U15 Boys are Ulster Champions

Banbridge Hockey Club Boys have lifted the U15 Cup following a superb performance resulting in a 5-1 win over Lisnagarvey U15s at the weekend.  The match report follows:


Match report Ulster final 2013

Banbridge U15s faced a strong Lisnagarvey side in the final of the Ulster cup at Queens on Friday the 19th. The match began at a very high tempo with early chances opening up for both sides. Good attacking runs from the pacy Ben McConnell and Kyle Marshall were worrying the Garvey defence and the pressure told after 12 minutes when the deadlock was broken.  James Brown found Peter McKnight in the D, he turned and sent a shot goalwards which beat the unsighted Garvey keeper to give Bann the lead and calm the nerves after a frenetic first period. Garvey began to apply pressure to the Bann defence, creating a few chances but good defending from Sam Green, Andrew Bennington, Josh Peacock and James Anderson made important interceptions and tackles to keep them out. Leon Glover in nets was called upon to clear the lines on a couple of occasions and spread himself well to thwart the Garvey attackers.  Bann kept on making swift attacks with playmaker Jake Rowe linking up the wing with right back James Anderson very well to put pressure on the Garvey backs. A temporary loss of concentration for the Bann defence saw Garvey steal the ball and and send a long speculative ball through to their high forward just outside the D. This left the Garvey player with a 1 on 1, and he finished well into the bottom left corner. 1-1.

Coach Simon Jess called for full concentration and prompted that the Bann team to stay focused. They lifted the pace of the game and began to find further chances in front of goal. Left back Josh Peacock put some great crashed balls into the D, but the finishing touches just evaded the forwards in the danger area. Eventually after some great work yet again by Kyle Marshall, a short corner was awarded and Jake Rowe fired the ball into the back of the net with a fantastic drag flick that gave the keeper no chance. Banbridge managed to hold the score at 2-1 until half time though the Garvey team were showing some great skills and looked dangerous on the break.

They came out hard at the beginning of the second half, but they could find no way to break superb centre backs Sam Green and Andrew Bennington.  Chris Campbell also made some great interceptions in the forward line and Bann’s counter attacks really started to show some vulnerabilities in the Garvey defence. Kyle Marshall then found Peter McKnight on the 25-yard line with a fantastic open side hit, and he was left with a one on one against the keeper which he was able to convert with a fine finish into the right side netting.

At 3-1 Banbridge really found their rhythm and in the last 20 minutes, with the Garvey defence trying to push forward, holes were exploited in the danger area again and again. Nathan Ligget narrowly missed a chance at the back post for a fourth but Banbridge kept on pushing and after winning another short corner, the original drag flick was saved but James Brown smashed the ball into the goal on the half volley to make the score 4-1.

Bann were well on the ascendency at this stage and Scott Watson was terrorising the Garvey midfield with some brilliant attacking runs. Four was not enough for Bann and Kyle Marshall skilfully took it past five players to get into the D and then reversed the ball into the top left corner with the keeper only able to watch as the ball flew past him.

The final whistle blew at 5-1 and Banbridge were Ulster champions! The official presenting the trophy, commented on the fantastic display of Hockey from both sides with a fine array of skills on show.

 A special thanks to coach Scott McCandless who gave up his time throughout the year to coach the side and could not be there as he had to leave for Hong Kong a few days before the final. Thanks are also due to Simon Jess, Julie Sally and Aaron Appleton for all their hard work and patience throughout the year in preparing the team and developing the hockey at this level. The future of Banbridge hockey club is surely in good hands after the competent displays from these young boys.

Squad: Leon Glover, John Wilson, James Anderson, Josh Peacock, Sam Green, Andrew Bennington, Jake Rowe, Kyle Marshall, Scott Watson, Peter McKnight, Ben McConnell, James Brown, Chris Campbell, Ryan Jordan, Dylan Cowan, Nathan Liggett, Lee Groves and Matthew Graham.