GARVEY Thirds made the tough journey down to Havelock Park at the weekend to take on the current league leaders, Banbridge Seconds. Banbridge narrowly edged the game with a 4-3 victory in a game which was on a knife edge throughout. Both teams came out of the blocks fast and chances were being created at both ends, from the start it was obvious that we had a game on our hands. The breakthrough came from Garvey after Richard McConkey was in the right place at the right time to put the ball into the back of the net from close range. Banbridge won their first short corner of the game shortly after falling behind, and the threat of a Ross McCandless drag flick was a concern to the Garvey defence. McCandless found the top left hand corner with a drag flick that only had one possible outcome. Minutes later Banbridge won another short corner. This time the drag flick did not come, but after some scrappy play the ball ended up in the back of the net to put Banbridge 2-1 up.
Garvey had to dig deep at this point and responded magnificently to falling behind. Paddy McClean was the architect behind Garvey’s equalizer after a magnificent run where he found team mate Ian Harbinson at the end of it to make the game balanced at 2-2. Just before the break McClean was at it again after stealing the ball from the Banbridge centre back to then carry the ball into the circle and put a sweetly struck reverse past the Banbridge keeper to put Garvey 3-2 up at the break.
After the break Banbridge came out the stronger of the two sides and found two goals in quick succession to put themselves 4-3 ahead with approximately 25 minutes left on the clock. The game was far from finished and chances came at both ends as Garvey pushed for an equalizer. Garvey came agonizingly close to the goal they needed when their man of the match Neil Harbinson put a ball to the back post but James Atkinson couldn’t quite come up with the finish. A win for Banbridge but by all means the game could have gone either way. Garvey will be looking to bounce back with a win to put the disappointment of this defeat behind them.