Bann lift trophy while ladies just miss out on silverware

BANN were crowned the All-Ireland EY League league champions and presented with their trophy after a 2-2 draw against Corinthians in Dublin.
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EY All Ireland Hockey League (EYHL)Saturday 13th AprilCorinthians HC 2 – 2 Banbridge Hockey Club Mens’ 1st XI

Coach Scott McCandless named a much-changed side for the final league game due to injury and suspension. The home side took the lead in the first half but after a Jake Rowe penalty corner drag-flock was saved, Tommy Dobson was on hand to slap in an equaliser for Bann. The visitors took the lead in the final quarter when Louis Rowe fired home but with minutes to go Corinthians equalised from a penalty corner.The large visiting crowd looked on with pride as injured Bann captain Alexander Tinney lifted the league trophy to start wild celebrations that went on late into the evening. Ulster Carpets’ sponsored Banbridge are still in the hunt to repeat last season’s domestic double as they host the EY Finals weekend on 27th-28th April as they aim to secure Ireland’s top spot in European competition for next season, before playing Lisnagarvey in the Irish Senior Cup Final the following week.Squad: Luke Roleston (GK), Jake Rowe, Bruce McCandless, Ben Walker, Sam Farson, Mark Cowan, Hugh McShane, Owen Magee, Luke Witherow(c), Tommy Dobson, Mark Barlow, Tommy Orr, Louis Rowe, Matthew McKee, Adam McKee, James Evans.

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LADIES 4sThe Banbridge Ladies 4s narrowly missed securing a trophy this season, suffering a 1-0 defeat to Mossley in the Minor Plate final. The match was competitive from the start, with both teams equally strong and the game remaining closely contested. The Ladies showed promise early on, launching several attacks on Mossley's goal. Sara Rankin notably scored a goal, which was subsequently disallowed by the umpire due to a preceding foul.Mossley scored the decisive and only goal during a swift counterattack early in the second quarter, exploiting a momentary lapse in Banbridge's defence to take a 1-0 lead. This was Mossley's most significant threat throughout the game. Although Mossley occasionally broke through as Banbridge aggressively sought an equalizer, they did not seriously challenge goalkeeper Danielle Black again.Despite multiple chances, Banbridge couldn't convert their efforts into goals. They secured 11 short corners and hit the post three times, with Charlotte Hildrich's shot striking the post in a dramatic final minute.Reflecting on the season, the disappointment of the final loss is mitigated by the significant progress the team made. Over the past eight weeks, they transformed their season, moving from potential relegation candidates to securing their league status and reaching the plate final. They also achieved notable victories, including a win against a formidable Quinns team in the semifinals and drawing against league champions Portadown.The final provided valuable experience for this Banbridge 4s team, with nine of the players still schoolgirls, and will serve as a foundation for further growth next season. We extend our gratitude to Ulster Hockey for organizing an excellent finals day event, complete with professional umpiring. We also thank our sponsors, Allen Farm Machinery, for their support throughout the season; Mossley for a challenging and fair final; and our coaching and management team—Jake Rainer, Rachel Hewitt, Heather Camblin, and Sheree Totton—for their relentless dedication in managing the team and players both on and off the pitch.

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