Lurgan Town went into the game without with a number of recognised players available, giving the chance to their younger players in the squad to get a start and no better occasion than against a team two divisions above and top of the Premier Intermediate League in Banbridge Town.
The game started at a good pace from both teams, with home side going close on a few occasions, while Gregg and Heaney looked dangerous. The first goal of the game came when a wonderful run from deep by Morgan Smyth, seen it halted as he was body checked by a Banbridge player, and with no foul being given, the ball went over the top and looked to be running out of play, until McCavitt scored a superb opener, firing into the far top corner from such an acute angle. Lurgan Town were rightly incensed by the foul in the build-up, but can take nothing away from the finish. Young Josh Milne was causing problems on the left, and the Banbridge right back was very lucky to not receive an early bath for a couple of rash challenges while booked. Luke Adams was playing brilliantly in the middle of the park, and Scott Wiltshire was backing him up, both having a hand in any attack Lurgan got going. Some fine deliveries from Henry Warren, caused problems for Banbridge, and the Lurgan men were unfortunate not to get what would have been a well-deserved goal before half time.
Lurgan Town entered the second half with a real belief that if they could get an early goal, they could get something out of the game. Joel Adams and Jay McPolin were playing well at the back, Smiley was getting involved down the right hand side, and Lurgan Town looked to be well in the game at this point. Banbridge then went throw the gears, and caused constant pressure on the Lurgan back line, and something had to give. Two quick fire goals from Stephen McCavitt and his name sake Michael, knocked the stuffing out of Lurgan Town, and the game was over from the one hour mark. Both goals were carbon copies of one another, when the left winger, cut inside and drove into the box causing problems and cutting back for two tap ins from close range to leave Craig with no chance. 10 mins later a misplaced ball out from the back, give Doyle the run in on goal, who did well did find space and fire low and hard beyond the keeper to make it 4-0.
With the substitutes introduced, it gave Lurgan a lift and they went close on a few occasions, Adil Faila found the dangerous Heaney on edge of the box, and the little striker drove towards goal only to snatch his finish wide of the left hand post. Gregson and Glenn were getting joy in spells, and some fantastic tackling seemed to rattle Banbridge. With the game fizzling out, on the 90th minute, a lovely ball cut the Town defence open and the speedy Doyle latched on to it and slipped beyond Craig to make it 5-0.
Lurgan Town can hold their heads up with their first half display, and take the positives from it, unfortunately the heads dropped in the second half when hit by two quick-fire goals. These are the games every young player should want to play in, to test themselves against higher opposition and they definitely didn’t disgrace themselves and should proud of how they have played so far this season. Congratulations to Banbridge Town and good luck in the next round.