Town and Rangers settle for a point in tense derby

Matthew Holloway drives forward for Banbridge Rangers against the Town Juniors.
Matthew Holloway drives forward for Banbridge Rangers against the Town Juniors.

Last Saturday saw Banbridge Juniors U16s and Banbridge Rangers see out a hard-earned 1-1 draw at Scarva Park in the Mid-Ulster Youth League.

The game got off to a flying start, as both teams battled for bragging rights. Rangers were the quicker of the two teams to settle and gave the Juniors some early defending to do.

However, they were met by a resilient back line in the form of skipper Jordan Walker and Ryan Jones, aided with the safe hands of keeper Conor Ward.

As the Juniors began to grow into the game, they pushed forward to put on some pressure of their own with Sam McAllister battling hard aided with willing runners Jake Dennison and Liam Farrell on the flanks.

With the game 24 minutes old, Ryan Angus won the ball in midfield and played through Jake Dennison, and with only the keeper to beat he fired in low and hard to give the Juniors the lead with a fantastic finish.

Rangers did however level the scores on 28 minutes when a free kick was whipped in and bounced fortuitously for their striker to poke into the net.

The second half was played at 100 mph as the Juniors came flying out from the restart. Ryan Angus pushed hard to craft an opening for the Juniors front three, and only for the Rangers keeper they would have been in front again.

Jake Dennison came closest to grabbing a goal when his free-kick kissed the top of the cross bar. Rangers weren’t without opportunities of their own, their best also coming from a free kick as a rasping shot brought the best out of Conor Ward who produced a top drawer save.

In the end, both teams had to settle for a hard-earned point.

This Juniors’ man of the match was right back Mark Adams for a tireless display of quality football in an unfamiliar position.