Banbridge have been dealt an injury blow ahead of the biggest weekend in their season so far.
They will definitely be without the in-form Drew Carlisle and are sweating over the fitness of Bruce McCandless and Peter Brown ahead of Saturday’s Irish Senior Cup quarter-final against Three Rock Rovers and Sunday’s Kirk Cup semi-final against Mossley.
The trio all picked up injury’s during Sunday Ireland training session with Carlisle suffering a torn hamstring. Brown is doubtful with an achilles injury whilst McCandless is hoping his hamstring hasn’t torn.
However, Scott Forbes may come back into contention after missing the win over Cookstown with a knee problem.
“It’s a blow for us and a blow for Drew as well,” said Banbridge Head Coach Mark Tumilty.
“He’s been playing very, very well and had taken the year out of work to concentrate on Ireland. We have to manage the players properly this week now.”
Banbridge go into the game off the back of 13th successive victories, a run thought to be a club record.
They kept up that good form with a 5-3 victory over Cookstown in the Ulster Premier League on Saturday thanks to another Stevie Dowds hat-trick added to strikes from McCandless and Hugh McShane.
Despite going in 3-1 behind at the break, Bann rallied back to win and Tumilty was delighted with another three points.
“Saturday was the first time I was wondering if we would come back but in the second half, we produced 20 minutes of excellent hockey and scored four times to kill the game off,” he said.
“Kyle Marshall was very impressive, as were Stevie Dowds and Hugh McShane. Hugh is a very important player for us now. I couldn’t fault anyone’s performance really.
“We’ll worry about Sunday’s semi-final after Saturday’s game. My only concern there is that I don’t want to be putting guys out for a few weeks. Some of the guys have niggles and we have to think about the Garvey game in the IHL at the end of the month.”