Banbridge Town Juniors U16’s 1 Downpatrick 1
Town Juniors Under-16s Lisburn League team had to settle for a share of the spoils after a titanic battle against title favourites Downpatrick at the Barbour on Saturday morning.
With both sides desperate to take all three points, nothing could separate the teams and a draw was probably a fair result on the day.
Playing against a strong breeze Town began the game with a real determination in their play putting Downpatrick on the back foot in the opening ten minutes.
Chances were few and far between with McAtamney going closest on two occasions, first firing his shot straight at the keeper and then volleying just wide of the post from a long free kick from Ellison.
Downpatrick began to get to grips with the game and looked dangerous on the counter attack, with Morgan putting in a last ditch tackle and Leckey saving well from a one on one to keep the scores level.
But with ten minutes to go to half-time Downpatrick got their noses in front when the Juniors switched off for a split second and the centre forward put Downpatrick one up.
The second half was a real ding dong battle and the Town managed to create more openings of their own. Fearon then managed to create some space for himself and after a neat one two with Rafferty, unleashed a superb right foot strike into the corner of the net from twenty-five yards to make it 1-1 with fifteen minutes left on the clock.
With Houston and McKinstry working hard to control the midfield the Town now seemed destined to go on and steal the victory.
But the final quarter of the match was literally end to end with both sides searching for that elusive winner but neither side could find the vital breakthrough.
Fitzsimmons cleared superbly off the line in the dying minutes and in the last action of the game McAtamney’s cross went right across the goal, but McKibbon could not find the slightest touch to convert and take all three points for the Juniors.
In the end both sides had to settle for a point which was probably more favourable for Downpatrick in terms of the league. But the locals can take heart from the resilience they showed against a strong Downpatrick side who dropped points for only the second time this season.
It was impossible to pick out any outstanding players on the day as all twelve involved were out on their feet at the end and have now only suffered one defeat in 13 league games. Team: Colin Leckey, Padraig Fitzsimmons, Jason Ellison, Paul Morgan, Ryan Devlin, Jamie McAtamney, Gavin Fearon, Odhran McKibbon, David Houston, Danny McKinstry, Owen Byrne, Michael Rafferty.