Red-hot Academy set to face Inst in Burney final!

BANBRIDGE Academy – and RBAI – have qualified for the John Minnis Burney Cup final.
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Inst progressed with a narrow 3-2 win over Friends’ School Lisburn.

It was emphatic for BA, who beat Sullivan Upper 4-0.

Adam McKee opened the scoring from a penalty corner with just five minutes on the clock before Josh Baird made it 2-0 before the end of the first quarter.

Josh Baird is congratulated by Banbridge Academy teammates after scoring in last week’s Burney Cup semi-final win.Josh Baird is congratulated by Banbridge Academy teammates after scoring in last week’s Burney Cup semi-final win.
Josh Baird is congratulated by Banbridge Academy teammates after scoring in last week’s Burney Cup semi-final win.
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Midway through the third period, Banbridge finally found the third goal their performance deserved as they caught Sullivan on the break and Lukas Moles was left with a tap-in at the back post.

With just 10 minutes left on the clock, McKee got his second goal of the game as he once again struck from a penalty corner and rounded off the victory for his side.

The final is scheduled to take place at 7.45pm next Thursday, March 14, at Playball, Stormont.

On the club scene, Bann host Garvey on Saturday (2.45pm). A derby win, and a further one at Glenanne on Sunday, would put them in a really strong position with only five games to go. A big Saturday for the club hits off with the ladies facing Ards at 1pm.

Ben Walker plots the next move in a recent Bann Seconds match.Ben Walker plots the next move in a recent Bann Seconds match.
Ben Walker plots the next move in a recent Bann Seconds match.

Here’s a look at last weekend:

Bann 3s 2 – Bangor 2s 0

Walker and Stevenson

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​In a spirited encounter at home, Bann Men's Thirds edged out Bangor Seconds with a 2-0 win.

​James Evans looks ahead for that killer pass for Bann Seconds.​James Evans looks ahead for that killer pass for Bann Seconds.
​James Evans looks ahead for that killer pass for Bann Seconds.

The match was a close affair, with both teams showcasing their ability to apply pressure and keep fans engaged.

Walker was the man of the moment, opening the scoring with a thunderous volley that found the roof of the net in the first quarter. His goal was a burst of brilliance that set the stage for an intense game.

As the final quarter unfolded, Stevenson decided it was time to leave his mark.

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With a deft touch, he redirected a penetrating pass from midfield, gracefully guiding the ball past the goalkeeper and high into the net.

This goal not only marked his scoring debut in senior hockey but also put the game firmly in Bann's favour.

A tip of the hat to the umpires, particularly Adam, a late call-up!

Team sponsor: Velo Yelo.

Annadale 3s 1 Bann 4s 3

Shields, Courtney and Burns

​Banbridge 4s, sponsored by Mid-Ulster Granite, travelled to Campbell College to take on Annadale 3s, who are hot on the heals of Bann in pursuit of the second promotion spot in Junior League three.

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Bann welcomed back the McCandless brothers and Burns into the panel.

Bann started strongly dominating the early midfield exchanges.

Reid was unlucky to see an early effort well saved with Ewart and Courtney looking lively in the Bann midfield.

Bann opened the scoring when Shields got a deft touch on a Ross McCandless bullet pass to give the Annadale keeper no chance.

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Bann doubled their lead when a Scott McCandless reverse stick shot was well saved, and Courtney pounced on the rebound to knock in from close range.

Annadale got back into the game with an excellent counter-attack goal.

Annadale were growing into the game and continued to probe the Bann defence with some swift attacks.

Bann won their first short corner and from the rebound Burns volleyed in Bann’s third goal to give a two-goal lead at half-time.

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Crawford made a couple of strong saves to maintain Bann’s advantage whilst Annadale wasted a couple of short corners.

The Annadale keeper was also in excellent form and saved from close range on a couple of occasions.