No goals in fourth derby of the season as locals draw a blank

The fourth meeting of the season between Banbridge Rangers and Seapatrick drew a large crowd to Cheney Park on Saturday but unfortunately produced no goals despite the best efforts of both teams.

Wednesday, 16th March 2016, 7:00 pm
Banbridge Rangers and Seapatrick couldn't be separated on Saturday. INBL1540-293PB

In the opening half an hour it was Rangers who controlled most possession, but Seapatrick had the only two clear cut opportunities within this period on the counter attack but spurned both chances.

Jason Gibson was well placed to volley a McEvoy cross after ten minutes but his effort went wide, then his strike partner Adam McBurney had all the time in the world to pick his spot when the ball fell kindly to him in the box midway through the half but his effort was well blocked.

The ‘Gers first clear cut chance came in the 34th minute when an inch perfect cross from Stephen Teggart put Colin Cunningham in on goal unopposed, but Seapatrick goalkeeper Buchanan was quick off his line and made a fantastic save.

The home side then carved out two more chances soon after with Cunningham bundled over at the front post when trying to connect with a Cousins cross, then two minutes later it was Jeff Brady who made inroads after skipping past Mark Myles but his drilled shot hit the post.

A diagonal ball from Teggart early in the second half for Cousins to go one on one set the tone for the second half as the Rangers side pummelled the Seapatrick defence but again Buchanan came to the Village’s rescue by bravely smothering at Cousins feet.

Within two minutes Neil Clydesdale’s reverse pass sent the Banbridge captain free again but was denied by Buchanan’s feet.

The shots started to rain in from the Rangers forwards but Buchanan gathering a rasping Cunningham shot in the 55th minute. Ninety seconds later Cousins went close with a curling shot from the left wing which beat the keeper but came back off the inside of the post with the rebound coming back off Buchanan but fortuitously went back out for a corner.

There was a feeling that it wasn’t going to be Colin Cousins, or Banbridge Rangers, day in front of goal when he was played in behind for a third time in the match one on one but curled his shot wide of the far post with fifteen minutes to play.

Seapatrick had caused very few problems for Banbridge Rangers in the second half but had a glorious opportunity to secure their first win over their neighbours in ten attempts when McBurney’s low cross saw Jason Gibson hammer his shot from close range off the cross bar.

In the final minutes of the game Banbridge Rangers struck the Seapatrick woodwork for the third time in the game when Jeff Brady picked the ball up twenty yards from goal and sent an exquisite chip over the reach of Buchanan but it clipped the underside of the bar and came back into play.

The contest ended as a goalless stalemate but was a well attended local derby match with all gate receipts being donated to the local branch of the Royal British Legion in memory of Lance Corporal Stephen McKee who was killed in action five years ago last week and played for both clubs.

Next up for Banbridge Rangers is a home fixture against title chasing Valley Rangers with kick off at 2.15pm at Cheney Park.