Well, Well, Well ! ! After a relative drought , the 5th Xl secured their second victory in as many weeks.
Accompanied on to the Aurora pitch by a distinctly fresh breeze, the 5ths started very brightly against visitors Parkview.
Rarely on , sufficient pressure was exerted on the Parkview goal to earn three short corners. Both Parker and Ross were unlucky with their respective shots but mid-way through the half an excellent foray forward from M. Squance resulted in his accurate cross being shepherded home by McCoey-Allen. Parkview responded strongly and as half-time approached achieve parity, courtesy of a short corner switch.
There was no unduly hurried response from Bangor, Parker orchestrating midfield possession with deliberate precision. Ramasamy and Ross proved industrious in support of the forwards and indeed it was Ross who forged a way through the visiting rearguard to give Bangor the lead. His persistence was admirable as he evaded two tackles before slotting home. Soon after it was 3-1, K. Clarke floating across the head of the circle before sending a superb reverse stick shot into the top left hand corner of the goal
Final Result Bangor 5th Xl – 3 Parkview 1stXl – 1
Man of the Match – Mark Squance
Many thanks to Chris Harte for umpiring
A late, late equaliser from Stephen McLean grabbed Bangor Seconds a precious point against Cookstown at the Aurora on Saturday.
Bangor had dominated the second half after turning around one goal down but it took until just minutes from the end before they finally scored.
From their umpteenth penalty corner Adam Reading found Mark Lappin and the skipper mixed tenacity with very astute game awareness to set McLean up with a chance he couldn’t miss.
It meant Bangor took a point against opposition that beat them twice last season and the Seconds maintain their upward trajectory in Junior League One.
It didn’t look that way at half-time as Bangor were a goal down and up against it for the second week in a row. Bangor had, in fact, started well but a youthful, pacey Cookstown side grew into the game and could have been more than one goal ahead at the break.
The goal they did get came almost exactly midway through the first half and was largely due to some half-hearted defending down the Bangor left.
But what Bangor may have lacked in quality they made up for in character and turned their game around after the break. Perhaps Cookstown tired but Bangor looked hungrier and quicker to ball in the second half.
And that led to plenty of chances being created. Adam Watson started to make great ground on the right, McLean and Lappin drove the team forward from midfield and Robin Coughlin ran tirelessly up front.
James Mottashaw was in a personal dual with the Cookstown goalkeeper who proved the first man to stop the big defender scoring in weeks. But when the go to option continued to fail, Bangor rang the changes and Reading, Lappin and McLean combined to make it 1-1.
In a frantic final few minutes both sides had half chances to win it but by the last whistle both sides also looked content to gain a point.
This week Bangor travel to local rivals North Down on Friday evening. They battered the Comber men 5-1 in the corresponding fixture before Christmas but could find things tougher this time out.
Bangor 5s entertained Parkview1s on a glorious early February afternoon at Aurora.
Parkview started brightly and were rewarded with a brace of penalty corners but Bangor keeper Robin Thompson made two excellent saves.
Bangor came into the game with Hugh Thompson and Jamie Park combining well on the right. Bangor took a 1-0 lead when Park found Taylor and his cross was swept in at the far post by Scott. Parkview raised their game but were set back further when Campbell sent a superb cross in for Scott to score his second in identical fashion.
Half-time Bangor 2 Parkview 0
As expected, Parkview began the second half in determined fashion and were rewarded with a goal when a cross from the left found an unmarked attacker who tapped the ball into the Bangor goal.
Bangor raised their game and were retaining possession well in the Parkview half. A move down the left wing found McCoey Allan who made the slightest deflection past the Parkview keeper for Bangor’s 3rd goal and some breathing space.
Bangor scored their 4th when Blackwood gained possession from a Parkview attacker and fed McCoey Allan who exchanged passes with Parker in the move of the match which found Parker and he calmly slotted home.
