Defeat for Bann Firsts.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

LAST Saturday (16 December) saw Banbridge Men's 1sts, sponsored by Select Insurance Brokers and Hannath Estate Agents, play Dublin team Monkstown in the EY All Ireland hockey league at Havelock Park.

Bann 1s...2

Bann were had not played in a few weeks due to the recent cold weather and the water-based pitch at Havelock being frozen.

The Bann injury list continued with Eugene Magee, Owen Magee and Sam Farson all still injured.

On the plus side Johnny McKee, Matthew Allister Fraser Mills were all back and available.

Bann started the match with McClelland breaking down the right but there was no end result to this attack.

The two teams were evenly matched and after 10 minutes there were no clear chances and score remained nil nil.

Bruce McCandless and Philip Brown had a good one-two but the ball into the circle failed to find a forward.

Monkstown then pushed forward and far too easily won a corner which was converted. Bann tried to get an equaliser and Dane Ward missed two good chances.

Peter Brown was showing great stick control and skills in midfield but couldn't find the killer pass into the Monkstown circle.

Bann turned possession over and Monkstown capitalised to make it 2 nil.

It was great to see Johnny McKee back for Bann and in the second quarter a good run from down the right saw his shot well saved.

Soon after Hugh McShane combined well with McKee to win Bann a short corner, but this was dragged just wide of the target.

As the second quarter came to an end Monkstown scored their third.

Half time: Bann...0 Monkstown...3.

Bann got a half-time talking to from coach Mark Tumilty and this lifted the intensity and hunger of the team, but Monkstown were still trying to add to their goals, they won a series of cor ners.

Lennox saved from the first short corner, but the ball was high off his pads and another corner was awarded.

Lennox again saved well and this time Drew Carlisle cleared the danger.

Soon after Hugh McShane broke from midfield and his pass just evaded Mills in the circle when well placed.

From another good attack Jonny McKee had his shot well saved.

The visitors won a corner late on but failed to convert. The quarter finished 3 nil to Monkstown.

It was all Bann in the final quarter, the visitors were happy to sit deep and hit Bann on the counter.

Eventually the home side got their reward with Jamie Wright finishing off a good move from a pass from Fraser Mills.

With 12 minutes remaining Bann needed to score quickly.

Bann won another corner and this saved off the goal line by the defender, soon after Fraser Mills got the second with a reverse finish.

When Monkstown broke, they couldn't get past the Bann defence with Drew Carlisle superbly marshalling any breaks.

With three minutes remaining Bann were down to 10 players with McKee seeing yellow.

Bann won a short corner in the last seconds of the game, could they get the third goal and a point? The Monkstown 'keeper made the save and the chance was gone.

A superb final quarter effort from the men's firsts. Now they have the Christmas break with the next fixture on Saturday, 20 January away to Annadale.


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