Armagh 2nd XI 4 vs 0 Bangor 5th XI

On a 2nd consecutive mild Saturday, following last week’s victory over Ballymena 2s, Bangor 5s travelled to play another 2nds team, this time Armagh.

Bangor started confidently, passing the ball around the back 4 and into midfield.

They had the majority of the goal scoring chances but found the Armagh goalkeeper in great form. Armagh had a few chances but could not find a way past Kent in the Bangor goal. However, just before the half-time whistle, a turnover led to Armagh scoring to make the half-time score 0-1

The second half was poor with Bangor continually losing possession due to poor passing. Armagh scored 3 goals in quick concession, 2 from direct shots at penalty corners. Bangor did have several golden opportunities to make the score line more respectable. Despite the score, the game was played in a really sporting manner.

Bangor man of the match was Jordan Polden.

NICS 3rd XI 6 v 0 Bangor 4th XI

Fourths lose out in Semi Finals

On Saturday at Stormont, Bangor 4s cup run came to an end in very disappointing fashion as they lost out to a strong NICS 3rd in the semi-final of the league cup.

After a week off last week, a youthful Bangor, were very wary of the threat that previously unbeaten NICS would cause and so it proved. However Bangor started off well, with Hopkins, Irvine and Ayton industrious in midfield and the Bangor defence rarely troubled. However after some poor communication in the Bangor defence, Bangor went one down and despite some pressure and Isaac Hart in particular going close, Bangor could not equalise and went into the break behind.

After a rousing team talk by coach Rachel Cairns, Bangor began the second half confident they could wrestle the advantage and get into a Christmas final for the second year in a row. However Bangor did the unthinkable and conceding an early goal through sloppy play and this was to be the story of the half. Bangor’s structure which had been strong in the opening exchanges totally broke down as NICS ran riot and Bangor’s cup run entered the ‘Final Countdown’ .The score finished 6-0 to NICS but  without the efforts of the exceptional Charlie Quinn in goal, the score could have been more expected to be seen at the nearby cricket pitch.

Bangor were disappointed with how the game went but are looking forward to right some wrongs as the teams meet again in the league this Saturday at Aurora.

Thanks to Andrew Gowdy for umpiring.

Man of the match Charlie Quinn

Annadale 3rd XI 5-3 Bangor 3rd XI

Thirds Second Best​​​​​


Bangor Thirds made the trip to Lough Moss Leisure Centre in Carryduff last Saturday afternoon for their latest Junior League 2 fixture against Annadale thirds, whom they had beaten the previous week at Bangor Aurora.  This time though it was a different story as the home side ran out easy winners against Gareth Stranaghans’ charges, who were simply second best on the day.

The thirds were undone as early as the second minute when an Annadale forward weaved his way along the bye line and beat Ross Miller in goal from an acute angle, a disappointing goal that could so easily have been avoided.  During the early exchanges it was the home side that were dominant as the Bangor side were constantly disjointed in their passing, as well as constant failure to close down the Annadale players.  Annadale added a second midway through the half from mid circle, and again the Bangor side contributed to their own downfall.  The deficit however was reduced when Jeremy Macafee pounced on a loose pass in the Annadale defence and fired home, and it appeared the thirds were back in it.  However probably the worst half of their season so far was compounded for the thirds when within 60 seconds of getting back in the game at 2-1, they allowed the home side to score again to make it 3-1 at half time.

Stranaghan tried to rally his troops at the half time interval knowing all too well that too many of his players were off the pace, but on this occasion the captain was unable to bring out that little bit extra that was needed.  Time and again Annadale were quicker to the ball, and most disappointingly for the thirds, they appeared to have too much time with the ball.  The home side added a well worked fourth goal, whilst the Bangor attacks continued in the same vein in the second half with lots of running and effort, but too many misplaced passes and poor decisions.  That said, ten minutes from time Gareth Boyd’s right wing cross was right on the money when Stranaghan controlled and turned in at the far post and there was for a minute or two just a glimmer of hope that something could be salvaged.  That was quickly extinguished when Annadale made it 5-2, whilst two minutes from time a well worked corner routine was despatched by David Stewart to make it a more respectable final scoreline of 5-3.  If truth be told the final result probably flatters the thirds, and certainly skipper Stranaghan will be looking for much more from his players when they next take the field on Saturday week at home to Lisnagarvey in their final league game before the Christmas break.

Man of the Match for the Bangor team was the tireless Jeremy Macafee.

Team: Miller, Stranaghan (c), Armstrong-Sanchez, Larmour, Stewart, G.Boyd, J Riordan, Garland, M Squance, Macafee, Hamilton, Robinson.

