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Tumilty is keeping cool amid talk of five-trophy haul

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Prize guy: Banbridge captain Eugene Magee with GOC Estate Agents’ Marianne McCall and UHU President Ann Rosa

Prize guy: Banbridge captain Eugene Magee with GOC Estate Agents’ Marianne McCall and UHU President Ann Rosa

Prize guy: Banbridge captain Eugene Magee with GOC Estate Agents’ Marianne McCall and UHU President Ann Rosa

Banbridge coach Mark Tumilty and his skipper Eugene Magee have both played down the possibility of their team landing an historic five-trophy haul this season.

Tumilty had just watched his side land the GOC Estate Agents Kirk Cup, to add to the Anderson Cup Super Nines earlier in the season, with a comfortable 3-1 success over Cookstown at a wet and windy Lisnagarvey yesterday afternoon.

And with the unbeaten run now up to 19 - 18 wins and a draw - many believe they are good enough to go on to chalk up a grand slam of silverware before the season ends.

"I thought our players were very professional in the way they played against Cookstown," he said.

"It was difficult to break them down and we could have been more clinical, but we remained patient and did very well.

I thought Drew Carlisle played well in defence and young Johnny McKee showed remarkable vision for a schoolboy as he dovetailed with Stephen Dowds upfront.

"Stephen was suffering from a heavy cold and maybe wasn't firing on all cylinders, yet he still took his two goals well from open play.

"But to land all five trophies this season?

"It's hard enough to win one, never mind the lot!

"Yes, we're top of the league, into the Irish Senior Cup semi-finals and in a good position in the Irish Hockey League, but there is a long way to go yet, and we'll see how it all pans out.

"We mustn't get carried away but as long as we continue to apply ourselves properly, there is every chance of some more trophies coming to Havelock Park."

Eugene Magee was one of the Bann successes in the final as the 185-times capped Irish international continues his recovery from a knee injury which required surgery and left him on the sidelines for longer than he had wished for.

But the midfielder also cautioned his players to keep their feet on the ground as they chase more silverware.

"We've only played half of the season, and there is another half to go with a lot of difficult games coming up," he insisted.

"We can't take anything for granted and we will have to attain the same level of performance throughout.

"Cookstown put up a good fight against us; in fact, they usually give us a good game.

"They have a lot of fine players and like to play good hockey, and I thought we all did well in such wet and cold conditions."

Cookstown captain Greg Allen admitted he was disappointed at losing, as it was the third time they had lost in a Kirk Cup final over the past five years.

And he was particularly disappointed at conceding those two early goals in the second half which effectively killed off his team's challenge, as it left them trailing by three goals.

"The thing is that we mustn't let this defeat spoil our season, for there is a lot more to play for," he insisted.

"We must now ensure we do some catching up in the Premier League and the Irish Hockey League with a strong finish to our campaign."

Belfast Telegraph


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