BANBRIDGE travelled to Carryduff to play a youthful Annadale side, who were on the back of a great result last week against Instonians.
Bann went into the game top of the league and were hoping to take another step to the league title.
The locals were again without Bruce McCandless and Peter Brown who are in India with Ireland. A debut was handed to schoolboy Johnny McKee.
The start of the game was frantic and played at a very high tempo as both sides looked to gain the upper hand. The opening exchanges were riddled with mistakes and turnovers as Bann failed to adjust to a difficult pitch and Annadale’s deep press.
Bann were denied a short corner early on after a great piece of skill from Owen Magee, was harshly tackled but was missed by the umpire.
But they got their rewards from a decent spell of possession, Phillip Brown picked a pass to Josh Moffett on the baseline who was fouled and awarded a short corner. Stevie Dowds’ resulting drag flick was saved on the line by a ‘Dale body, with a penalty flick being awarded, Stevie stepped up and converted low to the keepers left to give Bann the lead.
Banbridge continued to push and soon made it 2-0. Scott Forbes played a great ball to Simon Magowan who crossed for Johnny McKee to score his first goal for the firsts with a tidy finish.
Bann were now on top and Fraser Mills did well to win a corner against his former club but the resulting flick was wide from Stevie Dowds. Bann went into the break 2-0 up.
Bann started the second half much like they started the first, failing to get into their rhythm with misplaced passes and poor touches. They paid for their mistakes and conceded an early short corner that was well saved by Gareth Lennox. Annadale began to pick up their tempo with their pace up front troubling the Bann back four.
They soon got one goal back, a great ball into the circle was touched into the Bann net giving Lennox no chance. Annadale’s tails were up and created several chances but failed to apply the finishing touch. Bann were still failing to get into their flow and it showed as they failed to create much in the final third.
Annadale soon ran out of ideas and as the clock wound down Bann continued to hang on. In the closing minutes Annadale received a yellow card for breaking down the play allowing Banbridge to run down the clock and record another away win in the league.
Banbridge go into the final five games of the league campaign at the top of the league and are hoping to secure their position there with a home win against Kilkeel next Saturday.