Dowds delivers to pull Bann out of a hole in last gasp win

Stevie Dowds was yet again the Bann hero. INBL1545-244PB

Stevie Dowds was yet again the Bann hero. INBL1545-244PB

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Stephen Dowds netted a delightful double in the final five minutes to haul Banbridge to victory over Pembroke on Saturday.

The hosts were trailing 2-1 before Dowds took matters into his own hands and converted two short-corners.

Eugene Magee dazzles the Pembroke side. INBL1545-241PB

Eugene Magee dazzles the Pembroke side. INBL1545-241PB

Before the match, the club hosted a reception for all sponsors, members of the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon council, the Irish and Ulster hockey presidents and few could have expected the drama which was to follow.

The first two chances of the game fell to the home team, but Bann failed to capitalise on these. Pembroke then won two short-corners in quick succession but Gareth Lennox in the Bann goal made quality saves from both.

Towards the end of the quarter Bann began to dominate and a double strike from Eugene Magee were both dealt with by Pembroke keeper Mark Ingram.

The second quarter started with Bann pushing hard to open the scoring, with Owen Magee making some great attacking runs. From one of these he won a short corner, from which Matthew Bell produced a fine save. He was also thwarted by the stopper from the second corner.

Some close control from Drew Carlisle. INBL1545-245PB

Some close control from Drew Carlisle. INBL1545-245PB

The match was being played at a high tempo and the quality of the hockey was excellent from both sides. From one Pembroke attack Lennox was called into action and made yet another great save.

However, Bann soon won another short and the ball fell to Owen Magee who finished clinically.

The lead wasn’t to last as Pembroke’s Paddy Good soon received a good pass from Alan Sothern and brought the teams level at half-time.

Into the second half, Fraser Mills was causing the Pembroke defence lots of problems with his probing runs down the right.

From a Stevie Dowds run and cross, Neil Gilmore was found on the back post but pulled his snapshot wide of the post. Bann were dominating and won a series of corners but failed to score.

In the final quarter, Bann gave away a short corner from which Alan Sothern found the net to give the visitors the lead.

This spurred Bann into action though and with five minutes remaining, they won a short corner which Dowds dispatched beautifully past the keeper into the top corner.

Bann were now the dominant force in the match and with the visitors sitting deep trying to hold onto a draw, Bann won another short corner and Dowds again flicked high into the net to put Bann into the lead.

Bann held out to take all the points. They now have nine points in the IHL and are just a point behind leaders Monkstown.