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Eugene Magee stays positive but may be out of Ireland's Olympics bid

 

Injury blow: Eugene Magee has hurt his hamstring just a month before crunch clashes with Canada
Injury blow: Eugene Magee has hurt his hamstring just a month before crunch clashes with Canada

By John Flack

Eugene Magee is an injury doubt for the Olympic qualifiers against Canada next month in Vancouver after damaging his hamstring in Saturday's 5-2 EY Irish Hockey League defeat by Three Rock Rovers at Havelock Park.

The midfielder pulled up with the injury in the final quarter of the game and has had to withdraw from the Ireland squad which travelled to Bordeaux yesterday for two warm-up matches against France tomorrow and Wednesday.

The extent of the damage will become clearer after Magee undergoes further scans today but the 33-year-old didn't sound too confident of a speedy recovery as he reflected on his misfortune.

He said: "It doesn't feel too good to be honest, but we have a good support staff in the Ireland set-up so fingers crossed I will be okay."

If he fails to make the Canada trip as Ireland bid to make it to a second consecutive Olympics by winning the two-legged tie, then it will be a major blow both for the player and his country.

Magee is one of the first names on the team sheet and currently sits on 293 international appearances, making him Ireland's most-capped male player.

After the two French games, they travel to Belgium for their final build-up match before heading to Canada and Magee and interim Ireland coach Mark Tumilty will be hoping the injury clears up in time for the trip.

It was a bad day all round for Magee, who captained Bann against Rovers, who were deserving winners after bouncing back from a shock opening defeat to UCD.

The hosts led twice with goals from Bruce McCandless and Philip Brown but the Dubliners responded almost immediately after conceding and then scored three times without reply.

Magee said: "It was extremely disappointing to let them score so quickly after we had gone in front and that ultimately cost us.

"I thought we played pretty well in the first half when we stuck to our game plan but we let it slip in the second half and they took full advantage and deserved their win."

Lisnagarvey stay top of the table on goal difference after hat-tricks from Andy Williamson and Daniel Nelson helped them crush Annadale 10-1 in the local derby at Strathearn after opening with a 6-0 win over Pembroke.

The Hillsborough team have now scored a whopping 43 goals in just four outings this season as they posted double figures for a third time following a 10-2 midweek Kirk Cup win at Kilkeel and an earlier 17-0 thrashing of Portadown in the domestic competition.

Results: EY Hockey League: Annadale 1 (C Tremlett) Lisnagarvey 10 (D Nelson 3, A Williamson 3, B Nelson 2, T Chambers, O Kidd); Banbridge 2 (B McCandless, Philip Brown) Three Rock Rovers 5 (B Walker 2, J Hosking, S Grace); Corinthian 1 (I Stewart) Monkstown 1 (R Nichols); Pembroke 6 (A Sothern 2, R McCollum 2, J Ryan, H Spain) Glenanne 1 (S Brownlow); UCD 6 (G Sarratt 2, A Meates 2, P Lynch, A Flynn) YMCA 4 (G Glutz 2, B O'Grady, T Brophy).

Kirk Cup: Pool A: Raphoe 2 North Down 0. Pool B: Bangor 2 (D McClune, S Wilson) Ballynahinch 0. Pool C: Antrim 1 (A McBride) Newry 3 (N McKnight, K Fletcher, N Davenport); Mossley 2 (A Monaghan, A Boyd) Cookstown 3 (S Smyth, J Haycock, R Miller). Pool D: Portadown 5 (S Johnston, M Winter 2, J Curran, R Bennett) Queen's 2 (P Campbell, A Bennington). Linden Cup: Pool A: Portrush 0 Civil Service 5 (C Barnes 4, M Vincent) Parkview 1 Saintfield 2. Pool B; Armagh 2 (B Wilson, B Mackey) CI 2.

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