‘Come and see what all the fuss is about’ - Tumilty

Banbridge Hockey Club were well represented in the prizes at the Banbridge District Sports Awards. Colin Dowds collected the Senior Team of the Year Award while Mark Tumilty was named Coach of the Year. Included are Yvonne Jackson, Shoefair, Council chairman Olive Mercer, Tom Court, special guest, Michael Watt, Sports Association chairman, Cllr Ian Burns, and compere for the evening, Denise Watson.  INBL1014-SPORTSAWARDS7
Banbridge Hockey Club were well represented in the prizes at the Banbridge District Sports Awards. Colin Dowds collected the Senior Team of the Year Award while Mark Tumilty was named Coach of the Year. Included are Yvonne Jackson, Shoefair, Council chairman Olive Mercer, Tom Court, special guest, Michael Watt, Sports Association chairman, Cllr Ian Burns, and compere for the evening, Denise Watson. INBL1014-SPORTSAWARDS7

Banbridge Hockey Coach Mark Tumilty hopes their two accolades at the Banbridge District Sports awards will increase their support.

They picked up the Senior Team of the Year award while Tumilty himself was named Coach of the Year.

Now he wants the town’s public to come and see just how good they are.

“These awards are nice recognition for the effort that the guys have all put in,” said Tumilty.

“Hopefully it will get more people to come to our IHL games and support the team. It’s not often a team like the one we have at the minute comes around.

“It’s not as if we have a squad who are coming to the end of their careers. We have a young squad. Last year, our average age was about 21 or 22. We have players who are 16 or 17 in the squad and five guys who have just left school.

“I can remember the ‘85 Cup final and Banbridge hosting the Europeans. I can remember the ground being packed in those days but I think our current side and the laws that have changed in the game since then make it more exciting. If people come down to see, that would be great.

“That’s why we had the 4.30pm start on Saturday, so that people can come down after playing or watching football.”

Bann ended their 24 year wait for an Ulster Premier League title in 2013, going unbeaten for the entire season. They also reached the final of the IHL and Tumilty’s hoping to go one step further this season.

“Picking up those district awards is a great honour but I’d swap it all to get my hands on the IHL trophy,” he said.

“To win the Ulster League was great too though. Over the years, there have been a lot of good players and teams who have tried and failed to win it.”

Tumilty was also pleased to get his hands on the Coach of the Year award for the second time.

“I was delighted,” he said.

“It’s an honour to win it with the likes of Kevin Broderick (karate) and other guys in the area coaching at such a high level. To even be competing with those guys is nice. I’m not really interested in the inidivdual level though. It’s all about getting more recognition for the players and the club.”

Banbridge Hockey Club Ladies 1s and their coach Simon Jess were also nominated for the Team of the Year and Coach of the Year awards after they secured two successive league titles in 2012 and 2013, now playing in the Senior One division.