Men’s Premiership: South Antrim vs Bangor Preview

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Bangor travel to South Antrim on Saturday in what is set to be a potential title decider in the Ulster Hockey Men’s Premier League.

They go into the game in third place , however, there are just four points off top and have a game in hand of Queen’s University.

As a newly promoted side this campaign, Bangor player-coach Ryan Burgess admits he didn’t see this season being quite so good.

“I think it would be naive to say this season hasn’t been better than anticipated, if in September, you told us we would be in this position with a couple of game to go we would have laughed.

We never really set out any goals for the season, we just wanted to take it a game a time and see what our competition was like and go from there.”

Bangor have never won the Premier League, but now stand a very real chance of doing so in the next couple of weeks, something that wasn’t even being spoken about internally until recently.

“As a coaching staff we didn’t really want to talk about it much, but when we beat South Antrim at home it began to be mentioned and after we played Queen’s away, we realised we were in the title race for real.

They go into their game against South Antrim knowing a win is vital for their chances with the league set to finish next weekend. A victory  would put them above the Lisburn side on goal difference and two points ahead of Queen’s but having played a game more than the University.

However, Burgess believes a League win would be a massive upset.

“It would be our clubs biggest ever achievement and probably one of the biggest shocks ever in Ulster Hockey as well as something for the squad to be really proud of, but we need a few things to go our way first.”

There are three other fixtures in the division on Saturday with NICS hoping to close the gap to North Down to just two points as they take on Kilkeel in their bid to escape the relegation play-off spot.

Elsewhere fourth takes on fifth as Portadown and Belfast Harlequins go head-to-head at Edenvilla and bottom of the league Newry Olympic host seventh placed North Down, hoping to end their season on a high.


By Andrew Morrison

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