Narrow defeat for Bann in first Irish League derby

Goalscorer Johnny McKee on the attack for Banbridge. Pic by Rowland White/PressEye
Goalscorer Johnny McKee on the attack for Banbridge. Pic by Rowland White/PressEye

Bann entertained local rivals Lisnagarvey on Saturday in the EY Hockey League. In an absorbing encounter it was the visitors who prevailed by two goals to one.

Quarter one was rather tepid for a local derby with play confined mainly between the twenty two metre lines.

Bann won the penalty corner count two one with Garvey keeper John Tormey making a smart save from Matthew Bell.

Garvey took the lead in the last minute when a Paul Gleghorne corner squirmed under Gareth Lennox’s pads.

The second quarter produced no further goals although it was the home side who dictated both possession and territory but unable to trouble the visitors circle.

The home side, still dogged in midfield were short of ideas near the Garvey circle, but they did earn a second penalty corner in the 26th minute; again Tormey was more than equal to Dowd’s shot saving with his hand.

Seconds later, Banbridge’s keeper Gareth Lennox was forced to save from Andy Williamson while Johnny McKee shot over the bar in the final minute of the first half.

Bann continued to press at the start of the third quarter with Garvey happy to defend deep and hope to attack on the counter.

There was little of note during the quarter until the 35th minute when a quick Garvey attack saw a Daniel Buser shot hit Gareth Lennox on the helmet and loop over his head before spinning into the goal.

Quarter four saw Bann up the tempo in an effort to get back in the game.

They penned Garvey back for long periods before Johnny McKee showed great strength and skill to cut in from the right before firing home from the top of the circle.

Bann had several other chances to snatch a draw before the final whistle but lack of composure in the circle resulted in no addition to the score.