Controversial decisions cost U14s

BANBRIDGE Town Juniors U14s made the long journey to Limavady last Friday evening in the Northern Ireland Cup and were denied a certain victory because of some controversial decisions.

Hosts, Limavady Youth who play in the National League Division 1 were strong favourites and the locals chances were not helped by having to travel with a depleted squad of just 12 players.

Playing on a vast pitch the Banbridge boys started in bright fashion passing the ball well and gaining the upper hand in the opening 15 minutes.

Limivady gradually began to match the locals and had a spell of pressure when they hit the bar and forcing Campbell to make a fine diving save to push a shot onto the post.

Banbridge took a deserved lead when an inviting Jamie McAtameney free kick was converted by the lively Fearon.

Five minutes later their lead was doubled when they launched a swift counter attack from a corner with Fearon releasing Mark Burke who went on a mazy run before coolly beating the keeper.

Seemingly cruising to a 2-0 halftime lead everything changed in a controversial two minute spell before the interval.

An horrendous challenge on keeper Campbell who dived bravely at the feet of an in rushing forward - left the keeper with a bad knee injury with only a yellow card being the sanction.

The keeper tried to play on and in the next attack the ball was apparently kicked out of his hands by the same forward and a goal awarded.

The loss of the Juniors’ keeper and such a disputed goal left the locals incensed at halftime and clearly was the game changer as despite battling bravely in the second half Banbridge could not prevail against a resurgent home side.

A final score of 4-2 was an injustice and unquestionably the injury to Campbell and a weak referee contributed hugely to disappointing defeat after such an impressive first half display.

Weir, McParland and McKibbon all deserve mention for battling performances.