7th November 2016

Irish Schools’ Report

1st match vs Methody College Belfast

Banbridge got off to a slow start with their first goal coming late in the first half through some flowing build up play from Dylan Cowan and Charlie Norris who set up Jake Rowe who slotted home from close range.  The second goal came quickly after with Nathan Liggett pouncing on a defensive error and calmly finishing passed the unset Methody goalkeeper, securing a 2-0 lead before half time.  Banbridge continued to dominate the second half with Joel Reid adding to the score sheet 10 minutes after the break.  Many corners had been won during the game with a few being squandered in the first half, but this time Jake Rowe found the net for the second time in match scoring his first flick of the tournament.  Methody had a few break away attacks that were calmly dealt with by Luke Roleston and his back four.  The game finished 4-0 to Banbridge.

2nd match vs Villiers

The first half was tightly contested between the two sides with the Villiers keeper making multiple saves and it remained scoreless until half time.  Banbridge started the second half brightly and finally found the breakthrough when Jake Rowe scored a drag flick with fifteen minutes remaining.  Villiers were forced to push on and Banbridge grabbed their second when Rowe burst through again to seal the game.  The game finished 2-0 to Banbridge.

3rd match vs Dublin High School

The first half was very open with both teams having numerous chances and both ends of the pitch. Both defences had a solid first half going into half time with the score 0-0.  The second half was a nervous contest as both teams were fighting for a semi-final place.  Dublin High School set the match alight with a back post deflection but Banbridge were quick to counter and won a penalty flick at the other end which was successfully converted.  The game finished 1-1 with Banbridge progressing to the semi-finals.

Semi-final vs Wesley College

Last year’s finalists got off to a competitive start with both teams building dangerous looking attacks. Chances were missed by both sets of attacks with Luke Roleston pulling out some epic saves, keeping Banbridge in the fixture.  Five minutes of dominance led to a corner in Banbridge’s favour. The prolific Jake Rowe fired home once again giving Banbridge the lead. The game was in the hands of Wesley for the next period of play but a break away attack meant Harry Lockhart was free to deflect a second in for Banbridge a few minutes later.  The rest of the first half was a fierce battle between both sides each wanting the win as bad as the other.  The second half began well for Banbridge with good chances down the left hand side with link up play between Charlie Norris, Joel Reid and Nathan Liggett.  With only 15 minutes left of the second half, Wesley forwards worked their way along the by-line and managed to get a short corner to the dismay of Ryan Simms.  The corner was well executed leaving the ball in the back of the net 2-1.  The rest of the match involved the defending champions in their own ‘25’ defending against constant attacks with many saves from Luke Roleston.  The game ended pushing Ban into the final to take place at Newpark.

Final Vs St Andrews

Banbridge got off to a slow start with bodies refusing to work after the intense semi.  This gave St Andrews a breakthrough who took their chances perfectly playing the ball along the by line to a player back post who put it away.  Ban quickly fired up from the hit off with work from Mark Barlow down the right hand side played various  1-2 passes linking Nathan Liggett to Harry Lockhart who was brought down by a defender on open goal giving ban a stroke.  Jake Rowe stepped up again and placed the flick in the corner with the keeper having no chance to save.  The next 10 minutes passed in seconds with both teams trying their best to tire their opponents.  It was Andrews who seized the next opportunity with a deflection back post putting the reigning champions behind for a second time.  The first half ended well for ban with a short corner, scored by Jake Rowe leaving it 2-2 at half time.  The second half was as eventful as the first with chances coming for both teams.  Luke Roleston with tremendous saves and attacks from the back from Kyle Marshall linking with the forwards through aerial throws gave great chances for the ban side.  It was in the closing seconds of the game when a tackle made on the edge of the circle resulted in a short corner for St Andrews. Kyle was off the line quick and managed to break down the short, the ball was passed around the circle before eventually finding a player back post to make it 3-2.  90 seconds remained on the clock at the restart, and with every last effort the Champions were beaten.