TWO members of Bandon Grammar’s All-Ireland Schoolboy Hockey Championship winning team certainly have the Midas touch this year.
In March, Mark Collins and Ian Perrott played starring roles as the Bandon school ended its 17-year for the big prize with a dramatic win over Banbridge Academy.
Both Collins (who plays with Cork C of I Hockey Club) and Perrott (who lines out with Bandon Hockey Club) were part of the Irish U21 men’s hockey team that won gold and promotion from the recent EuroHockey Junior Championship II in the Czech Republic.
Ireland beat Italy 2-1 to take the top prize on offer, and it means they will go up to the top tier in 2024 for the first time in seven years and give them a shot at qualifying for the 2025 Junior World Cup.
Collins and Perrott both started for the Ireland U21 team in the crunch game against the Italians, with Scott Ruttle’s winner two minutes from time the deciding goal.
‘We are over the moon and what a great way to do it,’ said coach Joe Brennan. ‘Really proud of this hard-working group of players. They showed real mental maturity in how they approached the week.
‘Italy can be really proud of their performance as can Turkey … so many good teams who made this a great battle. There were some tough games and our lads were outstanding and got everything they deserved.’
Ireland: S Dale, A Walker, M Collins, I Perrott, J Filgas, P Rose, E Jennings, C Mackay, L Rowe, J Lynch, M Cowan. Subs: M Duggan, S Ruttle, O Kidd, R Dunlop, J Clark, I Balding, R Clarke.