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Banbridge beat Annadale in cup semi-final

Sunday, May 8 saw Banbridge play Annadale in the semi-final of this seasons Kirk Cup at Comber Road.

Banbridge fielded a very young side with many of the regulars missing for a variety of reasons although it illustrates the strength in depth that Banbridge are fortunate to have at the moment.

The early exchanges were somewhat tentative as both sides took time to adjust to the occasional slippery playing surface.

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It was Banbridge who looked most likely to open the scoring, however, the final pass in the opposition circle always managed to evade the Banbridge forwards.

Banbridge edge out Annadale 0-1 in the Millar McCall Wylie sponsored Kirk Cup semi-final at Lisnagarvey Hockey Club. Banbridge's Luke Witherow in action during the match. Pictures: Paul Harvey

Annadale as the match progressed became more of an attacking force and Luke Roleston in the Banbridge goal had to make a couple of sharp saves to keep his goal intact.

It was Annadale who were awarded the first penalty corner of the game and again Luke Roleston made a good save which set up a quick 
Banbridge attack but once again the final touch in front of goal eluded the Banbridge attack.

The second quarter saw little in the way of goalmouth action with the old penalty corner being won by Banbridge which was early dealt with by the Annadale goalkeeper.

Half time: Banbridge 0 Annadale 0

Banbridge edge out Annadale 0-1 in the Millar McCall Wylie sponsored Kirk Cup semi-final at Lisnagarvey Hockey Club. Banbridge's Charlie Row in action during the match. Pictures: Paul Harvey

Quarter three saw an increase in intensity with some more robust tackles taking place all across the pitch.

Eventually the umpires decided to meat out some punishment with Annadale reduced to 10 men midway through the quarter.

During this time Banbridge won another penalty corner and up stepped Alexander Tinney to confidently flick the ball high past the Annadale keeper to give Banbridge a deserved lead.

Almost immediately Annadale’s attack won a penalty corner of their own and after the initial shot was deflected Like Roleston made yet another fin e save to keep his team in the lead.

Banbridge edge out Annadale 0-1 in the Millar McCall Wylie sponsored Kirk Cup semi-final at Lisnagarvey Hockey Club. Banbridge's Charlie Row in action during the match. Pictures: Paul Harvey

Into the final quarter and the Banbridge support were getting somewhat concerned that their team was under increased pressure.

This mood was not helped when at various times during the quarter Banbridge had three players yellow carded at various times and near the end were down to nine players for a time.

Seconds from full time Annadale had a wonderful opportunity to equalise when the ball flashed across the Banbridge goal but they were unable to apply the killer touch.

Full time: Banbridge 1 Annadale 0.

Banbridge edge out Annadale 0-1 in the Millar McCall Wylie sponsored Kirk Cup semi-final at Lisnagarvey Hockey Club. Banbridge's Matthew McKee and Annadale's Michael Robson in action during the match. Pictures: Paul Harvey
Banbridge edge out Annadale 0-1 in the Millar McCall Wylie sponsored Kirk Cup semi-final at Lisnagarvey Hockey Club. Banbridge's Luke Witherow and Annadale's Tom Robson in action during the match. Pictures: Paul Harvey
Banbridge edge out Annadale 0-1 in the Millar McCall Wylie sponsored Kirk Cup semi-final at Lisnagarvey Hockey Club. Banbridge's Luke Witherow and Annadale's Tom Robson in action during the match. Pictures: Paul Harvey
Banbridge edge out Annadale 0-1 in the Millar McCall Wylie sponsored Kirk Cup semi-final at Lisnagarvey Hockey Club. Banbridge's Alexander Tinney, Owen Magee, Peter Brown and Luke Witherow. Pictures: Paul Harvey