Holders out of McClements Cup
Annadale Thirds 4
Banbridge Thirds 2
THE Thirds’ grasp on the McClements Cup was finally resisted when they travelled to Lough Moss for a quarter final tie.
Bann were without injured keeper Aaron Appleton and Michael Cowan who has suffered a recurrence of his knee injury. Called upon were young Andrew Mooney in goals and the inclusion of Neil Anderson.
Bann started the game on the back foot with Dale stating their intentions early on. It was only after two minutes that their centre forward broke free and was clean through on goal and slotted a cool finish past Mooney.
This shocked the locals and the home side did not have to wait long to get number two. A straight strike short corner was rifled into the bottom left hand corner of the goal.
The Thirds were struggling to get a hold of the game with the opposing team showing more hunger and desire all over the pitch. Bann did eventually start to put some pressure on the Dale defence with excellent work down the right between Jess and Duggan allowed Anderson to break free but the end product was not to be.
Gary Dean tried his luck with a couple of mazy runs and eventually when he did close down on goal his goal ward bound shot was tucked in at the back post by Neil Anderson.
Bann started the second half on a high with the midfield of Hutchinson, Doyle and Jess starting to make more of an impact on the game. Philip Doyle had a good drag flick saved well by the home keeper and almost immediately after the home side went up to the other end of the pitch and won their own short corner in which they duly put away to make it 3-1.
This seemed to sting Bann and when their left winger broke down the left he smashed a great shot past Mooney from an acute angle to increase their lead.
This was game over and the holders were facing an early exit. Owen Magee almost scored a wonderful goal in reply when he picked the ball up outside the 25 and waltzed his way past four defenders before unleashing a crisp shot from a tight angle which beat the keeper but bounced back out off the post.
Gary Dean did dispatch a late consolation for his seventh goal in three games. It was too little too late in the end and the locals will be disappointed to have put in a poor performance in a game they would have fancied their chances to continue their defence of the cup.