Banbridge – Men’s EY Hockey League

Last season: 5th EY Hockey League; Irish Senior Cup second round

Coach: Mark Tumilty; assistant coaches: Scott McCandless, Gareth Lennox and John Clarke; manager: Colin Walker

Players in: David Rae (Kilkeel)
Players out: Owen Magee (Braxgata), Neil Gilmore (Portadown), Gareth Lennox (retired)

Josh Moffett is available from the start of this season. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Overview: Banbridge’s slow start to last term – coinciding with a glut of injuries to the likes of Eugene Magee and John McKee – ultimately left them outside of the playoff places. This year, they will hope to get back into that frame but do so with a couple of changes to absorb with long-term goalkeeper Gareth Lennox moving upstairs to coach. Luke Roleston is a very able deputy to take on, full-time, the number one role.

Owen Magee’s departure for Braxgata in Belgium is a loss while Hugh McShane has stepped back and Philip Brown is injured, estimated to return in December. On the plus side, Josh Moffett is back from the start and David Rae has linked up with the side from Ulster Premier winning side Kilkeel.

Preseason has been upbeat with big wins over Cookstown (6-1), Annadale (6-0) and an Ulster President’s XI (3-0) at their new pitch opening as well as a 2-2 draw with English side Bowdon.

The club have expanded their senior training panel to include a group of youth players to provide a platform to train and play with senior internationals to assist both their school and club hockey. They ended last season unbeaten from their last five games with wins over Lisnagarvey and Glenanne to raise their belief.

Irish Senior Cup draw: third round vs Railway Union, Queens or Corinthian (away)

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