Super Saturday at BHC
This Saturday (25 January) sees big time late afternoon hockey return to Havelock Park when Cookstown swing into town for a crunch Premier League fixture at 4.30pm. Both sides are striving to catch leaders Lisnagarvey and with a draw not an option for either side, a thrilling encounter should be on the cards as both aim to pick up the three points on offer.
Swallow Groupage backed Bann will be hoping to do the double over the Co Tyrone side having already been successful at Steelweld Park earlier this season. Bann’s 5-0 victory wiping out the memory of their earlier 5-4 loss to Cookstown in the Kirk Cup. Both these games clearly demonstrate that plenty of goals should be the order of the day next Saturday afternoon!
Before Saturday’s clash Bann will be involved in a league game at Mossley on Tuesday night and this will be Mark Tumilty’s side first taste of action in 2014 with their scheduled two opening games being postponed for various reasons. A much needed win at the Glade would set the locals up for Saturday’s clash as they hope to put the brakes on a Cookstown revival which has seen them climb the table after a slow start.
Bann are hoping that their treatment room has a clear out with Owen Magee, Eugene Magee, Matthew Bell, and Simon Magowan all receiving treatment at the minute. On the plus side Irish under 21 star Johnny McKee is back in after illness and injury bouts and Ross Beattie has returned from work abroad.
Bann coach Mark Tumilty will assess the remainder of his injured troups at the end of the week with one eye on the following week and their much anticipated match-up with Monkstown in the Irish Senior Cup quarter-finals in Dublin. Cookstown on the other hand have welcomed the likes of Keith Black, Stephen Sloan and Gregg Allen back to their squad from injury and will be a tough nut for the locals to crack.
The Bann faithful will be looking to the likes of their internationals Bruce McCandless, Stephen Dowds, Drew Carlisle, and Gareth Lennox to lead the way and hopefully restart their momentum after the Christmas break as the season enters the business end of things.
Saturday’s game in the third instalment of a BHC Super Saturday at Havelock Park with the mens 2nd XI entertaining Portadown 2nds in the Irish Junior Cup at 1pm, followed by Banbridge ladies 1st XI clash with Omagh. William Malcolmson’s young Downshire Hotel backed 2nd XI side will go into their game as clear favourites but will be aware that anything is possible in the cup.
This will be followed at 2.30pm with a key game for AB & C Insurance backed Banbridge ladies 1st XI against Omagh and a win for the ladies would see them move away from the relegation dog fight into mid-table safety. All in all Havelock Park will be no place for the fainted hearted and what a price for a Bann treble come 6pm on Saturday night!
Club fixtures for Saturday 25th January are as follows:
1s v Cookstown @ Home @ 4.30pm
2s v Portadown 2 @ Home (IJC) @ 1.00pm
3s No Game
4s No Game
1s v Omagh @ home @ 2.30pm
2s v Lisnagarvey 3 @ Away @ 1.00pm
3s v Portadown 3 @ away @2.30pm (Minor Cup)
4s v Larne 3 @ Academy @1.00pm (Minor Cup)