Banbridge 1 Mens 1sts 2
5 December 2009 | Havelock Park | 19.00
Goals: Conor Harte, Alan Sothern
Pembroke opened the game strongly with Sothern prominent early as Pembroke probed at Bann defence capably marshalled by S McCandless who was to have an impressive game. Bann however replied to Pembroke’s early attack when Reay flashed a terrific ball across from the right but found no Bann forward available to convert. Pembroke won the first short corner of an evenly contested first quarter but Dowds blocked the drag flick. An incisive run from B McCandless resulted in Bann’s first short corner immediately followed by another after a breakdown. Boyce squandered Bann’s first real opportunity from open play when he uncharacteristically fluffed a clear shot.
As the second quarter resumed neither team could break the deadlock and the game ebbed and flowed with Pembroke in the ascendancy. Defences were dominant and there were few clear cut chances available to either side. S McCandless again proved to be the rock on which many Pembroke attacks foundered but unfortunately for Bann, Conor Harte converted a short corner after the hooter had sounded to end the first half.
Early in the second half a defensive error from Bann gave Alan Sothern the opportunity to extend Pembroke’s lead which he duly did beating Lennox low to his right in the 37th minute. Lennox again had to be alert to avoid further penetrative attacks from Pembroke and were given a life-line when McShane finished off a good move prompted by the persistent Boyce to reduce the deficit. Sustained Pembroke pressure saw a goal disallowed after it was initially awarded by umpire Clarke due to an infringement.
A tense final quarter saw a resurgent Bann almost level the score when a great ball by Brown almost found B McCandless who was unable to find a decisive touch. Pembroke continued to press with Fulton and McConnell prompting a slick forward line but again cool defending frustrated Pembroke’s best efforts. Persistent determination from Bann saw them denied an equaliser in the dying minutes when David Harte saved spectacularly from Smyth’s goal bound drag flick.
Bann finished strongly but on balance Pembroke probably just deserved their 3 points and Bann were unlucky not to salvage a draw after a hard fought and entertaining game.
Report courtesy of www.irishhockeyleague.ie
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