Banbridge v Cookstown � Edward Byrne Photography INBL07-220EB
Banbridge v Cookstown � Edward Byrne Photography INBL07-220EB

FOUR of Banbridge’s finest hockey talents were in action for Ireland over the weekend - but the Havelock Park men are continuing their march to the Ulster title minus two of their top players.

Peter Brown made his first start for the ‘Green Machine’ during their 4-2 defeat to Malaysia at the weekend, alongside Bann’s Bruce McCandless and former clubmen Geoff McCabe and Eugene Magee, who scored their first goal of the game, firing home from a corner..

The two sides met again on Monday with Ireland falling to a 3-0 defeat and the squad will now enjoy a day off before the final game of the series on Wednesday.

The games are acting as preparation for Ireland’s World League 2 campaign in New Delhi from February 18-24.

The Irish have been paired with Bangladesh, who they will face on the opening day of the tournament, Fiji (February 20), India (February 21), Oman (February 23) and China (February 24).

Despite missing two of their key men Mark Tumilty’s men marched closer to a first Ulster title in 24 years with a vital 3-2 win over old enemies Cookstown.

Annadale provide the opposition this week at Loughmoss, however Bann will be weary of their opponents because they saw off second-placed Instonians with a 3-2 victory.

But with Bann three points clear with a game in hand and with nine games to go victory the locals can place one hand on the title should they manage to stretch their lead further.