It’s now or never as Bann need wins to make Havelock play-offs

Bann forward Stevie Dowds bagged two goals on Saturday. Pic: Presseye
Bann forward Stevie Dowds bagged two goals on Saturday. Pic: Presseye
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Banbridge Head Coach Mark Tumilty reckons his side have to hit form now if they’re going to make it to the play-offs.

They are without a win in three matches, following up their loss to Garvey with draws against Monkstown and Pembroke.

Over the next three games, however, there will be no excuses.

Bann make a trio of trips to face bottom three Annadale, Cookstown and Cork C of I and the coach knows they need to be looking at a maximum return.

His side are just two points better off than fourth place Three Rock Rovers. Any slip down the table and they would miss the end of season play-offs at Havelock Park.

Saturday’s trip to Annadale (pass-back 2.30pm), then, had better yield a victory.

“It will be tough but we need three points,” said Tumilty.

“We need to win these next three games and if we can, it would go a long way to guarantee us a place in the play-offs.

“If we can’t win them, it becomes very tight, which we don’t want, especially with Three Rock coming up to Havelock Park afterwards.”

Tumilty’s side saw off Annadale 3-1 the last time the teams met on the opening day of the season.

But this time out, the boss knows his side are going to have to up their game from last weekend to make sure of a repeat result.

He said: “It’s a concern that we can get ourselves up for the top games but not as much in the others. We were very good against Monkstown a couple of weeks ago but then last Saturday, we didn’t get up to anywhere near those levels.

“I think what we need is to be better more consistently. We play very well for phases of games but then there are other phases that we don’t reach the levels we need to.”

Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Pembroke at least kept Bann two points clear in third spot as fourth placed Three Rock Rovers drew 1-1 with second placed Monkstown.

“Those three matches against Gaarvey, Monkstown and Pembroke were always going to be tough. We’re no worse off now than we were before them so it’s no disaster,” he said.

“Now we need to get some momentum going. We have a run of games against teams below us in the table so we need to start picking up wins.”

After Saturday’s game at Annadale, Bann go into a two week break. That, Tumilty hopes, will be long enough to allow Philip Brown and goalkeeper Gareth Lennox to return to the squad.