Queen’s University 1 Banbridge Town 1

There was a welcome return for Daniel Culbert in his first game for over a year following an operation to repair his torn cruciate ligament.

In an exciting start each team hit the post in the first 5 minutes. Queen’s midfielder Eoghan Byrne let fly from 25 yards and his low shot beat Tuda Murphy but rebounded off the post and away to safety. A couple of minutes later, Conor Downey’s low drive from the right side of the box, across the face of goal, went in off the far post to put the visitors ahead. Twice in the build up to this goal Queen’s defenders had chances to clear the danger but failed to do so. It was a fast paced, end to end, game and Queen’s got a deserved equalizer on 40 minutes. Gareth Keenan got to the bye line on the left but his cross flew across the box to the right wing where Byrne retrieved it and his excellent cross was met by James Lavery whose header from 12 yards flew past Murphy. Queen’s should have had another one soon after when Matt Hughes corner beyond the far post was headed wide from close range by Matt McManus.

The second half was scrappy. Queen’s keeper Declan Brown made a great save with his foot to keep his side in the game. Queen’s dominated the later stages and almost won it when Patrick Stuart’s left foot shot came back off the far post with Tuda beaten.

We could have won this game having struck the post twice but a draw was probably a fair result against a worthy opponent.

Next game is away to Glebe Rangers on Sat 9th April in Ballymoney, ko 3pm