Round up of the weekends action
The weekend results has moved six of Bann’s eight senior teams into a top or second place position in the various Ulster Hockey League tables this week with the other two teams sitting in respectable top half of the table positions after another successful weekend.
The Men’s 1s travelled to Carryduff to play Annadale side, who were on the back of a great result last week against Instonians. Bann were again without Bruce McCandless and Peter Brown who are on duty with Ireland. A Premier League debut was handed to schoolboy Johnny McKee. The start of the game was frantic and played at a very high tempo as both sides looked to gain the upper hand. Bann finished the first half 2-0 up with goals from Stevie Dowds and Johnny McKee. Annadale put more pressure on the Bann defence in the second half and pulled a goal back. However Bann continued to hang on to their lead and took the maximum points from the game and remain top of the Premier League.
Banbridge Mens 2s entertained Lisnagarvey 2s at Havelock in the top of the table clash knowing a win would give them a clear advantage in the league. However, this was not to be and Bann went down 3-2 to Garvey with the Banbridge goals scored by David McCracken and David McAnulty. Bann are still in a strong position in the league but know they require to improve when they travel down to Cork on Saturday to take on Cork Church of Ireland in the quarter finals of the Irish Junior Cup.
A solid performance from the Men’s 3s saw them pick up maximum points against South Antrim 2s and regain their confidence after a heavy defeat the previous week. Five players were called up from the 4th XI and the team looked strong from the outset. Bann finished the game 4-3 with goals scored by Dave Smyth and a hatrick for the in-form Gary Dean.
Bann 4s put on a top performance against rivals ‘Garvey to comfortably win the game 8-1. Matthew Clarke, Gary Dean and Gareth Matthews each got a brace with Andrew Liggott and Michael Young completing the tally for Bann. A superb overall performance from the 4s means Bann can carry this momentum into the final two league games of the season, needing just 4 points from two games to guarantee a return to junior 2.
The Ladies 1s were in action in the Qualifying Plate Competition against Belfast Harlequins 3s and comfortably won 5-1 with two goals apiece from Rachel Cairns and Amy Atkinson and another from Anna Moore to take them into the next round of this competition. The 1sts return to League action this weekend were they will be pushing again for maximum points to allow them to retain their top of the table position.
The Ladies 2s moved up the table into second place with a strong win against bottom of table side Pegasus 3s. Rosie Waddell scored two with Megan Whan and Nadene Black also getting their names on the score sheet in the 4-0 win. With the points tight at the top of the table, the 2s need to keep up these top performances to secure promotion for the second season in a row.
The Ladies 3s played Ballyclare 3s in the Minor Plate this week. Despite beating them the previous week in the League, they narrowly lost this game 1-0 to go out of the Plate competition.
For full details for all of the above games, check out the team pages on the BHC website and download the appropriate match reports.