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Bannbridge celebrate second trophy win in 48 hours

By Graham Hamilton

Four down, one to go - that's where trophy-chasing Banbridge find themselves after landing the Ulster Premier League title last night, just 48 hours after becoming Irish Senior Cup champions.

Mark Tumilty's lads shook off the effects of Sunday's win over Cork C of I and beat Instonians 3-0 at Havelock Park to make it impossible for arch rivals Lisnagarvey to catch them at the top of the GOC Estate Agents-sponsored league.

Bann have now gone an amazing 38 games without defeat this season including 17 straight wins in the league, and the possibility of landing a clean sweep remains on the cards as they are also in the Irish Hockey League semi-finals on Saturday week in Dublin.

Mind you, they have just a few games to go this term and they could be the toughest of them all, with Lisnagarvey tomorrow night in their final league game, although the outcome is now academic, and Pembroke in the IHL semi-final on April 11 and hopefully either Monkstown or Three Rock Rovers in the final the following day.

But, as ever, Tumilty is taking one game at a time and he won't start thinking about the IHL weekend until after he has rolled his Easter egg!

With the Anderson Cup, Kirk Cup and Irish Senior Cup already tucked safely away, Banbridge knew that victory over Instonians last night would clinch the Premier League title too and lift any pressure about facing fierce rivals Garvey in their final league game tomorrow evening.

And they kept that unbeaten run going with Eugene Magee playing a true captain's part, scoring twice.

The first half at a windy Havelock Park was scoreless although Magee and then Dane Ward twice came close.

But the Bann skipper struck four minutes into the second half and then got his second 10 minutes later from a second phase penalty corner.

Inst squandered several penalty corners of their own which might have changed things, but Bann's top scorer Stephen Dowds killed off the contest and guaranteed trophy success when he got the third with a penalty corner drag - his 58th domestic goal of the season.

And so Magee hoisted aloft his fourth trophy of the season following the presentation by Ulster Hockey president Ann Rosa ... and celebrations began for the second time in 48 hours.

ULSTER Hockey are looking for a Head Coach for the Under 18 side.

Under the guidance of High Performance Manager Stephen Watt, the role takes in from April through to November with much of the programme restricted to midweek or Sundays.

High on the list of events is a development camp in England in early May, the Sainsbury's School Games in early September and the inter-provincial tournament in late November.

The closing date for anyone interested is April 13 and the minimum coaching qualification is IHA Level 1.

banbridge 3

instonians 0

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