as had McGarry while Simon Robb was also through on goal only to be denied.

How Warrenpoint were still level at half time will remain a mystery.

At the break Town boss Ronnie Haughey rang the changes with Barry Nelson and the injured Simon Cree coming off for McGarry and Stevie Jones.

It remained 0-0 at the end of 90 minutes and so extra time was on the cards, 10 minutes of which was to be played each way.

Within a minute of the re-start Town fell behind through a Keith Johnston strike following an amazing run by the Warrenpoint left winger.

In the second half Town came to life. Goalkeeper Michael McAllister denied them at least once in the final ten minutes before Fannin went on a mazy run, beating four players and lashing a shot from about 20 yards that came back off the underside of the crossbar. Kingsberry rushed in and tapped home to level the scores.

Then Conor Downey made it 2-1 and the Town could taste victory.

But it wasn’t to be - at least not yet as ‘Point equalised in controversial circumstances. Stuart Thompson, who had defended well all afternoon, conceded a penalty after the referee had harshly judged that he had handed the ball after falling on top of it. Michael McAllister saved - but then the referee decided it should be taken again, saying that Thompson had gone into the box before the spot kick had been taken. It was retaken and scored this time.

So the game was to be decided on penalty kicks. Stuart Thompson went first and scored before McCallister saved from goalkeeper Power’s own spot kick.

Kingsberry made it 2-0 before Warrenpoint made it 2-1.

Stevie Jones made it 3-1, then it was 3-2. Fannin made it four but the ‘Point pulled another one back to make it 4-3.

It all rested on Gallagher’s shoulders to put the Town through - and so he did with a penalty that was taken with great conviction.

That sent the Town into round two on the road to the Boxing Day final with the draw to be made at a later date.

This week Town play Dergview on Saturday at Darragh Park in Castlederg, kick off 3pm.