McKnight double helps Bann Twos into semi-finals

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Banbridge Seconds reached the McClements Cup semi-final on Saturday as they took down North Down Thirds 4-2.

Two goals from Peter McKnight and further strikes from Bill Malcolmson and Nathan Liggett sealed a great win for the locals.

They went into the game as hot favorites but no one had told North Down.

The seconds welcomed Malcolmson back into the squad after being out for several weeks with an injury.

The game started at a good pace with Bann starting the better with Rowe bossing the midfield and Ligget giving the opposition defence nightmares.

The men in Red soon took the lead after Ligget dug out a great run and then finished smartly past the North Down keeper.

North Down then took the game to Bann and tried to test their defence but Bennington and Anderson held strong for the local side.

The Bann team started to struggle with legs with the team mostly made up of school boys who had already played that day, with North Down creating a few chances allowing the game to become open and frantic.

As the Bann defence held strong the forwards won a short corner and Peter McKnight hitting home a bullet of a reverse showing all the work gym work’s been doing.

North Down had to ride the Bann wave and with some good goal keeping kept the score at 2-0.

However, it was in the dying minutes of the half North Down pulled a goal back when their attacker scored from close range.

The second half started well and Bann put the pressure back on Bill Malcolmson finishing smartly to give Bann a 3-1 lead.

Bann soon got the fourth with some great play with Joel Reid playing a reverse ball for Peter McKnight to make the diving deflection to roof the ball into the net.

Bann kept pressing and with Malcolmson giving some great pace up front and turning defenders inside but failed to increase their lead.

North Down had some great opportunities forcing Peter Bingham into some good saves including a penalty stroke.

The Bann defence kept holding on with Dylan Cowan distributing well and Mark Campbell giving the legs going forward.

As the game wore on and Bann legs started to go the class of Sam Farson shone through.

Bann tried to hold out but North Down’s persistent pressure finally got reward with their second after a long ball was mistrapped leading to a two on one which was smartly finished.

North Down kept pushing for a possible third but with so little time left on the clock Bann mopped up anything else thrown at them in the form of James Anderson and Andrew Bennington.

Banbridge now progress through to the semi-finals of the McClements Cup.