THIS was always going to be much more than a friendly for Banbridge Rangers.
And, thanks to a penalty from former Town player Neil Clydesdale, the Cheney Park side got one over their neighbours from IFA Championship 2 on Thursday night.
In front of a crowd of over 300 people at Cheney the Gers took the victory when Clydesdale fired home, putting his penalty down the middle of the goal, 10 minutes into the second half.
Town had started strongly but it was Dan Thornton’s men who came out on top in the end with a performance worthy of a third successive triumph in this competition.
The champions reached the final after disposing of Scarva Rangers in Monday night’s first semi final.
Goals from Willie Frazer and Jason Gourley in the first half and a penalty from Neil Clydesdale in the second period was enough to see them through. A goal from Chris Herron was Scarva’s only consolation in what was a lively encounter in front of our largest crowd yet.
On Tuesday the Town reached the final after they had recorded a comfortable 5-0 win against Dromore Amateurs.
Matthew McCartan opened the scoring before Stuart Thompson added a second from a free kick. Another goal before half time from Chris McGrath had Town firmly in the driving seat.
A second half brace from Damian McParland sent Town coasting into the final.
The real winner, though, was Cancer Research UK. Donations at the gate including money raised from the shop, coupled with donations already collected throughout the tournament, brought the grand total to £1527.91 - an absolutely fantastic amount for the charity. The organisers would like to extend their thanks to both teams for taking part in the tournament this year and hope to see them back next year!
A massive thank-you goes to everyone for their support - players, the clubs, the referees, the sponsors but more importantly the fans for showing their interest in the tournament and helping raise so much for a great cause.
- Banbridge Rangers’ youth teams return to training this Thursday evening at Cheney Park from 6-7pm and also on Monday evenings at the same venue from 6-7pm.
Banbridge Rangers caters for both boys and girls at these sessions with teams from under seven to under 14 participating in the Mid-Ulster leagues.
If your child was born between 1999 and 2007 then bring them down to meet the growing team of coaches.