Saturday saw a mid-table clash in Junior 1, in which South Antrim 2nd XI hosted Banbridge 2nd XI.
Many saw Banbridge as favourites as they have been an established team this league for many years now, in contrast to the Lisburn side who are debutants.
The game started with high intensity from both sides, setting the pace for the upcoming 70 minutes.
Banbridge were first to cause any real threats. This early attack was a wake up call to the home side and South soon began to link some clever play in the middle of the pitch.
South sustained the pressure in the Banbridge half and another penalty corner was won, this time from a chop tackle on Nathan Gamble. Having won the corner, Nathan took it in the form of a low drag flick, which forced the keeper into making a save.
Mark Conn followed in and won a penalty flick for his effort which struck a foot on the goal line. Darren Hutchinson confidently stepped up and slotted the flick home coolly into the bottom corner, leaving the keeper helpless.
Banbridge increased the pressure upon the South Antrim defence, however centre backs, Matt Frazer and Phil Spoughton, were able to deal with anything the Bann forwards could throw at them.
Banbridge came into the second half knowing they’d need an early goal to resurrect their hopes of three points. They didn’t have long to wait. Ensuing a good spell of possession for the away side, they won their first penalty corner of the half.
This saw a well placed drag flick into the left netting of Glass’s goal. With newfound confidence, the visiting team again pressed the South goal. A foul just outside the 25 saw Banbridge play a crash ball into the D and an unmarked forward was able to dispatch a resounding deflection, turning the game on its head.
Neil Wilson held off a Banbridge defender outside of the D forcing him to make a cynical foul and a short corner was awarded.
Again, Nathan Gamble was at the head of the circle and following a slick pull out by Jack Moore, he was able to execute a low drag flick which found its way into the bottom corner, possibly helped on its way by Cyril Varghese.
In the last 10 minutes South were lucky to hold on to the draw with huge chances for Bann to score. They would have undoubtedly taken the points had it not been for crucial diving stick save by Ian Glass and a goal line clearance by Phil Spoughton.
Both sides had their chances to score and steal the points and so a point-a-piece was a fair result.