Reserves ride winning streak to season's end
Craigavon City Res 1
Banbridge Rangers Res 4
ON Thursday night past Banbridge Rangers Reserves played the last game of the season for the club and ran out comfortable winners against mid table Craigavon City Reserves.
This win took Rangers Reserves points tally to 62 for the season with 94 league goals spread over 26 matches. The impressive set of results gained this campaign also involved a winning series of 17 matches in a row to secure promotion to Reserve Division Two alongside Tullygally Reserves.
Manager Dan Thornton had only three regular starters in the squad for this match and rewarded a lot of fringe players who attended training throughout the year.
It didn't take long for Banbridge Rangers Reserves to stamp their authority on the game with the midfield coming out on top in every battle with Wayne McBride playing alongside Richard Adamson in the centre. Gribben and Cairns on the wings were a constant attacking threat with Gribben setting up the latter for the opener after only 20 minutes.
The two wingers were well supported by Dillon and Burns at full back with Mark Dillon overlapping and providing a catalyst for the second goal of the match which was finished off by Cairns.
Gribben also got another assist on the board, sending in a pinpoint cross for manager Thornton to head in for his 10th goal of the season.
Banbridge Rangers could have extended their lead before half time but chances for Gribben, Thornton and Dobbin were all thwarted to leave the score at 3-0 at half time.
The second half got underway with Brian Dobbin scoring the pick of the nights goals with only five minutes on the board. Dobbin controlled the ball 25 yards out with his right before unleashing a half volley into the far top corner with the left foot.
Thornton and Dobbin were replaced for the last 40 minutes of the match by Graeme Montieth and Trevor McMinn who occupied the two strikers positions.
The miss of the match came with 20 minutes left when Montieth pulled back from the byline for McMinn who drilled his effort wide of the upright from four yards out.
James McCallister was introduced onto the right hand side for Gribben and sent Montieth through who curled an effort at goal but was saved by the Craigavon keeper.
A reshuffle sent Reserve team captain Colin Harper up front with McMinn dropping into centre midfield alongside McBride. Harper almost scored his fifth goal of the season when free on goal only for the ball to ricochet off the post.
Craigavon City missed a hat full of clear chances before scoring a late consolation against Craig Anderson in goals.
The match finished 4-1 to Banbridge Rangers Reserves who fully deserved to see out their last fixture with all three points.