Banbridge Hockey Club can fire themselves right back into the midst of the title race this weekend.
They travel to Dublin to take on champions Monkstown (pass-back 3pm) knowing a win would see them leapfrog their opponents into second spot.
With leaders Lisnagarvey facing a troublesome trip to Three Rock Rovers, it could be a big week in the EY IHL.
“Monkstown are an excellent side and on their day, they are hard to beat,” conceded Bann Head Coach Mark Tumilty. “We have come close in recent years and have narrowed the gap. Maybe this will be the week that we can make the step up
“It’s a big weekend for us. If we produce, we can be a match for anyone, as can any team in this league.
“A win would be massive for us. Our corners have to be good and we need a big performance. That would be us well in the mix.”
Bann hope to welcome Drew Carlisle and Josh Moffett back into the squadm, allowing Bruce McCandless to push further forward.
As key as a victory could prove to be for Bann, Tumilty says a point would be far from a disaster.
“If you had offered me a draw at Monkstown, after which we’d be two points behind them eight games into the season, I’d probably have taken that,” he said.
“Glenanne have prove they are beatable. Monkstown had a lot of internationals away but that’s something they’ll have to accept this season.”
Monkstown suffered their first defeat of the IHL season when Glenanne turned them over 3-2 at their own ground on Saturday.
That means every team in the division has been beaten at least once, including leader Garvey, who Tumilty has been impressed with.
He said: “It’ll be interesting to see how they do over the next couple of weeks against Three Rock and Railway. Those won’t be easy games but Garvey are doing really well. They have a young side and have had injuries so they deserve a lot of credit.”