A three goal winning margin would suggest a comfortable victory for Newry City Reserves against Banbridge Town Reserves at The Showground’s on Wednesday night. However the score line does not reflect that this was a thoroughly competitive match which Banbridge were in right up until the last 10 minutes when Sean McMullan picked the ball up in the middle of the park and leaving his marker in his wake made ground before sliding a pass into the path of Neil Barr who smashed his first time shot into the roof of the net to make the game safe for the home side at 3-0.
The foundations for the victory however had been laid in the first 20 minutes of the first half Newry taking the lead after 12 minutes when Graeme Edgar returned a Banbridge kick out perfectly through a gap in the visiting defence which Keith Johnston ran onto before drilling his shot into the far bottom corner of the net to put the home side a goal up. The advantage was doubled on 20 minutes when Barr chased a seemingly lost cause to the end line, shouldered the covering defender off the ball and from a very acute angle curled the ball around the keeper at his near post, the ball nestling inside the far post to put Newry 2-0.
It was at this stage that Banbridge Town, marshalled at the back by Stephen Greene, became a little more combative getting a foothold in the game. However, against a Newry defence in which Stefan Martin and Micheál Hastewell were both rock steady Banbridge were limited to strikes from outside the area which brought a string of fine saves from the Newry keeper Colm McEvoy.
Newry City AFC: McEvoy, Mooney, Martin, Hastewell, Cargin, Smaryginas, Durnin, McMullan, Edgar, Barr, Johnston, Subs: Crilly, Walker, McCaul.