Railway Union 1
Bann 1XI 3
Banbridge travelled to Railway Union on Saturday for what proved to be a very exciting game in round 4 of the IHL.
They welcomed back the four international players that were part of the squad that competed in the recent test matches against outh Africa, Holland and Belgium.
The other players in the Bann team have been without a game in the last four weeks due to the weather, so this match would definitely be a good test of their sharpness.
The game started evenly with both teams creating chances. Banbridge’s first corner was charged down and at the other end
Railway hit the post from their first corner. Bann seeming to start the game not at the same tempo as they are known for.
Railway’s defence in Kenny Carroll and Ravin Nair did well in keeping the threat of Dowds, Wright, Gilmore, Mills and Ward under wraps.
Their relentless pressing up front put the Bann defence and midfield under some pressure to get the ball into the forward line.
After a goalless 1st quarter Banbridge started the 2nd quarter strongly winning a number of corners - which were well dealt with by Simon Thornton in the Railway goal.
Just before half time Railway won a corner which Mark English dispatched with a strong reverse shot. Half-time score - Railway 1 Banbridge 0.
The third quarter was competitive with a number of players getting carded and playing much of the quarter with 10, but with no scores. Gareth Lennox playing a great game in keeping the home side out of his net.
Things heated up in a very competitive final quarter. First, Railway were awarded a stroke which Lennox expertly saved with his right hand.
Banbridge quickly counter attacked and equalised through Fraser Mills on the rebound after the initial shot was saved.
Soon after Banbridge were awarded a stroke after Stephen Dowds was fouled in the circle. Matthew Bell made no mistake putting the stroke low to the keeper’s left.
With more yellow cards both teams were again down to 10 - and Banbridge turned up the pressure. Following a triple save by the Railway keeper, Eugene Magee made no mistake with the 4th, firing it into the goal.
Despite Banbridge going down to 9 Railway were unable to find another goal. The supporters were treated to a match of top class competitive hockey from both teams.
Final score: Railway 1 (M English) Banbridge 3 (F Mills, M Bell, E Magee)
The next match for Banbridge in the IHL takes place on the 21st March at home against Three Rock Rovers.