HOCKEY: Bann out to beat their bogey team

Banbridge Head Coach Mark Tumilty. Pic: Presseye
Banbridge Head Coach Mark Tumilty. Pic: Presseye

Banbridge are out to defeat their bogey team and remain top of the EY Hockey League table on Saturday afternoon.

Mark Tumilty’s side host second placed Cork Church of Ireland at Havelock (pass-back 2.45pm) and they’re looking for a first EYHL win over the southerners.

Last term, Bann picked up just a point from their two games against the side which ended up finishing seventh.

A year on and with Bann one point ahead of both Cork C of I and Monkstown, and the boss is targetting maximum points.

“If we could manage to get the three wins in the games before Christmas, it would be a huge boost for us but we’ll start with this weekend,” he said.

“They have a couple of very good goal-scorers so we know we’re going to have to defend well and then make our chances count a bit more at the other end.

“They are a difficult team to play against but they deserve credit for that. They are very capable.

“They have benefitted from competitive matches in the EYHL as well.

“If we could win, that would put a bit of a gap between us and them and then we’ll just see how the other results go. It’s all very close.

“We have to prepare right this week and get our mindset right.”

One of those Cork forwards on form is Julian Dale, who received a call-up to the latest Ireland squad on Monday.

Bann will be without one of their own internationals with Draw Carlisle unavailable while Ross Beattie has suffered another injury set-back and will miss out with a pulled hamstring.

Tumilty confirmed that could mean a call-up for a couple of second team players.