The indoor league will continue its resurgence this season with the inclusion of four sides from Ulster as Cookstown, Banbridge, Mossley and Annadale have confirmed they will participate in the competition – revisiting the halcyon days of the competition in the 80s when Ulster’s finest locked horns with an all-conquering Avoca side for the title.
The Leinster Branch will continue to host and organise the event which will take place on the weekend of February 6-8 in the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght, or possible the week prior depending on Irish Senior Cup commitments.
The competition is one of the IHA’s three mens competitions which provides the opportunity to advance to European club competition and the winner of the league will represent Ireland in the European Club Championships in 2010.
Three Rock Rovers will look to retain the title which they won last year in a pulsating final which saw four goals in the final three minutes resulting in Three Rock edging out Monkstown by 5 goals to 4. The weekend sees the continuation of the development of youth indoor hockey with three exhibition youth indoor hockey matches on Sunday afternoon.
Over the weekend, the sides for the Tony Byrne Cup were drawn into four groups (2 groups of 4 and 2 groups of 3) with the top two teams in each group advancing to quarter finals and resulting winners to the semi-finals and finals.
Group 1: Three Rock Rovers, Corinthian, Mossley, Dublin University
Group 2: Railway Union, Cookstown, Annadale
Group 3: Glenanne, Pembroke Wanderers, Kilkenny, Banbridge
Group 4: Monkstown, YMCA, Avoca