HOCKEY: Gilmore returns as Bann prepare for cup opener

Neil Gilmore is back at Banbridge. INBL1545-247PB

Neil Gilmore is back at Banbridge. INBL1545-247PB

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Neil Gilmore is back at Banbridge Hockey Club.

The Portadown lad had left Bann in January to return to hometown club. That was because he could not commit to two night’s training a week but the forward has now come back to Havelock Park.

The boost comes before Bann’s Irish Senior Cup opener against Dublin side Three Rock Rovers on Saturday afternoon (pass-back 1pm).

Bann coach Mark Tumilty will be hoping his five international stars return from international duty during the week in Spain unscathed.

Matthew Bell, Jamie Wright, Drew Carlisle, Johnny McKee and Owen Magee are all in the Ireland squad that take on their hosts today (Tuesday) and on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Three Rock will call upon the services of top marksman Mitch Darling and defender Luke Madeley, son of Banbridge Ladies coach Robin, and Irish keeper Jamie Carr.

Banbridge coach Tumilty will be without the injured Ross Beattie but aside from this, it will be the same squad that has propelled Bann to the top of the EY Hockey League before last weekend’s games. Bann’s match against Cork C of I was postponed last weekend because of a frozen pitch at Havelock Park.

What odds a Banbridge double at Havelock this weekend?