Final Score Bangor 4 Parkview 1
Man of the match – Raymy Parker
Saturday 4 February 2017 vs. Antrim 3rd XI
The 4th XI arrived at a sandy Ballyclare pitch desperate to turn things around after a disappointing run since the New Year.
As has been the case all season Bangor started strongly but, for the first time, also showed composure in moving the ball across the pitch through Irvine in the middle whenever attacks faltered, with the effervescent Wilson looking threatening up front. However, Bangor couldn’t find the back of the net and that theme continued for much of the afternoon. So, it was Antrim that took the lead and they soon made it 2-0 before a quickly taken Bangor free allowed Wilson to force in a goal at the back post.
Poor marking and a lack of fitness let Antrim in for their third, before Marc Jeffrey got Bangor’s second off one of their many short corners. Bangor pushed hard at the end but, on a familiar theme, just couldn’t convert pressure into points and are now struggling in this tight league.
Thanks to Antrim for providing both umpires for a bruising encounter. Man of the match: Roger Irvine
Team: Kent, Patterson, Squance, Moore, Hopkins, Thompson, Irvine, Ferguson, Jeffrey, Squance, Wilson, Anderson.
Bangor Seconds got back to winning ways with a spirited second half comeback to beat South Antrim 3-2 in Lisburn on Saturday.
The early game, the unfamiliar pitch, a few missing players may all have contributed to the Seconds below par first half performance but they turned it around to win the game.
Captain Mark Lappin was happy his team had picked up a win on the road, particularly against opposition who would have targeted the game as a potential three points.
And as the teams turned around after 35 minutes South Antrim had a 1-0 lead that they probably deserved. Bangor had plenty of ball but failed to convert that into any meaningful chances. In fact, the South Antrim goalkeeper had just one shot to save from James Mottashaw at a penalty corner.
South Antrim grabbed their goal after 12 minutes when a strong run down the right flank left Sam Moore in goal exposed and the centre-forward was left with a simple tap in.
But after some strong words at half-time Bangor took firm charge of the game. Adam Reading stepped out from the back with the ball, Daniel McNulty raised his game up front and Chris Campbell drove the team forward from midfield. And it was he who got the Seasiders level, surging into the circle and smashing the ball across the goalkeeper into the bottom left corner.
Just five minutes later Mottashaw continued his fine run of goal-scoring form when he found almost exactly the same spot from Bangor’s third penalty corner. The big man is deadly from set-pieces and has a happy knack of scoring when Bangor need it most.
Going behind forced South Antrim to come forward more but they found Bangor’s defence and midfield in determined form. And behind them Moore was sharp when called upon.
The third goal came when two of the side’s younger players combined. Andrew Creane turned his man, skipped past another and then played a clever ball to McNulty. The winger skilfully turned past the South Antrim goalkeeper and drove the ball home from a tight angle to make it 3-1.
In truth Bangor looked very comfortable for the remainder of the game. Campbell had the ball in the net again but it was ruled out for being struck outside the circle.
South Antrim grabbed a late consolation goal from an over-time penalty corner that made the game look closer than it really was at 3-2.
Winning away from home after only turning up at half-time is a handy enough skill but the Seconds will need to play for a full 70 minutes from now on. Starting this weekend when Cookstown visit the Aurora.
Bangor avoid Portrush scare to continue winning form in 2017.
Bangor were almost handed a massive upset in their push for league success after coming from behind to beat Portrush 3-1.
Bangor started the game slow, sluggish and concentration levels not where they needed to be with Portrush starting brightly and looking the more likely to make an early impact. Portrush created the first chance of the game from a short corner in which Burgess charged down well with Edwards cleaning up after.
Bangor still didn’t get into the game with Portrush being awarded a penalty stroke when the Portrush player was through on goal a stick tackle from Martin led to a penalty stroke being awarded. Bangor felt hard done by but it was what Portrush deserved after a good start from the visitors. Portrush converted the penalty stroke to lead 1-0.
These turns of events seemed to waken Bangor up with them beginning to move the ball with confidence and creating a lot more space in the attacking half but very few chances to speak of in the first half.
