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Coach gives Bann deserved break after Kirk Cup success

Banbridge 4 Annadale 1

Prize guys: Banbridge celebrate their Kirk Cup final win over Annadale at Lisnagarvey
Prize guys: Banbridge celebrate their Kirk Cup final win over Annadale at Lisnagarvey

By Graham Hamilton

Banbridge coach Mark Tumilty has given his players a well-earned 10-day break after they landed the Kirk Cup with a confident win over Annadale at Lisnagarvey yesterday afternoon.

Two goals inside just 50 seconds broke Annadale hearts and spoiled their counter-attack plan, and when they conceded a third before the break, it gave them a mountain to climb.

With Bann having no more games until February, Tumilty feels they deserve a rest, having had to keep Christmas festivities low-key ahead of the cup final, and that will give his players a chance to recharge batteries ahead of their attempt to land EY Irish League honours.

With Bann three up at the interval and barely having never been threatened at the other end, it gave Tumilty the opportunity to give his younger players some game-time in a cup final before a large crowd, something which will stand them in good stead for the second half of the season.

"We tried to play good hockey, moved the ball about well and took chances that came along," he said.

"And giving the young players the chance to shine in front of the crowd was a big bonus.

"I have to give credit to Scott McCandless, who had the players up to the level required for such a final, and it's great to win this trophy again.

"I've always liked this competition and always give it the respect it deserves."

It seemed Annadale were up for a shock when they won two early penalty corners, particularly as Ryan Burgess is prolific at such set-pieces.

But Bann ran both down and then gradually took control, with the two goals inside less than a minute midway through the half effectively killing the game.

Fraser Mills won Bann's first penalty corner which Alex Tinney swept home on 21 minutes.

And when the Dale lost possession from the restart, Bann were on the attack immediately and won a penalty stroke which Johnny McKee roofed.

Luke Witherow put another effort over the top before Josh Moffett made it three on the half hour after a good run from Witherow.

Peter Brown had another chance blocked on the line as Bann finished the half very much on top.

It was more of a contest in the second half with Annadale having their spells of pressure, with their player/coach Peter Caruth the main inspiration.

He had a good run to the byline and flicked his effort just wide from a narrow angle.

Ben Wallace then burst into the circle and had a fierce shot blocked away by keeper Luke Roleston.

Annadale won two more penalty corners but Caruth's effort went narrowly wide and a Burgess drag flick was stopped by Roleston.

With six minutes to go, the Dale pulled their keeper for an extra outfield player but it backfired as Sam Farson deflected in a cross for 4-0.

However, Annadale finally got some reward for their efforts when a penalty corner switch gave Caruth the chance to find the backboard.

"Banbridge deserved their win, for they were better on the day," admitted Dale captain Burgess afterwards. "But it has been an experience and we can learn a lot from it."

ANNADALE: Jonny Moore, Ryan Burgess, Ben Wallace, Adam McAllister, Ryan Getty, Callum Robson, Andrew O'Hare,Rory Capper, Patarick Rose, David Tremlett, Paddy Crookshanks.

Subs: Peter Caruth, Peter Bland, Chris Morrow, Tom Robson, Cameron Ruttle, Peter Corrie, Jonny Caren, Matty McRoberts

BANBRIGE: Luke Roleston, Alexander Tinney, Drew Carlisle, Bruce McCandless, Dylan Cowan, Zach McClelland, Johnny McKee, Peter Brown, Jamie Wright, Josh Moffett, David Rae.

Subs: Luke Witherow, Mark Cowan, Sam Farson, Fraser Mills, James Hutchison, Mark Barlow, Scott Dale

Umpires: Russell Donaldson, Robert Johnston

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