Roar us over

The “best supporters in Ireland” can play a huge role in Banbridge’s quest for IHL glory this weekend.

That’s according to their Head Coach Mark Tumilty, who leads his side into their crunch semi-final against rivals Lisnagarvey at Havelock knowing their fans can help make the home advantage count.

“Our support is second to none,” he said.

“We have the best fans in the country.

“I would really like to see the whole town getting behind us and a lot of supporters come down to see us on Saturday evening.

“If the ground is full of our fans, it would give the players a lift, as it would in any sport. It’s not often the club has the chance to host an event like this so hopefully as many people as possible will come out.”

Anyone heading down to Havelock will be treated to a weekend full of top class hockey with the men’s and women’s final four teams battling it out and international players aplenty. Few games will create a better atmosphere than that much anticipated semi-final between Ulster’s big two (pass-back 5pm). Tumilty says he won’t be out to avenge his side’s Ulster League defeat.

“I never really look at sport that way. As a club, we have to produce this weekend. We need to match the level of commitment our fans have shown to follow us this season. It’s time to perform.

“We might never get another chance to play an All-Ireland final at Havelock. We have enough talent but we need to work as hard as everybody else. We’ll have to be at the top of our game this weekend. Are we capable of beating these teams? Yes but I need to get the group mentally ready to face Garvey. That’s the challenge for us now. We need to turn up for a big game that really counts. We haven’t done that this year.

“We will be ready for it anyway, I can promise everyone that much.”