Ex-Ports have been great imports for Banbridge

Neil Gilmore has made a habit of scoring for Banbridge and (below) Jamie Wright won Player of the Tournament in the Anderson Cup to get his Banbridge career off to a flyer.
Neil Gilmore has made a habit of scoring for Banbridge and (below) Jamie Wright won Player of the Tournament in the Anderson Cup to get his Banbridge career off to a flyer.

Banbridge’s attack have been a force to be reckoned with this year.

They’ve netted 89 goals in just 17 matches, stand-in skipper Stevie Dowds getting 34 to himself already.

The second top scorer is summer signing Neil Gilmore, who has already hit the net 15 times in a blistering start to his Banbridge career.

He’s closely followed by fellow ex Portadown star Jamie Wright, who has 12. Club Head Coach Mark Tumilty has been delighted with how the boys have reacted to the shift to top level hockey.

“Neil Gilmore was excellent again against UCD,” he said. “His first goal was a great finish and his second was a well-taken goal as well.

“He was probably the lesser of the two when we signed them but his finishing and movement up front has been of the highest quality. I’ve been very impressed with Jamie (Wright) as well. I’ve been delighted with their contribution. They’ve both worked really hard in training and if we are to achieve what we want to achieve this year, those two lads will play a big part in that.”

Dane Ward was also on the score-sheet against UCD, his fourth of the season as he continue his return from a long-term injury that saw him sit out last season.

“Dane’s going to be slow to get back to full match fitness because he has been out for so long,” admitted Tumilty. “He has a lot of work to do but he knows that.

“He has something in the circle that not a lot of forwards in the country have. He can be a top club player when he puts his mind to it and it’s great to have him back.

“Competition for places is a lot better this year and is helping to get the best out of all the players.”

Bann have yet to be beaten this season and, as they entire a crucial period in their season, Tumilty is understandably pleased with his side’s efforts so far.

“I’m happy with the way we’re playing,” he said.

“I was very pleased with our performance against UCD on Friday night. Things that we were doing in training are definitely paying off and the work-rate the lads put in was fantastic.

“Drew Carlisle put in a good shift, as did Philip Brown.

“Scoring goals was important, particularly after Garvey beat them 8-1. It’s nice to be sitting top of the group on goal difference, which I think it could come down to at the end.”