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Shoot-out agony for Banbridge as they bow out of European series

 

By Graham Hamilton

Banbridge's bold bid to become the first Irish team to reach the EuroHockey League's quarter-finals is at an end ... but it needed a shoot-out to deny them.

Mark Tumilty's lads held French champions Racing Club to a 1-1 draw but the shoot-out proved to be a step too far and now it's up to Lisnagarvey today to see if they can fare any better.

The French side were tipped to win comfortably but it was Bann who held the edge and indeed if they had been able to convert any of their penalty corners, then it would have been a different story.

They squandered four in the first half and so found themselves trailing to a Chris Peters-Deutz goal, ironically from a set piece.

Bann's equaliser came 11 minutes from the end when Matthew Bell combined fed Johnny McKee in the circle and he weaved his way to the byline and crossed for Matthew Allister to sweep home.

Luke Roleston was deputising for the unavailable Gareth Lennox, whose son was due to go into hospital, and he showed up well.

But with Bann unable to convert three in the shoot-out, the young keeper was unable to prevent the French from going through to the last eight.

Garvey's turn comes this morning (9.30am) when they take on Spanish giants Atletic Terrassa, but they'll be without internationals Timmy Cockram (unavailable) and Michael Robson whose switch from Annadale came too late.

Meanwhile Annadale and Bangor progressed in the Anderson Cup by winning shoot-outs against Antrim and North Down respectively while Luke McClelland and Michael McKenna each scored twice as Belfast Harlequins beat Mossley 5-2.

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