Banbridge landed the first silverware of the new hockey season when they defeated Lisnagarvey in yesterday’s Anderson’s Cup final at Havlock Park.
But it was Bann’s new summer signing, Jamie Wright from Portadown, who stole the show, as he repeatedly notched up important goals over the weekend.
Garvey Goose sprung open the Bears defence to take the lead through Andy Williamson, only to see Neil Gilmore hauling the Bears back on level terms with a well struck reverse stick strike.
And just before the interval, Wright edged the Bears into the lead for the first time.
The Bears struck immediately after the interval, this time Bruce McCandless opening a two goal lead for the hosts.
Minutes later Sean Murray reduced the deficit when he slotted the ball home for Garvey. But any thoughts of a Garvey comeback were snuffed out after Philip Brown guided the ball home to secure the trophy for Banbridge.
Instonians Stones cruised into the Plate final after they blew Civil Service Storm away winning 3-0, thanks to two goals from Chris Kirk and one from Alan Patterson.
In the next semi it was all one way traffic for South Antrim Stingrays as they crushed Kilkeel Sharks 5-0. A brace each from Patric Cochrane and Matthew Getty did the damage, with Paul Maguire grabbing a goal.
As anticipated the Plate Final was a close affair and with both teams locked out at the final whistle it had to go to a penalty shoot out with the Stones taking the trophy.
Daniel Nelson’s last minute goal snuffed out Dale Dragons in the first Anderson cup semi-final as Garvey Goose secured a place in the final. Paul Ritchie gave the Dragons an early lead only to see Paul Jackson cancel it out.
Wright, put Bann Bears into the lead in the next semi-final. But with two minutes remaining Greg Allen equalised for Cookstown Mavericks. So it was down to another shoot out, which saw the Bears win 2-1 to take them into the final.
And off the pitch over £500 was raised for the charity Charlene’s Project
Anderson Cup Final
Banbridge Bears 4 Garvey Goose 4
Garvey Goose 2 Dale Dragons 1
Banbridge Bears 2 Cookstown Mavericks 1
Instonians Stones 2 South Antrim Stingrays 1
South Antrim Stingrays 5 Kilkeel Sharks 0
Instonians Stones 3 Civil Service Storm 0