Banter from the Bann

RECENT RESULTS: Saturday 28th April - AFC Craigavon 2-3 Banbridge Rangers; Armagh City Res 2-0 Ban Rangers Res

FIXTURES: Wednesday 2nd May - Swifts (a) Lurgan Thistle Reserves 7pm

Thursday 3rd May - Under 13s (n) Banbridge Town 7pm

Saturday May 5 - Firsts (n) Ballymacash Rangers 11.30am

CUP FINAL REPLAY: - The Alan Wilson Cup Final Replay will take place on Saturday 5th May at Crystal Park, Banbridge with kick off at 11.30am. In the first game the match was abandoned on 59 minutes through serious injury to Gareth Fulton who had broken his leg in a challenge. It also transpired that midway through the first half midfielder Trevor Tate had broken his ankle in another challenge but the extent of the injury was unknown until swelling went down and an xray was taken during last week. Both players were on the sidelines to cheer Rangers onto league championship victory against AFC Criagavon on Saturday. Ballymacash Rangers will be relieved at getting another shot at the Cup Final which they felt was slipping out of their grasp being 2-0 down and outplayed for most of the original game. Hopefully Banbridge Rangers can find their form and complete an historic league and cup double. Please remember that admission to the Cup Final is free of charge but there will be voluntary donations accepted at the gate and will be passed on to the injured players from the original cup tie.

UNDER 13S CUP FINAL - Crystal Park will be hosting a derby Cup Final this week when Banbridge Rangers Under 13s take on Banbridge Town Under 13s in the MUYL Shield Final. The Final was originally scheduled for last Saturday morning but it has been put back to this Thursday evening (3rd May) with kick off at 7.00pm. Banbridge Rangers would encourage as many as possible to go down and support the Under 13s squad who have been making very good progress under coaches Paul Burns and Colin Martin this season.

SWIFTS PROMOTION CHANCE - Banbridge Rangers Swifts who are the Mens Thirds Teams will be looking to all but clinch promotion this Wednesday evening in their last game of the season away to Lurgan Thistle Reserves. This is the Swifts first season in Mid Ulster in a Division primarily made up off other clubs Seconds teams and are still on course to move up after a superb season so far. A recent blip in results means that the league title is probably out of reach with Coalisland able to clinch it if they win their last game. Vying for second place is Tullyvallen who have three games in hand of the Swifts but are nine points adrift with an inferior goal difference of almost 40 goals. If the Swifts can win on Wednesday night at Kernan Playing Fields they will be almost guaranteed promotion as Tullyvallen will struggle to win all of their games by double figure margins and have to play top of the league Coalisland this week aswell. It would be great to see a large crowd over at Kernan for the 7.00pm kick off and cheer the Swifts on.

LADIES TEAM - Banbridge Rangers Ladies are actively recruiting for the new season which started last week with Rangers Ladies putting seven past Carnmoney to go top of Division 4.. If you are over the age of 14 and would like to take part please contact Robbie Baird on 07815871275 for details on upcoming training sessions and matches. All matches take place on week nights with training sessions usually on Monday or Thursday evenings.

TESCO VOUCHERS - Banbridge Rangers are collecting Tesco Vouchers for Clubs and Schools and are looking to beat last years remarkable total of 28,500 which saw the club gain a tablet computer, digital camera and various training equipment. You can bring your vouchers to any training session or match where a committee member will gratefully accept.

YOUTH ACADEMY PLAN - Banbridge Rangers Youth Academy has continued its rapid growth again this season doubling in size and becoming a force on the pitch in all age groups. Plans are underway for next season to cater for teams at all age groups between Under 7 and Under 14 and keep the existing Under 18 side. The age ranges for league participation will cater for all children who are born in 1999 through to 2006. If you would like your son or daughter to be involved with one of the junior teams then please bring them along to one of the open sessions at Cheney Park every Thursday evening from 6-7pm throughout May and June. We are also keen to bring new coaches into the club so if you are looking to assist any of the teams in any way please get in contact with Trevor McMinn on 07871771719.