McCandless: “Every trophy we enter we try and do our best in.”

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Banbridge Hockey Club are set to take on Lisnagarvey Hockey Club in the Anderson Cup final this Wednesday.

The EYHL Champions have had a successful season having already won the EYHL and Irish Senior Cup. Meanwhile they beat Queen’s University 3-1 and Annadale 4-3 to make it to this week’s final.

Their Coach Scott McCandless is optimistic, and is looking forward to the match,

“Every trophy we enter we try and do our best in; the Anderson Cup is nice because you are playing against Ulster sides that we wouldn’t necessarily play against in the EYHL.”

Champions of the Irish Senior Cup, Bann will be hoping for more cup success as they take on rivals Lisnagarvey. McCandless’ side lost against the same opponents in the Kirk Cup Final back in March and is expecting another tough game.

“The rivalry this year has been very close, but we have got the better outcome so far this season and it is now just about focusing on Wednesday and having another go,

The Kirk Cup Final was a really close game, we did blood quite a few younger players and this will be quite a similar situation in that we will have to use our extended squad, but we will have enough to compete for the trophy.”

The Anderson Cup was last held in 2019, when Banbridge were beaten 3-1, making this the 25th win for Garvey. If Bann win this cup, this will equalise them in the number of wins.

One of the challenges his side faces is the number of players who are set to be unavailable.

“We do have players missing, but to me that is just an opportunity for other players to experience these games and it should be another great final.

Going back to the Queen’s game we played very well with a young side, so we have had a lot of positives throughout the entire Anderson Cup journey.”

If Bann win the match on Wednesday, this would be for the first time since the 2014/15 season.

 “We have a very close affinity to the Anderson Cup and the Anderson family as well, so it is a special competition.

The competition itself, the final is always played at Banbridge, and it is one that we always target to do well in.”

The Anderson Cup Final will take place on Wednesday the 10th May at 7.45pm at Havelock Park, Banbridge.

Those travelling to the game should be aware that there is set to be an admission fee at the gate with adults being charged £10, concessions and students £8 and juniors £5. Meanwhile 50% of gate receipts will be going to charity with that being split between Air Ambulance NI and NI Children’s Hospice.


By Lili Busby

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