Bann ‘the team to beat now’

Shandon Scott in recent action for Banbridge. INBL1540-308PB
Shandon Scott in recent action for Banbridge. INBL1540-308PB

Banbridge RFC Head Coach Daniel Soper has warned his side that they are now the division’s big scalp.

The local side are three points clear at the top of the table with 10 games played and the boss is under no illusions that their opponents will raise their game.

“Everyone’s going to be looking at the table and they’ll all want to beat us.

“It’s a different pressure for the lads but that’s what you set out to do at the start of the season. We’ll just be taking things one game at a time and keep approaching the season in these little blocks.”

The next block of fixtures is a tough one, with challengers Cashel, UCC and Naas lying in wait before Bann host Skerries.

“Over these next four games, we want to pick up about 15 points,” said Soper. “The easiest way to do that is to get four wins and get 16 but the bonus points are absolutely crucial, as we’ve said before.”

It was at this stage last season when Bann put together a run of six straight victories. However, it followed a less than impressive start to the campaign and they continued their topsy-turvy form.

“Traditionally, we haven’t been able to put two good halves of a season together,” said Soper. This year, we’re that bit older and hopefully a bit wiser - although maybe not off the pitch.

“That should help us and we’re probably a better team than we were a year or two ago as well.”

After the two week festive break, Soper is keen for the club to return immediately to their top performances.

“It’s about getting back to that momentum now,” he said.

“We had a two week break earlier in the season and we came back in with a really top performance. We’re not looking to use that break as an excuse.”