BANBRIDGE Hockey Club President Neil Madeley has congratulated the Men’s First XI on winning the Ulster Premier League title and returning the Keightley Club to the club for the first time in 24 years.
Mr Madeley said: “We are absolutely delighted to see the Keightley Cup return to Banbridge. The Men’s First XI have had an incredible season so far and to remain unbeaten in the Premier League is a real credit to the team, the coach Mark Tumilty and his assistants.
“We have come close to winning the league in recent years but never quite pulled it off and it was 1989 since the Keightley Cup was last in the Bann trophy cabinet.
“On behalf of the whole club I want to congratulate the lads on this achievement and also to thank our club sponsors and all the supporters who encouraged the team to this success.“
This has added to a truly historic season so far for Banbridge Hockey Club with Ladies playing under the club name for the first time in the Club’s 116 year history following the integration with Banbridge Ladies Hockey Club, and they too have had success.
Mr Madeley added: “The Ladies First XI are also to be congratulated. They have topped Senior League Two, securing the team promotion for the second successive season and this will see Bann Ladies return to top flight Ulster hockey next season for the first time in many years - another great achievement for the club.”
“In addition to our top teams, the BHC Men’s Fourths have also secured promotion after a guaranteed second place finish in Junior League Three. The Men’s Seconds will play in the Irish Junior Cup Final and are in contention for the Junior One title for the second year running and the Ladies Seconds and Fourths can also secure promotion in their respective leagues if they can produce some top performances in their coming fixtures. This is in addition to a number of successes for our Junior Club.”
There are also further opportunities for Banbridge to add to the trophy cabinet with the Men’s First XI playing in the semi-finals of the Irish Senior Cup on Saturday March 23 and the Irish Hockey League in April/May and a number of other teams still in contention in their various Cup and Plate competitions.