BANBRIDGE men’s firsts entertained Belfast Harlequins in their second game of 2013, looking to extend their unbeaten run in the league.
Banbridge were without Bruce McCandless with a hamstring injury, but Fraser Mills made his home debut.
Banbridge started brightly and nearly took the lead in the first minute. Simon Magowan did well in dispossessing the Harlequins centre back but just shot wide of the goal.
Banbridge controlled possession of the ball as Harlequins struggled to get a touch of the ball on the opening exchanges.
Phillip Brown made several strong runs into the opponents’ circle winning Banbridge’s first short corner.
From the corner, Stevie Dowds was denied by a solid save from the Harlequins keeper. Bann continued to push and finally got their breakthrough in the 12th minute, Simon Magowan picked out Colin Dowds who beat two ‘Quins defenders and slid the ball across to Josh Moffett, who tapped in from close range.
Banbridge doubled their lead moments later, Phillip Brown again doing well down the left flank winning another short corner.
Stevie Dowds was denied again but this time the rebound fell to Stephen Forbes, who finished well from close range.
The LurganRoad outfit were playing some excellent hockey, exploiting the space left by the Quinn’s defence and it was soon 3-0.
Colin Dowds again doing well found Dane Ward who ripped an excellent cross to find Hugh McShane who slotted home from close range.
Bann were running riot, with Harlequins finding it very hard to get a touch of the ball. Dane Ward made it 4-0 after being denied initially by a good save, he finished well at the second time of asking.
Drew Carlisle continued to control the game at the back and Bann dominated possession throughout the first half.
Stevie Dowds completed the scoring in the first half, with a good corner variation that gave the keeper no chance.
Banbridge started the first half well with Stevie Dowds playing some threatening balls from the right hand side which were well defended by the Harlequins defence.
Bann again dominated possession but the slick hockey that was being played in the first half was not happening in the second. Bann, however, did still threaten the Harlequins goal,
Stevie Dowds had a corner well saved, with the Bann forwards unable to convert the rebound.
Mid-way through the second half, Harlequins got one goal back, with their first circle entry of the half they won a corner which they converted via a rebound.
Banbridge’s play became more and more disjointed as Harlequins pressed high on both the home side’s defence and midfield.
Banbridge continued to take chances, Colin Dowds was rewarded for his hard work with a well taken goal after some good link up play with Ward.
Harlequins themselves had several chances on the counter attack but nothing that threatened Lennox in goal.
With the clock winding down, Fraser Mills scored his first goal for Bann with a well taken reverse finish after being fed in by Moffett.
The game finished Bann 7 Harlequins 1.
Banbridge remain top of the table and go into their next game against Lisnagarvey hoping to extend their lead.