Eugene eyeing up

Banbridge captain Eugene Magee is back and raring to go for his first big derby match of the season.

Bann take on old rivals Lisnagarvey at Havelock Park on Saturday evening (pass-back 5pm) in what is surely a key Irish Hockey League Pool A fixture.

The pair, along with Three Rock Rovers, have won both of their opening games and know nother victory on Saturday would put them a huge step closer to securing a spot in the finals weekend.

Magee, who made his comeback after 15 weeks out with a knee injury during Saturday’s win over Instonians, is looking forward to the big game.

“It’s great to be back playing again,” he said.

“It’s just a matter of breaking myself back in now. I got some pitch time in both halves on Saturday afternoon and it was very nice to get back in with a goal.

“It’s been a tough road to get back to fitness and available for playing again but I’m through it now.

“The muscles just haven’t built up enough for me to play a full match yet so it’s now a case of getting my hockey fitness back and then pushing on with winning trophies.

“Playing against Garvey is always a massive game no matter what the occasion or what’s at stake.

“If we can win this one, we’ll be in good shape in the group. It will be very tough to do that though. They’ll push us all the way for it. We have home advantage for this one but against Garvey, you can never count that for too much.”

Garvey could be without star forward Timmy Cockram after the birth of his twin babies.

“Of course it would be a boost for us if Timmy wasn’t playing but they have plenty more quality,” said Magee.

“They have a few very strong young guys coming up and we’ll have to keep a close eye on them.”