Banbridge Hockey Club men’s first team’s drive for a clean sweep is still on course after two momentous victories at the weekend.
Mark Tumilty’s men saw off Dublin side Three Rock Rovers in the Irish Senior Cup quarter-final on Saturday before thrashing Mossley 8-0 in the Kirk Cup semi-final at Shaw’s Bridge on Sunday afternoon.
They’re now through to the Senior Cup finals weekend in the new year and before that will play Cookstown in the Boxing Day Kirk Cup final after the County Tyrone side came from behind two two minutes to play to beat Bann’s old rivals Lisnagarvey in extra-time.
Coach Tumilty has made no secret of his desire to bring the Irish Senior Cup back to Havelock and was delighted with his side’s display in the significant quarter-final win over Leinster giants Three Rock at Havelock Park.
“Saturday was a big performance, especially given that we lost Drew (Carlisle) to injury earlier in the week and Eugene and Owen Magee weren’t available for selection yet,” he said.
“Our preparation wasn’t great either because of the pitch.
“We didn’t get training on Tuesday, struggled with what we could do on Thursday and the pitch wasn’t great on Saturday either but it was an excellent game of hockey by both sides anyway.
“Anybody who watched the game thoroughly enjoyed it. It was played at an excellent tempo by both sides and the best team won.
“That was a big step for us, to beat one of the Dublin sides, especially in the manner we did.
“We struggled in the opening 20 minutes but then we scored and I thought we bossed the game from then on.
“They caught us on the counter-attack and then should have made it 2-1 but, even if they had, I always felt that we had enough to come out on top and it would be about taking our chances, which we did in the end.”
This weekend, it’s back to Ulster Premier League action for Tumilty’s side. They travel to take on second place Instonians on Saturday afternoon .
Their opponents are level on points with Bann but have played one game more.
Instonians also go into the game on form, having netted 18 times in their last three league games.
Something’s got to give on Saturday though and with Banbridge out to again protect their 100% record this season, they’ll be accepting nothing less than maximum points.