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Wright finds extra gear to win Cup for Banbridge
29 Mar 2015 20:08
Men’s Irish Senior Cup final
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Banbridge 2 Cork C of I 1 (after silver goal extra-time)
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Jamie Wright struck two minutes into silver-goal extra-time to end Banbridge’s 29-year wait for the Irish Senior Cup title, thrashing home from mid-circle for a famous 2-1 win at Belfield.
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For a long time, the winner looked like it would never come as Cork C of I goalkeeper Billy Lynch put in the performance of his life to save a wealth of penalty corners as well a string of big chances.
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But Wright – in his first year with the club since moving from Portadown – nipped in at the death to win it, making Bann the seventh different winner of the title in seven years, denying C of I a fifth title.
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Early on, Bann looked in good control and took the lead in the third minute as Stephen Dowds was felled down the right wing. He dusted himself off to score from the ensuing penalty corner for an early lead.
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From there, though, the Co Down side came up against a brick wall as Lynch made save after save while Andy Gray, Richard Sweetnam and Philip Smith got through a wealth of work in defence.
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Lynch denied Dowds a second on the 11-minute mark while Owen Magee was a constant presence in attack, creating numerous attacks with his pace and guile.
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And C of I proved efficient when they got the chance to attack. They levelled despite being down to 10 players when Andrew Daunt won their second penalty corner as Stephen Sweetnam’s low push picked its way through the Bann defence.
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The second half followed a similar pattern with Bann pushing the tempo but found C of I impregnable in a fast furious 35 minutes of hockey.
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The Cork side did have a couple of chances to nick it, Simon Wolfe sent through one on one with Gareth Lennox from Stephen Sweetnam’s immaculate pass. He opted to cross instead of shoot and the chance was gone.
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From there, Bann had a wealth of chances, especially from penalty corners but found Lynch equal to everything they threw at him.
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When Eugene Magee looked to have him beaten, Daunt came up with a stunning tackle. Two last minute corners were also defended, sending the game into extra-time.
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And that is where the game was won as Bann probed the circle and crashed one in down the middle. It popped into the path of Wright and he rounded on it perfectly to score the biggest goal of his career.
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The win adds to Bann’s Anderson and Kirk Cup successes and they could yet add the Ulster Premier League and Irish Hockey League crowns in the near future as part of an amazing season.
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Banbridge: G Lennox, D Carlisle, H McShane, P Brown, S Dowds, M Bell, E Magee, B McCandless, F Mills, K Marshall, O Magee
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Subs: D Ward, J Wright, J McKee, R Beattie, S Forbes, S Farson, A Reid
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Cork C of I: B Lynch, R Lynch, A Gray, P Smith, S Sweetnam, S Parker, J Jermyn, A Moffett, D Hobbs, R Sweetnam, A Daunt
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Subs: D Hales, S Wolfe, P Sweetnam, A Burns, P Brownlow
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