Bann boys out to keep up title charge in Cork

Banbridge have their eyes firmly fixed on the top of the table. INBL1544-274PB
Banbridge have their eyes firmly fixed on the top of the table. INBL1544-274PB

Banbridge RFC are closing in on the summit of Division 2A.

Now just one point off early pace-setters Cashel, the local lads are on the prowl.

They face the long trip to University College Cork this weekend and coach Daniel Soper is targetting another victory to maintain the title charge.

“We set ourselves a target of 10 points from the three games against Skerries, Naas and Cork so we need another four to keep us on target,” he said. “If we keep meeting those objectives, the league table will take care of itself.”

Bann go into the game six points ahead of UCC after last week’s 11-0 win over Naas.

Soper said: “We will take a lot of confidence from last week because we defended very well,” he said. “Defensively, we are the best team in the league because we have conceded the least points and at the other end, we are scoring a lot as well.”

Bann have actually totted up the second most points in their division but with both their league defeats coming on the road, there is still room for improvement.

“We haven’t performed brilliantly away from home yet so this is a chance to get our away form going,” said Soper.

“Cork are a good side though. We went down there last year and snuck a win at the death so they will remember that and will want to right that wrong.”

Bann look likely to be without James Andrews, who is struggling with a hamstring injury but Adam Doherty, who also sat out the win over Naas, could be set for a return.

Clark McAllister, who could be set for a competitive debut for the Irish Wolfhounds rugby league side (see page 32), could also miss the game.

For the rest of the squad, it’s a full weekend away, which Soper admits have its down-sides for some of the team’s agricultural community.

He said: “We’ll go down on Friday night and it will be a two-nighter for the lads. It’s a strange one in that some of the lads love being in the hotel on a Saturday morning and some despise it, thinking about what they could be doing on the farm instead!”