Half-Time: Bangor 0 – 1 Portrush
Bangor spoke at half time of being patient and the breakthrough would eventually come and how important the following 35 minutes would be for the remainder of their season. Bangor reacted well at the start of the 2nd half with Riordan showing great pace as well as good link play from Shevlin and McComb in midfield.
Bangor got the breakthrough from a short corner when Burgess’ flick was low to the keeper’s right hand side to level the game up at 1-1. Bangor began to mount the pressure with chance after chance being created with good work from Cunningham, Riordan and McClune but Bangor couldn’t find a way through the Portrush defence.
Finally, Bangor got a 2nd through McClune, initially great work from Shevlin in midfield who found Cunningham on the left side of the circle fired the ball across the net for the experienced McClune to guide the ball into the net making it 2-1 to Bangor.
There were still nervous moments ahead for Bangor when Portrush made a number of chances from short corners but Bangor held firm at desperate times. Bangor then clinched the game late on from another short corner. The initial shot from Burgess was well saved before McComb was on hand to put the ball past the keeper at the 2nd attempt.
Full Time: Bangor 3 – 1 Portrush
Scorers: Burgess, McClune, McComb
5ths lose at leaders Raphoe
After a third successive defeat, one could be excused for thinking that there would be an outpouring of indignation from 5thXI captain R. Parker.
Not at all though. A 4-1 defeat may suggest a one-sided affair but this was a match keenly contested until the final 10 minutes. The Bangor Xl took the field in bright sunshine against league leaders Raphoe 3rds and were immediately subject to persistent pressure. The home side, as befits one who have not lost in some while, were confident in possession and movement. Whilst it was not quite a blanket of claustrophobic pressure, Bangor did find it difficult to find space and time.
Parker, Ayton, and Anderson competed well in midfield yet there was little by way of clear opportunity created. Wilson and Ramasamy flicked along the front line but any Bangor forays were efficiently dealt with by the home defence. It was the Bangor defence which was the busier, McCalister, Impey, Savage and Campbell resisting well in front of keeper Thompson. Thompson indeed was in fine fettle, making a succession of notable saves and even on one occasion kicking clear so accurately that Wilson collected on the left and advanced to the circle before his effort was blocked.
Somewhat against the run of play, Bangor took the lead, debutant Anderson fairly bursting into the circle, having collected from Parker. His initial shot was blocked, but followed up sharply to neatly nudge the ball past the home keeper. Suitably buoyed by this effort, Bangor pressed forward, earning a brace of short corners from one of which parker shot narrowly wide. Then, in a five-minute burst before half-time, the home side regained the initiative. First, a strong follow up shot from a short corner saw them draw level and then a break on the left resulted in a cross being converted at the back post.
In the second half, Bangor battled gamely in somewhat more inclement conditions. In pursuit of parity, they moved forward with intent. Wilson was enjoying more possession on the left and linking will with Ayton. Yet apart from two more foiled short corner efforts, there were unable to breach the Raphoe goal. Indeed, as the half progressed, it was the home side who came to dominate. Their continuous prompting and probing eventually resulted in two more goals. A deserved win for Raphoe but a scoreline that flatters them somewhat.
Fourths disappoint at home
After an encouraging performance last week against a strengthened Instonians side, Bangor 4s took the pitch at a sun drenched Aurora in positive mood and thoughts of good win that would propel them back to 2nd in a tightly contested league.
Bangor started brightly and dominated play in the early stages and resulted in a short corner. The returning Skelly fired into the bottom corner and Bangor took a deserved lead.
Unfortunately that was to be the only highlight of a hugely disappointing afternoon for the 4s who conceded 2 sloppy goals in each half and without some impressive saves from Wilkinson in nets, it could have been more.
Bangor now find themselves mid table, only 1 point behind 2nd place but worryingly only 4 points ahead of the bottom team. Over half the season is still to play and Bangor need to start picking up vital wins if they have any chance of promotion.
