Fourths miss out in seven goal thriller
Bann were missing several regulars but it was the usual mix of youth and experience that lined up against a similar Garvey team that included former international Peter Richardson.
Play was evenly matched over the first 15 minutes and it was Bann who opened the scoring when Gary Dean expertly avoided several challenges in the circle and flicked the ball past the advancing the keeper.
Back came from the home side and they levelled matters five minutes later when Paul Bonar picked up a rebound following a good save by O’Neill from a Richardson short corner strike.
Bann responded five minutes when McKnight picked out Michael Young and his jinxing run set up Dean again to slot home from mid-circle.
The locals increased their lead just before the half hour mark when Michael Young finished smartly from a narrow angle following some slack defending in the home circle.
Garvey pulled one back just before the half time break with a carbon copy of their 1st goal with Bann being unlucky with a couple deflections not going their way.
The second half saw the home side pick up their play immediately pushing Bann back into their own half and just when it seemed that Bann had soaked up all that the home side could throw at them, Garvey equalised when their left winger fired in a great reverse stick shot past O’Neill.
Play then swung from end to end with both teams looking for what would be the winner.
Bann had a great chance when Dean was released for a one on one with the keeper but the home keeper was out quickly and saved Dean’s flicked effort.
With the game entering the final minute and a draw looking like a fair result Bann’s luck ran out when a great left wing cross was superbly deflected past O’Neill by Bonar again to give his side the three points.
The locals were shell shocked but hopefully this bad luck will even itself out over the season. Next up for Bann is a trip to the seaside at Bangor next week. Thanks to Ian Livingstone for umpiring.