RUGBY: Cork success celebrates Banbridge squad strength

Daniel Soper. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Daniel Soper. Pic by PressEye Ltd.

Banbridge coach Daniel Soper had praise for his squad’s strength-in-depth following a weekend win over Dolphin.

The 16-11 success in Cork secured a seventh all-Ireland success in 10 Ulster Bank League Division 1B outings.

Soper took special encouragement from a result achieved without Banbridge’s nine Ulster Academy and Development players.

“I think we showed that we are building strength-in-depth,” he said. “Richard Graham played his part in a much-improved forward performance and Matthew Laird was simply excellent.

“It was certainly a big blow losing Ian (Porter) as he has been such a massive influence with his kicking, distribution and game management.

“But Josh (Cromie) slotted back in at 9 and I thought Ben Carson did well at out-half.

“And Stuart Cromie had a full game and deserved that try for all his hard work round the pitch.

“Dolphin are a very competitive side, their league position is not a fair reflection of their ability.

“But I thought we put in a much-improved performance, our set-piece work was much better and we defended very well for long periods when we were under pressure.

“We go into the Christmas break now with 34 points from 10 games, which I think is beyond anyone’s expectations.

“It’s been a gruelling 10-game run so the players will enjoy a short break before we get back to the action.”