Post War Years

Banbridge RFC Post War team picture

Banbridge RFC Post War

From 1940-45 the Club ceased its activities. More than thirty past and present members served in the Forces. The Club reformed after the Second World War with one team and played in the Junior League during the 1945-46 season. The next couple of seasons proved to be a difficult time with funds and playing strength at their lowest level ever. However stalwart members such as T. Aulds, A.W.Buller, W Cupples, J.D.Finney, W.J.Jamison, R.L.Kennedy, J.H.Todd and J.S.Mehaffey put in a lot of hard work which was to lay a firm foundation for the future.

A Second XV was fielded in the 1947-48 season and entered in the following season in Division B of the Minor League, but “seldom fielded a full team”.

The 1947-48 season saw the installation of new showers in the Clubrooms at Bridge Street and the Secretary remarked that he hoped that this would encourage the players to train regularly!

The 1949 AGM report was rather less encouraging, with a drop in playing members that season. The First XV had been in sight of league honours in mid-season but faded and made early exits from the Junior and Towns’ Cups to Coleraine and Dromore respectively.

The early Fifties saw a build-up in playing membership and by 1955-56 the Club was able to field four XV’s, the Fourths being captained by J.Jamison.

However the improvement in the Club’s fortunes was best evidenced by the performance of the 1st XV in the ‘56-’57 season. Portadown were taken to extra time in the final of the Towns’ Cup before Bann went down 12-0. However the League was won and Bann lost narrowly (9-6) to Lurgan in the Past Players’ Cup.

The following season Bann finished in the middle of Junior League Section 1 but with only three XV’s being fielded a steady decline had begun which was to take some time to reverse.