Success for Junior Boys
The U15 and U11 Boys were all in action this weekend with various successes for the teams. The 15 boys have progressed to the next round of their cup while the U11A team went out at the semi-final stage of the U11 Cup and the U11B team were runners-up in the Plate Competition. Match reports follow;
The Banbridge Hockey Club U15 Boys side defeated Antrim Hockey Club 4-0 to start their cup campaign emphatically this weekend. Although they got the result Bann started off slow and allowed Antrim through on goal on several occasions only for them to be denied by Luke Roleston. The introduction of Jack Montgomery solidified the Bann defence and they began to play nice, flowing, passing hockey. Some neat passing play from Mark Barlow and Charlie Norris earned Banbridge their first short corner of the game and it was Barlow who converted with a ferocious drag flick which found the top left hand corner of the net. Banbridge continued to add pressure onto the Antrim defence and a good pass from Nicholas Part set up Barlow for his second of the game. The solid defence of Luke McConnell, Lewis Bingham and Jack Montgomery seemed to shut down every attack Antrim tried to conjure.
After the first half it was much of the same from Bann and some great build up play led to Charlie Norris slotting in from close range to extend Bann’s goal advantage. It was once again Barlow who finished the scoring with another top class drag flick. A great start to the cup for Banbridge as they can take this momentum through to the next round.
U11 A – Boys
Banbridge Under 11 A team had a great start to the tournament picking up maximum points and finishing at the top of their group, scoring 17 goals and conceding 0 goals. The boys were on great form with goals coming from almost everyone. The most successful goal scorers after the group stages were Louis Rowe, Jedd Campbell and Will Russell. After the group stage, the boys cruised past Mossley in the quarter finals winning 3-0, with Luke Watt and Cody Large showing great defensive presence at the back. In the semi final the boys faced a strong Cookstown side. Although there were two great performances from Sam Cunningham and Taylor Beacom-Hurle, unfortunately the boys were defeated narrowly by one goal as a result of a break away attack against the run of play. Throughout the day the boys played attractive passing hockey and showed great character even when conceding against Cookstown. Thanks to Andrew Bennington and Kyle Marshall for coaching and encouraging the boys in the absence of their main coach Bruce McCandless who would have been extremely impressed by the quality of the Banbridge Boys play.
U11 B – Boys
Under 11 B team consisted of 1 P7, 3 P6 and 2 P5 players who started well with 3 draws in the group stages. Then then played eventual cup winners, Cookstown in the next group game. The Bs got off to a great start against Cookstown, going 1-0 up after 4 minutes with Ben Pollock grabbing the goal. Unfortunately Cookstown grabbed 3 late goals and held out for the win. Both the quarter and semi finals saw Bann see out normal time and extra time with draws against Ballynahinch and Instonians. Penalty runs would decide the outcome!
Star of the show was James Evans, stepping in as a kicking back for the penalty runs in both occasions and successfully saving 3 attempts. Oliver Berry grabbed the sudden death winner in the semi final with a ferocious hit in the bottom corner! Two P5s with massive potential! The Bs were narrowly defeated 2-1 in the Plate Competition final by South Antrim, after a battling performance – Oliver Berry on the scoresheet for Bann. A great effort by the Bann boys picking up the runners up trophy in the PlateCompetition! A huge thanks to Coach Suzanne Evans for all her hard work.