Soper salutes his squad after first half of the season goes to plan for Bann

Banbridge RFC have the best points difference in the division at +118. INBL1538-261PB
Banbridge RFC have the best points difference in the division at +118. INBL1538-261PB

Banbridge Head coach Daniel Soper has heaped praise on his team after what has been a storming first half of the season.

Sitting pretty, three points clear at the top of Division 2A of the All Ireland League, Bann are on course to fulfil their aims of promotion to Division 1B.

And, perhaps unsurprisingly, the boss was keen to congratulate his squad.

He said: “Most of the guys are in good form and everyone has had some games in which they’ve stood out.

“That’s what you want to have through the course of the season.

“It showed when Andrew Morrison was out injured and somebody else made the step up. That’s been the story of the season so far.

“Everybody has had good games and contributed in a different way to where we are now.”

Soper went to pick out a few names from the team.

“Stephen Ervine has been very consistent for us at number eight and has shown real experience at the back of the scrum.

“Stuart Cromie, James McCrum and Peter Cromie have been great in the front row. They’ve kept trucking and produces some really good displays.

“Then Jonny Little is Mr Consistency for us. You always know what’s you’re going to get with him.

“On Saturday, I thought Andy Morrison was back to his best as well after his injury so hopefully that’s him cracking on now.”

From the start of the campaign, Soper has explained how he and his squad has split the season into bite-size chunks, setting targets for blocks of fixtures, as a way to take the pressure off a long, title-chasing season.

It’s worked so far and after Christmas is over, they’ll wipe the slate clean and go again.

“That’s something we’ve tried to do that all season,” he said. “The small blocks of games have been good targets for the boys and we’ll keep setting those from our next block of four.”

Banbridge’s Kiwi coach is also under no illusions that the second half of his side’s season won’t simply fall into place.

He said: “We will need a certain amount of luck to keep everyone fit because we haven’t got a massive squad. What we do have is a tight squad and the boys have a great spirit.”