Banbridge Town made the short journey to Planters Park to face home side Dollingstown who are having an exceptional first season in Championship Two.
The Dollybirds entered the game as warm favourites having already defeated Town at Crystal Park earlier in the season and on this occasion they handed out another heavy defeat, 3-0 this time the score-line.
Once again Ryan Watson did not have his sorrows to seek as he had to plan without Ryan Evans (suspended), Chris Coleman (hamstring), Glen Waddell and John Murphy (both unavailable).
The game was only two minutes old when a Martin Buchanan mistake let in Richard Donaghy but the Dollingstown forward scuffed his shot and James McConville saved easily. After five minutes, Mark Teggart cut through but his tame effort did not trouble Chris Fletcher in the home goal.
Sadly for Banbridge, this was a prelude of things to come and throughout the 90 minutes, they rarely troubled the Dollingstown custodian. On nine minutes Clydesdale raided down the right for the homesters and found Walker who flashed a shot across goal but came to nothing much to the relief of Town.
Soon after, Teggart earned a free kick which Ally Wilson fired over the bar. There was little between the sides at this stage with little sign of a goal. Dollingstown were at least on top in midfield and ‘keeper McConville had to save smartly from the diminutive Clydesdale on 27 minutes.
One minute later came the opening goal when a left wing cross into the Banbridge goalmouth was swept home by the hard working Neil Clydesdale giving James McConville little chance. The deadlock was broken!
Town fought hard to get on terms and after 38 minutes a long throw in from Michael Ferguson found Stephen Greene whose header tested Fletcher who was not found wanting. However, on 39 minutes Banbridge found themselves two behind in what Town thought were controversial circumstances.
Dollingstown felt they should have been awarded a free kick some 30 yards from the Town goal but the referee played on as they regained possession with the homesters being forced away from Town’s goal. The referee then stopped play and decided to award the free.
To his credit, Clydesdale remained coolness personified before blasting a great effort from 30 yards over McConville and into the roof of the net.
On the half-time whistle, Ryan Gourley was fouled after a run into the area but Ally Wilson once again blasted over the bar and the chance was gone. It was now an uphill struggle for Banbridge and it became mission impossible in the 52nd minute when Dolligstown made it three.
They were awarded a free some 50 yards from goal and when the ball was floated into the penalty box Gibson rose to send a looping header to the net.
Adam Dennison then replaced Mattie McCartan for Town to inject some fresh blood into the Banbridge engine room. David Gray, an earlier sub for Ryan Gourley), was involved in a good move with Teggart but like most of Town’s efforts on the day, it came to nothing.
Ryan Watson’s final throw of the dice was to bring Duncan Stoddard into the fray and he looked composed and did try to make things happen but to no avail.
Teggart did have a good drive deflected for a fruitless corner after 75 minutes but it has to be said Dollingstown ran out comfortable winners to complete a double over their neighbours in their first season at this level.
For Banbridge Town it is back to the drawing board and sooner rather than later they will have to get some points on the board to avoid being sucked into a relegation battle.
DOLLINGSTOWN: C. Fletcher, G. Ringland. D.Kerr, J.Gibson, N.King, A.Moffett, N.Clydesdale, M.Hughes, J.Redpath, A.Walker, R.Donaghy. Subs: A.King, K.Robinson. M.Fegan.
BANBRIDGE TOWN: J. McConville, M. Ferguson, J. Wilson, S. Greene, M. Buchanan, S.Jones, R.Gourley, M.McCartan, A.Wilson, C. Downey, M. Teggart. Subs: D.Gray (Gourley 60), A.Dennison (McCartan 66), D.Stoddard (Ferguson 82), D.Martin.
Referee: Alaistair Burns, Portadown.
Next Saturday Town are on their travels again when they visit Tobermore Utd (Kick-Off 3.00 p.m.) The Supporters Club Bus will leave the Clubhouse at 12.45 p.m. Please contact Dan Buchanan or Terry Sweeney if you wish to travel.