Bangor 4s 1- North Down 4s -4
Thanks to Jon Scott for umpiring.
Man of the match Chris Wilkinson
Thirds Second Best
Bangor Thirds made the trip to Comber Road, Hillsborough last Saturday afternoon for their latest league fixture in Junior League 2 against Lisnagarvey Fourths. A fairly mediocre contest ensued, the home side running out comfortable winners in the end with a final scoreline of 2-0.
Gareth Stranaghans’ side did settle well In the early exchanges, and the formation allowed them to soak up some Lisnagarvey pressure and when turning the ball over the team did counter with purpose. The killer instinct was missing however in the final third, and all too often that final pass was going astray. The home side did take the lead on the 15 minute mark, almost fortuitiously thanks to a dubious short corner award. The resultant set piece was worked well and gave Ross Miller no chance in goal. For the remainder of the first half the thirds continued to work hard off the ball to close down and intercept Lisnagarveys flow, but on the other hand failed to create any opportunities of their own. Half time, 1-0.
Unfortunately for the Bangor side they were unable to sustain this high work ethic in the second period. This led to long periods of domination with the ball for the Hillsborough side, and indeed they created numerous opportunities to extend their lead. Not long into the half they doubled their lead from yet another short corner, and this time there was no doubts over the award as a cross slammed into Gareth Boyd’s foot, leaving him somewhat restricted for the remainder of the game with a toe injury that may well sideline the veteran for a week or two. The fact that the thirds restricted the home team to scoring just twice is to their credit. Ross Miller pulled off a couple of excellent stops, and also did enough to ensure a penalty stroke award missed the target, whilst the team did show lots of desire to keep the rampaging home players at bay on numerous occasions. At the other end there were occasional forays towards the home goal, the odd half chance, a penalty corner award but not enough to really penetrate the Lisnagarvey back line. Onto the next game, which is this Saturday against Banbridge Thirds at Bangor Aurora.
Man of the Match for the Bangor team was Andy Hamilton. Team: Miller, Stranaghan (c), Edge, Stewart, G.Boyd, J Riordan, Hamilton, Robinson, Alfred, P Boyd, M Coughlin, Macafee, Hart.
A lack of composure in either circle cost Bangor seconds as they lost 3-2 to Kilkeel on Saturday.
At different stages Bangor looked completely in control of the game but a strong Kilkeel side were more ruthless at either end of the pitch.
It’s the second defeat in a row for the previously unbeaten seconds and this week they travel to South Antrim hoping to turn things around.
Kilkeel took the lead after barely 90 seconds when Bangor gave the ball away carelessly and a strong run followed by a fantastic reverse stick shot left Sam Moore helpless in goal.
The remainder of the first half followed a pattern. Bangor dominated possession and territory but Kilkeel always looked threatening on the counter attack.
The closest Bangor came to scoring before the break was a James Mottashaw corner that was saved and Stephen McLean snatched at the rebound.
Bangor definitely started the second half the better side and the introduction of Simon Cox helped them win the midfield battle.
After eight minutes they drew level when Chris Campbell won the ball back, McLean fed Robin Coughlin on the right and from his cross Campbell popped up to round off the move.
Bangor continued to play the better hockey but the visitors dug in and limited the number of clearcut chances in their goal.
It was clearly the day’s strategy and it paid dividends when once again they countered well, caught Bangor off guard and scored to make it 2-1.
With time running out Bangor threw more men forward and once again the canny visitors struck. This time from a seemingly impossible angle on the left of the circle.
Bangor weren’t done yet and stepped up the pressure on the Kilkeel defence, despite being down to 10 men after a crude challenge by Ryan Garland.
Campbell went close and finally the corner routine clicked into action and Mottashaw fired the ball home to make it 3-2.
Bangor still pushed for an unlikely equaliser in the final seconds but ultimately they were beaten by both Kilkeel and the clock.
Captain Mark Lappin will hope for a much more focused and clinical performance against basement club South Antrim in Lisburn this Saturday.