Brilliant Beckett helps Bann Thirds win on penalty strokes

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The Banbridge Ladies Thirds braved the cold for the first round of the Plate at Stormont on Saturday.

Despite the freezing weather and episodes of snow during the match, Banbridge started the first half with all the possession, testing the defence on many occasions but without any outcome.

Many attempts from the Pegasus forwards to break into the Bann circle were stopped by the great defence of Rachel Groves, Gaye Campbell and Jayne Scott.

Bann’s centre back Jess proved key in supporting midfield by providing key tackles and excellent passes to reach the Jessica Faulkner and Poppy Robins who made great runs through from the midifield, keeping pressure on Pegasus.

The opposition won a short corner off a foot, but the strike was saved by Louise Beckett and cleared by Jayne Scott before they got another chance.

The second half saw Pegasus getting some more possession but Banbridge still controlled the pace, with Ashleigh Mitchell, Elli and Poppy Robinson and Punam McGookin having great passes between them cause the Pegasus side to get more and more frustrated.

The opposition had another two short corners, both of which were well handled by Bann’s defence with no goals being scored.

Only too soon the final whistle sounded but with a nil-nil dead lock extra time was unavoidable.

Silver goal extra was played out with Pegasus having a shot on goal that was saved and cleared.

Banbridge had some great play with Sarah upfront but could not get a goal before time ran out.

With the winner of the game still undecided the teams lined up to take strokes.

Goalkeeper and player of the match Louise Beckett was in terrific form denying Pegasus all but two attempts.

Banbridge on the other hand netted three strokes through Sarah and Jess resulting in a final score of 3-2 to Banbridge and progressing the team to the next round of the Plate.