THE Juniors U14s returned to league action at the weekend against Dromara, the team which defeated them in the cup two weeks previous.
With a full squad available Banbridge were very confident of a change of fortunes from their previous encounter. The game started with both teams having shared possession, however Banbridge had the better chances and looked certain to open the scoring after 15 minutes; Ross Fitzpatrick was upended in the area but the Dromara keeper saved the resulting spot kick from Curtis Stewart.
Dromara’s respite was short-lived, Daire McCluskey’s free kick from 30 yards gave the visiting keeper no chance. Banbridge looked comfortable and should have extended their lead but just as half-time loomed Dromara snatched an equaliser.
After a few tactical changes and a stiff pep talk Banbridge started the second period with renewed confidence and just two minutes after the restart scored their second. A corner from McCluskey on the right was met by Curtis Stewart who volleyed superbly into the Dromara goal. It was now wave after wave of Banbridge attacking but on the rare occasion the visitors threatened the home defence stood firm.
The Juniors extended their lead soon after, Luke Diamond beating the off-side trap and expertly slotting the ball past the advancing keeper. The game now looked beyond Dromara and it now seemed a question of how many the locals could win by.
With Banbridge now playing attractive, passing football it was left to skipper Curtis Stewart to finish Dromara off with two more goals and his own hat-trick to round off a very satisfying display.
This was a great all-round display from all 13 players but a special mention must go to young keeper Stuart Wilson, not only for his outstanding display but for the courage he showed just hours after a family bereavement.