1B Relg P/O – Banbridge maintain status after win over Navan

Banbridge produced a sublime and clinical home performance to trounce Navan 24-0. The result ensures Banbridge maintain their Division1B status whilst Navan will drop down a league.

Scores from Robin Sinton, Michael Cromie, and Conor Field along with nine points from fly half Adam Doherty transformed the second leg of this relegation playoff. From a tense tightly poised 25-17 win away last week, today turned into an afternoon for Banbridge and their supporters to celebrate at a rainy Rifle Park. 

Head Coach Max McDowell had called for Banbridge fans to “get behind the players” and despite the conditions, many turned out to watch. After a pointless opening quarter, Sinton scored a crucial try, which when converted by Doherty gave Banbridge a 15-point cushion on aggregate, turning Navan’s already uphill task into a mountainous challenge.

The hosts scored again right on half time, Cromie dotting down, a true captain’s example in a match where leadership was invaluable. 

The second half mirrored the first for scrappiness and caginess. Although on 65 minutes, Bann cemented the win, winger Field getting over to seal success having also scored the tie-turning try in the first leg away last week. Doherty converted and added a penalty five minutes later, making the score line an emphatic 24-0. 

In a season full of discomforts, in the relegation playoff, Banbridge stayed up in both comfort and style. There is plenty of satisfaction for Bann to take as well.

Coming from behind away in the first leg was undoubtedly a turning point, a rallying cry to the fans which maximised home support and the calm, well-manged game which they played out today.

If they bring these traits regularly next season, a relegation playoff may not be needed to prove themselves worthy of Division 1B status.