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Banbridge miss out on hosting Euro series

Banbridge men's hopes of staging the European Club Champions Challenge 1 series in June have been dashed, and instead Mark Tumilty's team will be heading off to Rakovnik in the Czech Republic.

But, although their bid to host the third-tier series wasn't accepted by Europe's governing body, Bann are already being installed as favourites to land the trophy and help get Irish representation back up where it belongs.

The tournament will take place from June 6-9 and Bann will be facing the Czech Republic's Slavia Praha, Gibraltar's Grammarians and Croatia's Mladost, with Switzerland's Rott-Weiss Wettigen, Azerbaijan's Akkord, hosts Rakovnik and Minsk from Belarus in the other pool.

Tumilty, who now has former Irish international coach John Clarke as his assistant, has lost one international midfielder in Peter Brown who is to continue his studies at UCD in Dublin, while Ben Cosgrove is also off to university. With fellow international midfielder Eugene Magee back at Havelock Park he still has a squad capable of retaining the league and perhaps European and All-Ireland titles too.

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