Burney Cup exit

John Minnis Estate Agents Burney Cup 2020

Quarter-Final replay

Friends’ School 7-0 Banbridge Academy

After holding favourites Friends’ School to a creditable 3-3 draw last week at Havelock Park, Banbridge Academy crashed out of this season’s Burney Cup on Saturday in front of a large crowd at Friends’.  Coach Simon Jess had been hoping for another heroic performance from his troops, but with Lewis Groves missing from midfield the depth of his squad was found wanting as the Lisburn powerhouse turned the screw in the second half.

The first quarter saw both teams start strongly and Friends’ took the lead with a ball crashed in from the right flank to an unmarked forward at the back post.  Banbridge then dominated for the rest of the quarter as Friends’ were content to defend deep and fend off the visitor’s attacks from the edge of their circle.  Academy centre back Mark Cowan found himself often on the ball but with very few passing options as the home side got all 11 players behind the ball.

The second quarter followed a similar vein but Friends’ carried more of a threat on the counterattack.  As Bann committed people forward they were caught out by a swift forward raid as Friends’ doubled their lead with half-time approaching.  Forwards Louis Rowe and Matthew McKee pulled the home defence from side to side but goal-scoring opportunities were to come by.

Halftime words from Jess rallied the boys for the second half but little could prepare them for the Friends’ onslaught about to come their way.  From the push-back it was obvious the Lisburn team had moved up several gears as they showed their class and experience in punishing every Academy mistake.  Three quick goals left the Banbridge defence in tatters and had the game killed off with still a quarter to go.  Elliot Haw had been the Academy hero in the first game with his heroics in goal but he could do little to stop the ball flying past him as Friends’ tore through the Academy lines with ease.

With the Banbridge heads hanging low, it seemed cruel to play another quarter as both teams knew the game was over.  Two further Friends’ goals put a nasty gloss on the scorelinebut this game is one which the young Academy boys need to learn from in future seasons.  All but two of the squad are back next season so hope still remains high for silverware in the near future.

Squad: Elliot Haw, Mark Cowan, Matthew McClimonds, Luke Watt, Seb Best, Jamie McArdle, Edward Rowe(c), Charlie Rowe, Ben Farson, Tommy Dobson, Louis Rowe, Matthew McKee, Cody Large, Luke McConnell, Alex Jordan, Ben Ingram

Filed under: Uncategorized