Poor second half proves costly

THE Town started the better of the two sides, with an early chance for Eoin Monaghan, after some great work by Conor Byrne on the right wing, being cleared for a corner.

This game was a battle of the midfields, with Aaron Heaney and Stephen Stewart working hard in the centre for the U17s and trying to create chances. However, it was Hillsborough who took the lead when their forward was sent through to slot the ball in the far corner of keeper Chris Coleman’s net.

Undeterred, the U17’s hit back very soon after, with a great cross from Michael Corden finding the feet of Dominic Donnelly, who outpaced the centre-back, rounded the keeper and slotted the ball into the back of the net to get Banbridge back into the match.

At half-time this game was still in the balance and an early first goal in the second-half could prove crucial in deciding the winner.

Indeed, much to the frustration of the Town, Hillsborough regained the lead, when a scramble in the box resulted in the ball finding the back of the net.

Hillsborough could have extended their lead on a number of occasions but for the Banbridge defence of Matthew Stevenson – who had a very solid game at right-back – Ben McDowell, Charlie Donaghy and Michael Mallon thwarting their opponent’s chances. However, as the game neared the latter stages, a long-range shot from Hillsborough’s captain found the bottom corner of the net to wrap up the game. Sean Kelly and Dominic Donnelly had late chances to get a goal back for the Town but, to add salt to the wounds, Hillsborough grabbed a fourth late on.

Team: Chris Coleman; Matthew Stevenson; Ben McDowell; Charlie Donaghy; Michael Mallon; Conor Byrne; Aaron Heaney; Stephen Stewart; Michael Corden; Dominic Donnelly; Eoin Monaghan. Subs: Matthew Millar; Chris Orr; Sean Kelly