Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 5 September 2015

Magee targets European venture

Published 02/05/2009

Irish international Eugene Magee has the travel bug again.

But Banbridge players and fans needn’t worry that their star turn is ready to head off to faraway shores - he has had club spells in Holland and Australia in the past and also played in many countries with the international team.

This time, though, it’s a case of Bann’s talisman wanting to get his first taste of European club hockey with his home-town team.

That’s why Eugene has been keeping his fingers crossed that the thumb broken three weeks ago in a league game against Mossley will not restrict him when Bann line out today in the Irish Hockey League semi-final against Leinster runners-up Glenanne at Three Rock’s Grange Road.

He knows that if Bann can progress against the Tallaght men, then there is every chance they will get a crack at Europe next season - the first time in over 20 years.

Pembroke, of course, are hot favourites to clinch the IHL crown - just as they did the Leinster League title, the Irish Senior Cup and the Eurohockey Trophy.

If Pembroke take the glory as expected, then the IHL runners-up will get the second European slot ... which is why winning the first semi-final is paramount.

Magee is desperately keen that Bann can do the business against Glenanne, for it would be a case of reaching Europe whether they win or lose the final (unless Three Rock cause an upset in the second semi).

Altogether, Grange Road hosts a total of 15 games from today through to Monday - two semi-finals and a final in the Irish Hockey League at both men’s and women’s level, and nine games to sort out the men’s and women’s wild-card play-off slots for next season’s IHL.

Lisnagarvey represent Ulster in the men’s wild-card event and should progress while Belfast Harlequins are in the women’s.

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