Saturday Night Hockey 12th November 2022
Saturday 12th November 2022 sees the long-awaited return of big time Saturday night hockey to Havelock Park with Bann’s senior men scheduled to take on Instonians in the EY All Ireland Hockey League at 6pm. Many at the Club still recall the number of spectators, atmosphere and excitement created in previous Saturday night games under lights against the likes of Lisnagarvey and Dublin kingpins Monkstown.
This will be the locals first big game since the installation of their new state-of-the-art lighting system and promises to be a cracker against a Belfast side that has picked up some valuable points recently with two wins in their last three outings and are beginning to climb the table.
Bann, backed by Ulster Carpets Ltd, have been in imperious form recently and are top of the EY Hockey League after 6 rounds of league fixtures. They sit proudly top of the pile courtesy of a better goal difference from neighbours and current grand slam champions Lisnagarvey. Ironically both sides have only played five games with Ulster hockey’s “El Classico” between the two sides being postponed earlier in the season due to Garvey’s involvement in Europe.
Inst arrive at Bann under the management skills of former Havelock Park favourites Stephen Watt as head coach and Fergie Cosgrove as his assistant. Pitting his wits against them in the Bann dugout will be Scott McCandless who ironically has played under both coaches. An intriguing sub-plot amidst the battle on the pitch to secure the vital three points on offer.
The Belfast side will rely heavily on the skills and finishing prowess of former international and Rio 2016 Olympian Mikey Watt who continues to show he can still be a real threat when given the opportunity. Adding in the skills of William Robinson at short corners and their workrate around the pitch, they will prove to be a tough nut to crack for the locals.
Bann will again have attacking options across the pitch with the subline finishing power of international Johnny McKee, the silky skills of Peter Brown and Rowe twins, Charlie and Louis and the short corner power from the likes of Phillip Brown, Jake Rowe and Alex Tinney. When you add in the pace of Josh Moffett, Davy Finlay and Owen Magee, the goals can literally come from anywhere. With Bann’s talisman Eugene Magee keeping an eye on the defence, it is a strong unit that will line up for the locals.
It has the makings of a high scoring game with both sides chalking up five goal wins in their last league outings. Bann’s social facilities, Havelock Hut and kitchen will be open for refreshments and hot food, so it promises to be a night for the whole family. To set the scene for the big game, Bann mens seconds will be opening their Irish Junior Cup campaign against Dublin side Corinthians at 3pm. Why not make a day and night of it