Bangor 2nd XI 5 V 1 North Down 2nd XI


Bangor Seconds hosted local rivals North Down Seconds at Bangor Grammar School for their Junior league 1 tie on Saturday.  Bangor, although having only 12 members in the match day squad, went into the game in a confident mood, following their 4-3 victory over the same opponents earlier in the season.

Despite their limited numbers, the Seconds fielded one of its most experienced sides this term. Bangor’s intent was clear from the outset immediately putting the visitors on the back foot through Chris Campbell’s assertive offensive runs. One such early passage of play almost provided the first score of the match, but was to spell disaster for Simon Hunter, Bangor Seconds’ top goal scorer this season. Following up on Campbell’s initial strike, Hunter, stretching to add the required finishing touch at the back post, sustained a significant hamstring injury and was unable to play any further part in the contest.

Bangor, despite this major setback and now down to the bare 11, illustrated great resolve and maturity, features of their play in recent outings. Instead of faltering, the team maintained their composure and more importantly ball possession for the majority of the first period, with notable performances from Shelvin and Coglin. Throughout this spell the side produced numerous flowing attacking moves leading to 2 goals for the ever industrious Campbell and one well converted effort for McNulty before the break.

The second half started in a similar vein with Bangor dominant in midfield and solid in defence continually asking questions of the visiting side. As the second period progressed, North Down came more into the game, maintaining possession for longer spells with notable performances from Allen Irwin in defence and Tate and McGimpsey in midfield. Eventually Bangor’s pressure told with a jubilant Lappin on hand to break the second half stalemate following fine work from Reading in midfield. It was not all to be Bangor’s way with North Down scoring from a well taken deflected effort to make the scoreline 4-1. Again Bangor continued to probe the North Down circle and eventually Adam Reading was rewarded with a goal before the final whistle to cap a fine individual performance by the midfielder.

Despite the temporary loss of a key forward, Bangor can take a lot of encouragement from this performance as their league campaign continues with the visit of Lisnagarvey’s 3rd XI to the Aurora on Saturday

Bangor 5 v 0 Ballynahinch

Bangor take all 3 points at Aurora after a convincing 5-0 victory against Ballynahinch.

Following Bangors impressive victory against Cork Harlequins last weekend, the seasiders looked to continue their momentum against ballynahinch. Bangor knew early on that they would have most of the possession throughout the game and that patience was a virtue.

Bangor started brightly with good interchange between the forwards and midfield, particularly between McClune, Cunningham and McKee. The first chance of the game fell to Cunningham, after great work down the right-hand side from McKee and McComb, the ball was slipped left to the top of the D were Cunningham found himself unmarked and fired a reverse shot low and to the keepers’ right hand side only for the keeper to make a tremendous stop.

Bangor continued to mount the pressure with good opportunities being created but the Ballynahinch keeper was on form to stop anything Bangor threw at him. Young schoolboy, Zach McKee claimed the first goal of the game, with the ball being work down the right-hand side the ball was fired into the circle for McKee running onto it to put it between the keepers’ legs, excellent composure from a schoolboy.  Bangor didn’t have to wait long to get a 2nd, after great work from Burgess down the middle of the pitch then slipped it to McClune who beat his man and put it low past the keeper.

Half Time: Bangor 2-0 Ballynahinch

Bangor started the 2nd half in a ‘scrappy’ manner with many missed passes and poor decision making in the final 3rd especially. Bangor scored a 3rd, again work from Burgess to McComb, allowed McComb to play the ball across the front of the net were Dorman found himself unmarked, spun the keeper, and play the ball towards an open net before young schoolboy McKee tapped in from a short range to steal what would have been a good individual goal from Dorman.

A 4th was added towards the latter of the 2nd half with McClune getting his second of the game, Bangor worked the ball down the left hand side with Dorman finding McClune at the back post again unmarked to slot it into an open net. Bangor again continued to build pressure and enter the circle many times but coming away with very little opportunities due to poor passing and decision making.

Bangor claimed a 5th after young McKee, who had been lively all day won a short corner, which allowed Bangors captain Burgess to fire the short corner low to the keepers right hand side which ended a somewhat frustrating but comfortable win for Bangor.

Full Time: Bangor 5-0 Ballynahinch

Scorers: McKee x2, McClune x2, Burgess

Bangor 5th XI 3 – 1Ballymena 2nd XI

Despite several frosty morning, Bangor 5s entertained Ballymena on a mild afternoon at Bangor Grammar School.

