Bill and Dean are the power-shot men as Thirds win

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Two goals apiece from Bill Malcolmson and Gary Dean ensured Banbridge Thirds left Steelweld Park with a 4-1 win over Cookstown Thirds.

It was a result that allowed the locals to leapfrog their opponents in the table and came despite Bann having to deal with the late call off from Matthew Graham.

Dean and Mark McCoy both returned to the starting 11 that began the game brightly.

Kelly and Malcolmson were controlling the midfield, Kennedy was looking sharp upfront whilst Dean was testing the Cookstown defence with his probing runs.

It didn’t take Bann long to open their account when Malcolmson was allowed to enter the Cookstown circle and fired the ball into the bottom corner.

Bann were retaining possession well and doubled their lead when Malcolmson played a weighted crossfield ball to Dean, whose first time shot beat the Cookstown keeper.

The hosts stepped up their game and fought their way back when a ball was injected from a free hit into the circle and a Cookstown attacker deflected the ball past Anderson.

Bann were still troubling Cookstown with their fast-flowing attacks and after a great run and shot from McCoy, Dean was on hand to knock the ball in from close range and regain Bann’s two goal advantage.

Malcolmson was unlucky to see a fierce reverse stick shot saved by the Cookstown keeper’s helmet and rebound away to safety. Bann were not finished for the half and after winning their second short corner, the ball was switched to Malcolmson who flicked past the keeper.

As the game opened up, both sides had numerous chances with neither side taking advantage. Bann defended a couple of short corners well with both Andersons blocking Cookstown shots.

Banbridge, on the other hand, were unlucky not to increase their lead but the final pass alluded them on several occasions and the Cookstown keeper made some good saves.

Brown should have increased Bann’s lead after a great run and Kennedy was unlucky with a snap-shot late in the game. Both teams kept pressing forward but were unable to score and so Bann were propelled up the Junior Two table with a game in hand.