HOCKEY: Fail to win and the game’s up

Banbridge Hockey Club men's first team held reigning IHL champions Monkstown a draw last Saturday. Now, their Head Coach says, they need to go one stepfurther and get all three points at Glenanne this weekend.  Pic: Rowland White / Presseye
Banbridge Hockey Club men's first team held reigning IHL champions Monkstown a draw last Saturday. Now, their Head Coach says, they need to go one stepfurther and get all three points at Glenanne this weekend. Pic: Rowland White / Presseye

Banbridge Hockey Club men’s season could hinge on this weekend’s result.

They again travel to Dublin on Saturday, this time to face a resurgent Glenanne.

And whether or not they can mount a serious EY IHL title challenge could well rest on the outcome.

“This game sets us up for the second half of the season,” said Head Coach Mark Tumilty. “If we lose, it will be a battle for third but if we win, we can look to push on.”

Glenanne go into the game off the back of successive victories over Monkstown and Pembroke Wanderers and would even draw level with Bann should they earn another win.

“This will be as tough a game as we have all season mentally,” said the boss.

“They are a team that struggled at the start but they’ve had two fantastic wins over Pembroke and Monkstown. They won’t fear us.

“I have a massive amount of respect for Glenanne. They have a tough pitch and their facilities aren’t great but they compete.

“It’s such a hard place to go. They’re a big side and they will fight tooth and nail for a win or for a draw. They have a great spirit as a club and have shown that recently.”

League leaders Lisnagarvey also travel south to take on sixth placed Railway Union while second placed Monkstown come to Ulster to face bottom side Annadale.

“I think Monkstown have it tough this weekend,” said Tumilty, despite their opponents amassing only two points all season. “Annadale are due a result and Garvey won’t have it easy at Railway Union.

“All those teams will think if they can get a win, they will be back in the mix.”

Bann could again be without Ross Beattie for their game.