Banbridge Rangers Under 16s were celebrating on Saturday when David Barr scored the only goal in their Mid Ulster Youth Cup Final win over Dungannon.
On a very sunny but breezy morning at Gordon Playing Fields in Lurgan, the young Rangers side ran out deserved winners in front of 180 travelling Banbridge supporters.
The game started as expected with both teams showing some nerves and starting slowly but the game picked up when Dungannon put some pressure on the Rangers defence and had three or four good deliveries from corners dealt with comfortably by the Rangers back line.
Banbridge Rangers had their first clear-cut chance when David Barr was sent through on goal but with pressure from a Dungannon defender and the keeper closing down quickly, Rangers were unable to take the lead after a good save.
A free kick taken by Reuben Cobb was then cleared out wide to Matthew Holloway who took on his marker and was able to float a shot over the keeper to the far post but he was denied by the post with Dungannon able to clear the rebound.
On the hour mark, the tireless Holloway intercepted a Dungannon pass, went on a mazey run down the line and played the ball through to David Barr. He found Matthew Smylie and the Gers felt the forward’s shot was handled, but the referee didn’t agree.
The frustrations didn’t last as, the resulting throw-in was controlled by Holloway in the box with his shot on the turn being blocked by the Dungannon defender. The loose ball was sitting on the six yard line for Barr to drill his shot under the keeper to score the only goal of the game.
With 10 minutes remaining, Dungannon threw everything at Rangers but they were unable to break down the defence of Russell Hilland, Reuben Cobb, Matthew Burns and Dean McIlvena, who was replaced by Jack Savage.
Banbridge Rangers were able to hold out and lift the Mid Ulster trophy for the first time in the club’s history.
Man of the match was right-back Russell Hilland for a dominant display.