Banbridge Men’s Fours went down 4-3 in a thrilling yet heart-breaking opener to the Junior League Three season against Bangor Threes at Havelock Park.
An early mistake in the Banbridge midfield led to Bangor scoring their first goal.
However, Bann responded excellently by pushing forward and winning a free outside of the Bangor D. Joe McKnight stepped up to take it. The ball was moved five metres and was lashed into the D for Gary Dean to deflect the ball into the top left-hand corner to make it 1-1. The keeper had no chance.
Unfortunately for the hosts, a Banbridge mistake again was punished as Bangor cut through to make it 1-2. Bangor won a couple of short corners towards the end of the half, but they were dealt with well, including a high stick save off the line just before the half-time whistle.
Banbridge started the second half brilliantly and controlled the midfield area really well, but Bangor scored after ten minutes to make it 1-3.
Of course Bann were never going to settle for that and who else, but Gary Dean was to score the second after some brilliant play by Ben McConnell, 2-3.
Bann kept pushing for the equaliser and were producing far more chances going forward. Matthew Young was yet again ghosting past players on the right of midfield. However, Bangor won a free inside the 25. The ball was carried in and hit high by the Bangor player. It was going wide only for it to hit David Morrison on the arm to deflect the ball in. Somehow the goal was awarded, 2-4.
Were the Banbridge heads going to drop? No chance! Nigel Allister pushed forward to score a fine solo effort, 3-4, Sean Doran yet again producing an assist for the second week in a row.
With minutes to go, Bann pushed hard at the Bangor defence, only for them to clear the ball up the field to get rid. The game finished 3-4, but the locals worked hard for the full 70 minutes.