U11s come out on the right side of nine-goal thriller

TOWN Juniors U11s ended their impressive season by scoring five in an exciting game with Abbey Villa last Tuesday evening.

The opening minutes were shaky with Banbridge having only one shot on target and Villa tested Town keeper Michael McGrath, but he saved anything that came his way with agility and composure.

On 12 minutes the visitors thumped one home to take the lead, however this was the wake up call that Banbridge needed and midfielder Jake Corbett scored the equaliser when the ball fell loose to him in the box, he spun round and struck it cleanly with his left foot giving the keeper no chance. Michael McGrath again was needed to keep the scores level when he made a couple of good saves but eventually Abby Villa found a way through to go 2-1 ahead.

The Juniors almost replied immediately when Jamie Finney worked hard in midfield, wriggling his way through the defence but his shot was met by a diving goal keeper for the sides to go in 2-1 at the break.

The second half started much brighter for Banbridge and with just two minutes in they drew level again when a James Orr corner found Jake Corbett who rose to meet it to score his second of the day. Pushing on for the points Banbridge took the lead through David Magill when the dependable centre back played a ball just in front of striker Ben Jonston who was at full stretch with the keeper sprinting out, neither player got a touch and the ball bounced and hit the back of the net.

On ten minutes Villa were awarded a penalty which put the score at 3-3. Jack Arlow played out of his skin, mopping up at the back any loose balls and stopping chance after chance of the Villa attack.

Arlow and goalie McGrath teamed up intelligently to prevent the opposition from going ahead. Josh Woods played a fearless game throwing himself into win tackles and with 10 minutes left he won a free kick. Defender James Orr struck it hard and high and the ball pinged the cross bar and fell to David Faulkner who netted first time with excellent composure. A swift reply from Villa made it four all. The last goal of the game came from striker David Faulkner who shot from outside the box when he saw the keeper off his line to leave the score 5-4 to the Juniors.

This was a brilliant battling display from the local lads who have continued to grow in confidence throughout the season and have matured greatly to become a force to be reckoned with at this level.

Man of the match went to Jake Corbett for his overall work rate and superb finishing.

Team – M. McGrath, J. Orr, J. Arlow, J. Woods, J. Corbett, J. Finney, B. Johnston, D. Faulkner, S. Winters, R. Shields, D. Magill.