Both sides had attacking opportunities with Wilson coming close when one on one against the keeper. Ballymena were reliant on long balls and were rewarded when a ball in the Bangor circle failed to be cleared and Ballymena scrambled the ball over the line to go one up.

Bangor reorganised their formation and were rewarded when a great pass by McCoey Allen found Wilson who scored from a very narrow angle.

Half-time Bangor 1 – Ballymena 1

Ballymena dominated the start of the second half but failed to score. Bangor grew stronger with Ross working energetically in midfield. Bangor went ahead through Smyth when he received a pass with his back to goal and shot on the turn. Ballymena threw more players forward seeking the equaliser but the move of the match saw Wilson score his second to secure the points.

Full Time Bangor 3 Ballymena 1

Bangor 3rd XI 3-0 Annadale 3rd XI

Vital 3 Points for Thirds​​​​​


Bangor Thirds welcomed Annadale thirds to the Aurora last Saturday afternoon for their latest Junior League 2 fixture, and Gareth Stranaghans’ side produced a workmanlike performance to claim all 3 points thanks to a 3-0 victory.

The contest began with Annadale pulling all the strings and pressuring the thirds defence, but Graham Larmour assumed the lead role as he marshalled the Bangor rearguard action.  Chris Wilkinson in goal, when called upon, was able to deny the visiting forwards with some fine stops, and it was a total team effort for the thirds to keep the visitors at bay in these early exchanges.  However as the game settled the thirds soon began to impose themselves, particularly on the right side of the pitch where stalwart Allister McVicar was time and again combining with schoolboy Patrick Boyd.  Scott Parker had the first decent chance but his shot just shaded the post, but minutes later he turned provider for young Boyd to score from close in and give his side the lead.

Half time, 1-0.

The game was now more evenly poised, as Bangor had got to grips with the Annadale style of play and were nullifying their opponents extremely well.  That said, the visitors did press again at the beginning of the second half, but again the thirds held on with some excellent defending.  David Stewart was tireless in the middle of the park as he closed down in defence, and was the catalyst for the counters as he time and again found willing runners in Robin Coughlin and youngsters Andrew Creane and Calvin Alfred.  The thirds doubled their advantage midway through the half when a long overhead from Larmour wasn’t cleared by the Annadale defence, and when McVicar broke with the ball on the right side of the circle he spotted his skipper lurking at the left post, and a rasping pass evaded the goalkeeper and duly left Stranaghan with the simplest of tasks.  2-0. This second goal only added to the home sides confidence and the last 10 or 15 minutes saw the game open up a bit as Annadale were also now pressing at every opportunity in an attempt to get back in the game.  However it was the thirds that added to their lead with an exquisite third goal.  This time Gareth Boyd picked up the ball in midfield, fed Stranaghan on the right who once in the circle spotted the rampaging Coughlin who dived and lifted the ball over the goalkeeper and into the goal.  Full time, 3-0.

A tremendous and deserved victory for the thirds against a decent and experienced Annadale side, and of course a much valued 3 points.  Next week it’s the same opponent, this time in Carryduff, and no doubt the team will need to produce something similar to have any hope of coming away with any sort of reward.

Man of the Match for the Bangor team was David Stewart, and a word of mention also to Callum Thompson who had a steady debut for the thirds.  Many thanks to Timmy Campbell and Jon Scott for umpiring.

Team: Wilkinson, Stranaghan (c), Armstrong-Sanchez, Larmour, Stewart, G.Boyd, Patterson, Boyd P, Creane. McVicar, Coughlin R, Thompson, Alfred, Parker.

Bangor 5 – 1 Cork Harlequins

Bangor progress to the second round of the Irish Hockey Trophy as they come out 5-1 victors over Cork Harlequins.

This week Bangor welcomed Cork Harlequins in the first round of the Irish Hockey Trophy, with both teams not knowing each other’s game the game started slowly with Bangor holding most of the possession but doing very little to break down the Harlequins defence with poor passing and decision making towards the final 3rd of the pitch.

Although Bangor has most of the possession throughout the first 10 minutes, the first chance of the game fell to Cork Harlequins with the ball being crossed from the right-hand side across the face of the goal but for the harlequins’ player at the back post unable to get the final touch.

Bangor eventually made the breakthrough, with again the experienced McClune linking up with his youthful front line. McClunes pass to Riordan allowed the young forward to stretch his legs against a defence which was susceptible to the counter attack, Riordan did excellent work down the left-hand side before squaring it to Cunningham who couldn’t miss from a few yards out given his recent form in front of goal.

