Banbridge through to European final

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Banbridge were in seventh heaven as they smashed seven goals past Croatian side HAHK Mladost on Sunday for their third straight win in the Eurohockey Club Champions Challenge in the Czech Republic.

The win sets them up for a final game against Azerbaijan side, Akkord HC on Monday today, and should they win that one then the trophy will be theirs.

Bann have simply outclassed their opposition and Akkord could suffer a high scoring defeat by the Ulster side who are in superb form.

In searing conditions, with temperatures reaching 35 degrees, Stevie Dowds put in another blistering performance as he tore the Croatian defence apart.

Josh Moffet opened Bann’s account finishing off a scintillating run from Owen Magee and minutes later Bruce McCandless collected a pass from Matthew Bell to score a brilliant second goal.

It was then Dowds turn to get on the scoresheet, as he carved his way through the entire Mladost defence to crack home Bann’s third. And a minute from the interval Moffet scored his second and Bann’s fourth.

The Ulster side were relentless and continued to press the Croatian defence and 15 year old Kyle Marshall cap a memorable day when he scored his first senior goal to make it 5-0 for Bann.

Bann were on fire and soon they had the half dozen in the bag when Frazer Mills zipped the ball into the roof of the net, after great work from Scott Forbes.

And with minutes remaining Owen Magee capped another superb individual performance when he drilled home a sweetly struck reverse stick shot for Bann’s seventh goal.

Monkstown will secure a place in the top flight next season, if they defeat Ukranian side HC OKS-SHVSM in Monday’s final. of the Euro Club Champion’s Trophy in Caglari, Italy.