Banbridge Town Juniors Under 16s Lisburn League team disposed of North Belfast with ease on Saturday morning, winning 3-1 in a result which flattered the Belfast side at Wallace Park.
Despite dominating possession in the first half, Town somehow failed to break down the stubborn North Belfast defence.
Rafferty, McKibbon and Fearon all went close to scoring, but a lack of composure in the final third was just letting the Juniors down.
North Belfast offered little in attack with the Town defence and in particular Houston totally dominant in the opening half.
After some changes at half time, the Town finally managed to create the better openings. Both Byrne and Rafferty should have scored from close range and Fearon and Downey started to get in behind the defence on the left hand side with ease - a pattern of play that was looking ominous as Town searched for the opener.
It took a long ball from the Belfast keeper over the top to create their first real chance of the game. However, with Leckey beaten by the centre forward’s lob it was left to Paul Morgan to somehow scamper back and clear the ball off the line to keep the scores level.
Eventually, after 50 minutes of poking and prodding at the North Belfast defence, it was left to winger Gavin Fearon to break the deadlock for the Juniors. He used his pace and strength to get onto McAtamney’s clever pass in behind the defence and finished with real style to put the Town deservedly one goal ahead.
Minutes later, danger man Fearon again cut in from the left, latching onto Downey’s pass and lobbed the keeper. With the ball heading goal-bound, Rafferty was taking absolutely no chances and was on hand to finish on the line and make it 2-0.
James McCann made it 3-0 soon after, superbly converting Rafferty’s flicked header at the back post to seal the game for the Town, who were more thsn deserving of their convincing lead.
Belfast scored a late consolation goal with minutes on the clock and Leckey produced a wonder save to deny Belfast from a free kick right on the whistle, but the result was never in doubt after a fine second half display from the Town who now move into third spot in the league table.
Next up for the Lisburn league side is North End on Saturday morning.
TOWN JUNIORS Colin Leckey, Paul Morgan, David Houston, Jason Ellison, Ryan Devlin, Jamie McAtamney, Gavin Fearon, Odhran McKibbon, Michael Rafferty, Danny McKinstry, Owen Byrne, James McCann, Cormac Downey.