Half Time: Bangor 1 – 0 Cork Harlequins

During the halftime team talk, Bangors discussed the importance to stay patient as goals would eventually come but not to underestimate the threat Cork had in attack. Bangor started the 2nd half in excellent fashion, within 5 minutes of the restart Bangor won their first corner of the game. Burgess stepped up to fire the ball high to the right-hand side of the keeper to make it 2-0. Before Cork could reset after going 2-0 down, Bangor made it 3-0 with Edwards moving the ball at pace to Burgess who turned and had room to run, before he knew it he was nearly in Cork’s circle before passing it to Cunningham who fired it into the roof of the net from short range.

Cork then immediately responded with a goal of their own, straight from the hit off 5 passes in a row found them having a player unmarked in the circle firing the ball past the Bangor keeper Andy Seay who had a quiet game up until then. Bangor within a few minutes of the restart made it 4-1 with great work from schoolboy Zach McKee down the left-hand side beating 3 Cork players before squaring the ball to McComb who guided the ball past the Cork keeper.

Bangor then ended the match in style with again McKee showing his skill and pace in attack to win a short corner for the Bangor skipper Burgess to fire his flick low to the left-hand side of the keeper and seal a 5-1 win for Bangor after an excellent 2nd half performance.

Full Time: Bangor 5 – 1 Cork Harlequins

Scorers: Cunningham (x2) Burgess (x2) McComb

This week see’s Bangors attention return back to the league campaign and will face Ballynahinch at Aurora, 2.30pm start.

Parkview 2nd XI 2 vs 2 Bangor 5th XI

Fifths draw at Parkview

Following on from their very creditable draw against unbeaten Raphoe 3’s , Bangor 5ths travelled to Parkview on Saturday

On a decidedly fresh but crystal clear skied afternoon, Bangor started brightly, moving the ball with reasonable efficiency and no little purpose. The midfield trio of Parker, McCoey Allen and Ross provided a solid base from a number of early forward forays initiated. However, the match soon developed a more prosaic pattern with neither side able to hold possession for any meaningful period of time. The ball pinged from one side to the other with alarming frequency, the only threat from coming form short corners. Parkview had two efforts thwarted by the efficient kicking of Bangor keeper Kent. Then following a quick counter Bangor earned a short corner and gained the initiative. Parker received the ball and then nudged right to Morris whose shot flashed across goal past the home keeper.

To the second half and Bangor committed the cardinal sin of ceding too much possession and ground when having gained the advantage. In the opening ten minutes Bangor resembled a group of tourists with an out-of-date city map, their positional and passing play being too lax and allowing Parkview to score twice

However Bangor 5ths are nothing if not obdurate, Captain Parker evincing pride and endeavour from his charges and with ten minutes remaining, a sweeping move on the right resulted in Wilson adroitly deflecting the ball into path of Ross. An early touch from Ross saw the ball slip by the advancing keeper.  Parity then and indeed and in the closing stages Bangor regained the attacking hue of the first few minutes. Short corners were earned but no clear chances were forthcoming. As Parkview themselves  pushed forward in last few minutes, Impey, Squance and Morris provided a lesson in pragmatism, time and again snuffling out threat before it materialised.

2-2 at the close and a fair result overall

Man of the Match – Chris Kent

Many thanks to Mike Smyth for travelling to umpire

Bangor 4th XI 1 vs 1 Mossley 5th XI

Frustrating draw for Fourths.

On Saturday at Aurora, Bangor 4s kept their unbeaten start in the league on track but came away with the feeling of 2 points dropped against Mossley 5s.

Co-Captain McMillan who had ‘custody’ of the team this week went into the game in confident mood, as he had a strong squad at his disposal. However as so often this season Bangor started slowly, being second to most balls, and giving the ball away time and time again.

It was one of these unforced errors that lead to Mossley opening the scoring and Bangor on the back foot after 15 minutes.

Bangor spent the rest of the half dominating possession and territory but could not grab the equaliser due to a combination of poor execution and the impressive Mossley keeper Mark Hunter.

After some harsh words and soul searching at half time, Bangor increased their efforts in the second half and camped on the Mossley 25, creating chance after chance but not able to break the deadlock.

Finally after a few missed short corner opportunities, the returning Graeme Patterson slotted home sweetly to bring the scores level and Bangor gunning for the winner and Mossley now ‘Livin on a prayer’.

However due to Bangor’s indiscipline and not being clinical in front of goal, Bangor could not add to their score and the match finished 1-1.

Bangor’s unbeaten run will be tested next week on the gravel away to table toppers Saintfield, with a much improved performance needed.

Thanks to Chris Harte for umpiring.

Man of the match Callum Thompson

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