Signs are good despite defeat


Banbridge Town tidied up their series of pre-season friendlies with a visit from Airtricity Premier outfit Dundalk on Saturday.

And although they came out on the wrong side of a 4-2 scoreline there were a lot of noteworthy performances which would have pleased manager Ryan Watson.

Dundalk, who had recorded a brilliant victory over Shamrock Rovers on Friday night, fielded a few players who had featured in that game and with manager Stephen Kenny in attendance running his eye over a few squad members it was an excellent final workout for Town prior to the start of the league next Saturday.

Dundalk took a seventh minute lead when Mulvenna directed a fine header past the diving Stephen Cairnduff following a left wing cross. Minutes later Cairnduff saved at Mulvenna’s feet to prevent another score. Town’s first real effort saw Gary Boyle’s flicked header saved by Turker in the visitor’s goal. The ‘keeper again prevented a Boyle goal when he won a race for possession after 25 minutes. It was 2-0 after 31 minutes when ex-Hull City forward McCaffrey scored from the penalty spot.

They found themselves 3-0 down after 38 minutes when O’Connor was on hand to score after a long range shot had been spilled by the unlucky Cairnduff.

Steven O’Neill replaced the injured Gary Boyle at half-time and immediately made an impact with his pace up front. Stephen Greene made it 3-1 in the 50th minute when he got his head to a corner to score at the far post.

Cairnduff made another fine full length save from a fierce drive before Steven O’Neill turned two defenders only to see the Dundalk keeper save with his feet.

On the hour the latter headed a fine Adam Pedlow cross just over and with Banbridge pressing Mark Teggart raced on to a great Greene pass but saw his effort smothered by the Dundalk custodian.

The game was put beyond Town’s reach after 70 minutes when McGowan scored a second Dundalk penalty awarded for alleged handball to make it 4-1 to the visitors.

Town showed their fighting spirit when Steven O’Neill beat the Dundalk keeper in a race to a long ball and scored in the 86th minute to reduce the arrears.