Bann lads help Ireland through to final Olympic qualifiers

Bruce McCandless, Stephen Dowds, Drew Carlisle & Eugene Magee impressed for Ireland during the World League 2 tournament in San Diego.
Bruce McCandless, Stephen Dowds, Drew Carlisle & Eugene Magee impressed for Ireland during the World League 2 tournament in San Diego.

Banbridge’s Ireland quartet helped Craig Fulton’s side to gold in World League Two at the weekend.

Steven Dowds, Eugene Magee, Bruce McCandless and Drew Carlisle were part of the Green Machine squad that successfully navigated their way through the San Diego tournament to qualify for World League Three and a shot at Olympic qualification.

The quartet will now be keen to retain their places in the squad for that ten-team tournament in Argentina in June with as many as six Olympic spots potentially on the line.

Dowds ended World League Two with three goals to his name with Eugene Magee netting twice and McCandless also on target during the opening 8-0 win over Chile.

Dowds was one of the stars in the quarter-final 12-2 thrashing of Trinidad and Tobago as he netted twice in a game that featured nine different Irish scorers, also including Magee.

In the closing stages, Player of the Tournament Shane O’Donoghue shone with a double in the 2-0 semi-final win over Canada and another in the narrow 2-1 final victory over Austria.