HOCKEY: Ward shoots down UCD in Bann’s super six

Dane Ward netted a hat-trick for Banbridge on Saturday. INBL38-217EB
Dane Ward netted a hat-trick for Banbridge on Saturday. INBL38-217EB

Dane Ward netted three goals on Saturday as Banbridge smashed UCD 6-2 in the EY League at Bellfield.

The students have been playing well this season and are sitting near mid table in the league - off a 6-2 win.

Bann sponsored by Swallow Groupage were without the injured Ross Beattie and both Drew Carlisle and Jake Rowe were unavailable.

Neil Gilmore and Andrew Bennington were in the match day squad.

In the first quarter Banbridge were the dominant team and started well.

Dane Ward scored Bann’s first after just four minutes, sweeping home from a Jonny McKee baseline cross.

Bann doubled their lead later in the first quarter through Jonny McKee with a pile driver.

The students were under a lot of pressure, but Gareth Lennox in goal had to make a great save to deny them a goal against the run of play. First quarter finished 2-0 to Bann.

Bann continued to dominate and Matthew Bell made it 3-0 via a penalty stroke.

On 27 minutes Bann’s pressure again paid off and Dane Ward got his second of the match.

Soon after an incredible cross field reverse pass from Matthew Bell found Owen Magee in space, but as he entered the circle to shot he lost his footing and the chance was gone.

Just before half time Nolan pulled one back for the students but the half finished with Banbridge leading 4-1.

In the third quarter Bann let the students back into the game and a comeback looked possible when McCrea scored a drag flick.

It was end to end stuff at this stage. Fraser Mills broke down the left and his pull back was just behind McKee and he couldn’t adjust to get his shot away. Bann had a number of chances to make it 5-2 but couldn’t quite finish these.

Bann finished the quarter with 10 players as Eugene Magee was carded for a tackle and asking the umpire a question.

Bann regained control in the final quarter with Philip Brown rampaging down the right, from one of these runs he almost squeezed the ball in from a narrow angle.

Jonny McKee then won a penalty corner and Matthew Bell’s drag flick was deflected in off a defenders stick.

Neil Gilmore had a snap shot was saved and the rebound fell to Dane Ward, who completed his hat trick.

Bann now face another trip to Dublin next Saturday to face Railway Union at 2pm.