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Lisnagarvey's bid for Euro joy called off

 

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Lisnagarvey will be unable to host the second-tier European Hockey Championship in May after the tournament was cancelled by the continent's governing body yesterday due to the coronavirus pandemic. (stock photo)

Lisnagarvey will be unable to host the second-tier European Hockey Championship in May after the tournament was cancelled by the continent's governing body yesterday due to the coronavirus pandemic. (stock photo)

©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Lisnagarvey will be unable to host the second-tier European Hockey Championship in May after the tournament was cancelled by the continent's governing body yesterday due to the coronavirus pandemic. (stock photo)

Lisnagarvey will be unable to host the second-tier European Hockey Championship in May after the tournament was cancelled by the continent's governing body yesterday due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As Irish champions, Garvey were to have welcomed seven visiting teams to Comber Road from May 28-31.

However, while yesterday's news was a blow for the Hillsborough club, it wasn't unexpected and Lisnagarvey have backed the decision to call the tournament off.

Club chairman Roger Kennedy said: "While we are disappointed that we will not have the opportunity to host the tournament, we fully support the decision to cancel it.

"We would like to thank all club members who had worked tirelessly in the preparations as well as our commercial partners and the local council, who had committed their support.

"Finally, we would like to thank all emergency services personnel and key individuals and, like many clubs, this directly affects some of our members, who are working under these terrible circumstances and we would repeat their plea to stay at home."

A total of nine tournaments have been called off, although the top-flight women's competition - in which Pegasus were to have represented Ireland - is officially still on hold.

The European Hockey League was to have been staged in Amsterdam at Easter and was postponed a few weeks ago in the hope that a new slot could be found.

However, with the impact of the pandemic showing few signs of abating, it appears extremely unlikely that the tournament will proceed.

Pegasus captain Michelle Harvey said: "It's obviously very disappointing and everyone had been looking forward to playing in the top European club league for the first time.

"However, sport is a lot lower on the priority list than people's health and we are devastated for the families who have been affected by the pandemic."

Belfast Telegraph