The 80's - A New Home

Banbridge RFC members enjoying a drink back in the 1980s

Banbridge RFC 1980s

In 1981 Bann at last acquired their own premises adjacent to the playing fields. With the assistance of grant-aid from the Department of Education a new Clubhouse was built on land at the end of Arderys Lane.

In 1984 the Firsts made their first appearance in a Ravenhill final for 27 years. Despite playing in Section Three of the Junior League they battled their way through, under Philip Mehaffey’s leadership, claiming the scalps, among others, of Section One sides Ballyclare and notably Coleraine in a momentous semi-final.

The final against Omagh was a forgettable affair, due to the atrocious weather conditions. But the Co. Tyrone side got the only points with a solitary penalty, leaving the losers only with the longing to return and taste victory.

Fifty six years after that 1933 Towns’ Cup victory Bann got their name on the Cup again, with Robert Ervine leading his side to a 9-6 win over Antrim in the 1989 Easter Monday final. Early the following season they claimed the popular Nutty-Krust Floodlit Cup, a competition they came to dominate in the nineties.

But probably the greatest cup success as a junior club came in 1990 when captain John Best lifted the Junior Cup for the first and only time in the Club’s history. Tyrone Howe, later to earn fame as captain of Oxford University and with the British Lions, Ulster and Ireland, raced 60 metres for the winning try against the RUC.

Banbridge RFC 1980s team picture

Banbridge RFC 1980s