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Banbridge face Belgian and French sides in Europe

By Graham Hamilton

Banbridge have been drawn with Belgian side Royal Leopold and French side St Germain in the EuroHockey League first round to be staged at their Havelock Park base in early October.

Mark Tumilty's lads are hoping to come through their group to join fellow Irish representatives Lisnagarvey who got a bye into the knock-out stages.

Royal Leopold finished third in the Belgian set-up behind Racing Club Bruxelles and KHC Dragons while St Germain were runners-up in France, which makes Bann's Pool C a difficult assignment.

Twelve teams will be taking part in four pools of three in the first round series from October 7-9, and the match schedule will be announced on Monday when tickets go on sale.

The top team in Pool A are reigning European champions SV Kampong (Netherlands) who have Irish goalkeeper David Harte in their ranks. They will face English side Holcombe who have Ulsterman Iain Lewers in their line-up, and Poznan (Poland).

Pool B favourites are three-times champions Hamburg (Germany) who face Cardiff & Met (Wales) and Amsicora (Italy) while Pool D have last year's semi-finalists Atletico Terrassa as top seeds along with Kelburne (Scotland) and Dinamo Kazan (Russia).

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