Banbridge Academy boys’ first XI squad are determined to make sure their principal’s final month at the school is a memorable one.
Raymond Pollock will retire from his post as Principal on 31 December but Master in charge of Hockey Mark Cordner says his team want to win back the McCullough Cup before then.
The team take on Regent at Lisnagarvey’s Comber Road on Wednesday (pass-back 1pm) bidding to win a place in the final a week later against either holders Wallace or Sullivan Upper.
“I think it would be fitting to make the final and give Mr Pollock another day to remember,” said Cordner.
“It’s been a huge effort by all the squad with the season’s journey beginning in late July.”
The coach has overseen a plethora of hockey successes at the school but is sure that his current crop’s ability surpasses all that has gone before them.
“Physically, technically and tactically this is the best unit of players I have ever dealt with,” he said.
“I am proud to have had a hand in their hockey education and am certain as a team they will reap the benefits of the high standards set at the Academy.
“They will be fully focused and look forward to the Regent House challenge. It has been the ability to listen to myself and John Clarke, who has been invaluable to us in our coaching ethic and attention to detail. That married with the parish passion for hockey in the district means preparation has been tough but should show come Wednesday.”
Cordner will have a full squad for Wednesday’s game against a Regent side who, like Bann, are unbeaten in this year’s competition, having drawn 1-1 with Wallace in their group campaign.
“I see it as a battle of forwards and defence,” continued Cordner. “I’m confident if we show discipline and tempo in our game and execute good field position that the result will take care of itself. We’ll be bringing a strong school support which shows the levels of interest in the game.”
Banbridge are searching for their seventh McCullough Cup success while opponents Regent have won the trophy just once, in 1999.