Bann re-ignite IHL campaign as Academy retain Tasmanian Shield
1ST XI REMAIN ON TRACK
On a heavly watered pitch Bann returned from a satisfying EHL Belgian tournament to face their southern opponents Cork Harlequins at Havelock park in their second All Ireland League game.
Bann were still without injured Dermy Reay and also due to injuries sustained at the EHL both the pacey forward Josh Moffett and the skilful defender Scott Forbes.
Bann started the game with tempo and confidence and were causing a few anxious moments within the Harlequins experienced defence. It was Cork however who had the opportunity to break the early deadlock but failed to capitalise on an uncharacteristic error from Bann defender Brown, however it was Bann who took an early lead in the seventh minute when Caruth had the easiest of tap ins from a Bruce McCandless cross which somehow evaded the Cork defence.
Ward could have easily doubled Bann’s lead but was unable to convert when well placed. Despite some penetrating play from Bruce McCandless, Ward and Stephen Dowds, Cork defended resolutely and the first quarter ended with Bann very much in the ascendancy. This trend continued and industrious midfielder Carlisle doubled Bann’s tally in the twentieth minute after some good approach work by Bruce McCandless. Dowds squandered a golden opportunity provided by McShane, his shot went narrowly wide. The diving Caruth was unfortunate to see his shot deflect off a post after a great reverse cross from Dowds. Cork at this point had a couple of half chances but never really troubled a competent Bann rearguard.
The first short corner of the game was awarded to Bann eleven minutes into the third quarter and was clinically dispatched by the powerful Ross McCandless to extend Bann’s lead. Coach Tumilty introduced schoolboys Bell, Brown and Magee fresh from their Irish Schools triumph as Bann continued to dominate the game. The sixty first minute saw Bann awarded a pair of short corners and a fourth short corner competently put away by Stephen Dowds gave the home side a comfortable four goal victory in a game which they had dominated throughout.
Bann would have been happy with this bonus point result prior to hit off, but will be looking back at their many missed chances.
G Lennox, R McCandless, S McCandless, S Forbes, P Brown, M Bell, B McCandless, R Beattie, D Carlisle, H McShane, D Ward, S Dowds, S Caruth, O Magee
Banbridge play the ’on form’ Leinster side Monkstown this Saturday at Havelock park, hit off 5pm.
BANBRIDGE ACADEMY have retained the All-Ireland Schoolboy Championships after disposing of arch rivals Cookstown High School in the Cork decider. Goals from Club 1st XI players Owen Magee and Matthew Bell sealed the historic win for coaches Steven Dawson and Mark Cordner.
They become only the third school to retain the title after RBAI and Newry HS. This is the fourth time the Academy have lifted the title, their previous victories coming in 1992 (Lee Tumilty), 2006 (Stephen Forbes) and 2010 (Hugh McShane).
Bann 2nds continued their fine form with a solid 3-1 win over NICS in Junior League One whilst the 3rds were on the end of a hiding at home to Raphoe 2nds. The 4ths continue to build and narrowly lost 1-0 away to NICS.
BEN RALLIES IN BANN WIN
The Seconds travelled down with a skeleton squad to Stormont missing Mark McCague and travel enthusiast David McAnulty. Although the majority of the squad was made up of the successful all Ireland school boys team there were no tired legs on show with Bann gaining the upper hand from the push back.
Bann went on the attack from the outset with young Woods and McCracken causing Civil Service defence all matter of problems. It was not long before Bann went ahead and it was through the combination of Woods and McCracken again with the later slotting the ball home from close range. Civil Service failed to create much and relied upon speculative long balls. With Cosgrove instigating several attacks from centre midfield Bann soon found themselves two goals in front when the ball fell to Woods who finished well on his reverse from a tight angle.
Civil service rallied in the second half and started to make inroads into the Bann defence, but failed to trouble Appleton in the Bann goal. As the game entered into the final stages Civil Service won a short corner after the ball was lost too easily in the midfield and although the initial shot was saved Bann failed to deal with the second phase and a Civil Service player was on hand to roll the ball into the goal from close range. With ten minutes left Bann managed to regain control and after an excellent move from Bingy the ball fell to Cosgrove who rounded the keeper and slapped the ball goal wards only for a Civil Service defender to stop the ball with his body on the goal line. A penalty flick was awarded and Cosgrove dispatched the flick into the bottom left corner giving the Civil Service keeper no chance.
Bann managed to play out the last few minutes in Civil Service’s half and were glad to hear the final whistle. That result leaves Bann with four wins from four games, but will face a stiff test against Annandale two’s next week who are also at the top end of the table.