Saturday, 02 September 2017
Twice Banbridge Town had to come from behind to share the points in this exciting encounter with Donegal Celtic at Crystal Park.
Celtic took the lead in the ninth minute. Town's Ryan Moffatt had time on the ball but inexplicably passed it behind his own defence directly to the predatorial Declan Monaghan who need no second opportunity to fire the ball home.
This setback stunned the home side but they were quick to respond when Conor Downey fired wide. Back came the visitors and Stephen O'Flynn was narrowly off the mark with a vicious attempt from all of 25 yards.
On the half hour, Banbridge came perilously close to equalising when, following a slick move down the right, the resulting cross was fired wide by Neil Clydesdale when it seemed easier to hit the target.
By this time, Banbridge were in control but the home supporters had to wait until two minutes before the break before the equaliser arrived. Daniel Devlin surged down the left and into the box. His cross was beaten away by Sean McIlhone in the away goal but a few rebounds later it was Moffatt who shot home.
Monaghan restored Celtic's lead a couple of minutes into the second half. Noel Healy was allowed to meander into Town's box and his clever pass was steered home by the alert Monaghan.
Banbridge came back well and seized the initiative again. Just after the hour Timmy Grant replaced Moffatt and his deft touch gave Stephen Teggart the opportunity to run at Celtic's defence and fire home for Town's second equaliser.
Banbridge Town: McErlean, J. Wilson, Devlin, Acheson, Russell, McGuinness, McCreanor, Downey, Moffatt, Teggart, Clydesdale subs Pierce (not used), Grant (replaced Moffatt 54), A. Wilson (not used), Thompson (not used), Gourley (replaced Downey 79)
Donegal Celtic: McIlhone, M. Burns, Wilson, Farrelly, Healy, Derry, Monaghan, O'Flynn, Clougherty, C. Burns, McClory subs Southam (replaced McClory 86), McVarnock (replaced Monaghan 50), Ritchie (not used), Herdman (not used), Hughes (replaced Healy 57)
Referee: Andrew Woodside