Magee’s Bann gives whole town huge source of pride

** This article originally for the EHL website; to see all the video highlights, click here and then on the respective match page

Banbridge’s Olympian Eugene Magee said his side put their best foot forward to match the efforts of his club mates who put on a great show at Havelock Park for EHL ROUND1.

Magee scored a sublime opening goal against Royal Leopold as they eventually got a draw that saw them go through to the KO16 ahead of the Belgian side.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” the Irish international said. “It was just a deserving performance for all the support and the work that has gone in from the volunteers to set up this amazing venue.

“The lads understood what it meant to everyone around the club and around the town and we put in the performance it deserved.

Eugene Magee takes on Saint Germain's Hugo Genestet. Pic: Frank Uijlenbroek

Eugene Magee takes on Saint Germain’s Hugo Genestet. Pic: Frank Uijlenbroek

“Our defence was superb, Matthew Bell in particular in the last couple of games. The midfield, the forward line – you can’t fault any of them. Everyone gave it their all. We are just delighted to be in the KO16.”

Speaking about his spectacular goal, an upright backhand bullet, he added modestly: “It was just a move we have worked on in training and it came off. I was fed the correct ball, inch-perfect, and I was happy with that.”

The tournament drew some of the largest crowds in the 10-year history of EHL ROUND1 events with the venue rocking for Banbridge’s two matches.

“For me, this is one of the best venues in Ireland and the support you get, you can see they get behind whatever team is down here. For this event, the talent that was on show was really impressive. It was understandable we got these crowds along and, hopefully, we see more of them at our Irish Hockey League games.”

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