Banbridge Town Juniors U16 Lisburn League Team lost their four month unbeaten league run on Saturday morning going down 2–1 to Willowbank at Ballymacoss.
With the Town missing a few regulars through various reasons and then losing centre-half Ellison in the first half with a broken wrist, it was an uphill battle for the high-flying Town.
Rafferty should have opened the scoring after ten minutes for the juniors firing straight at the keeper from close range. But their early pressure paid off for the Town, when they went one up as McAtamney put McKibbon through to finish with ease past the on-rushing keeper.
Willowbank responded soon after scoring direct from a corner kick leaving stand in keeper Fitzsimmons with no chance and the Town shell-shocked.
The second half was a disappointing lacklustre display from the Juniors who have set themselves high standards this season. With a win vital to keep in the hunt for the title, too many on the day did not perform at their best.
Byrne tested the keeper at his near post and McKibbon who was the Town’s most industrious player all day, felt aggrieved when he saw a strong penalty claim waved away. But to his credit, he didn’t shirk responsibility and found himself one-on-one again with the keeper and the goal at his mercy but saw his effort drift past the post.
As the Town pushed for the win and a vital three points, Willowbank dealt the decisive blow catching Town out on the counter attack and stealing victory with only minutes on the clock.
The Juniors were disappointed with the loss but the sides clash again next month in the semi-final of the league cup when the Town will be hoping to turn the tables. Next up is Greenisland in the league on Saturday at Wallace Park.
TOWN: Padraig Fitzsimmons, Cormac Downey, Jason Ellison, Paul Morgan, William Irwin, Jamie McAtamney, Odhran McKibbon, David Houston, Danny McKinstry, Michael Rafferty, Owen Byrne, James McCann