Saturday sees the brand new Irish Hockey Trophy get under way around the country. The competition – which also acts as a qualifier for the Irish Senior Cup – sees the first elevens from the second tier in Ulster, Munster and Leinster compete with the women’s competition also including sides from Connacht and South East leagues.
In a tough draw for Leinster sides, the men’s competition sees three local derbies with Avoca against Suttonians the highlight. Bray will hope to conquer Naas while Weston and Navan will hope to put their difficult starts to the season behind them at Griffeen.
The other three Leinster sides face tricky ties in Ulster with Harald de Jong’s Clontarf’s trip to Kilkeel, who lead the way in Ulster’s Senior One league, Skerries travelling to Deramore Park to face Belfast Harlequins and Dublin University hoping to shake off their varsities disappointment at struggling Armagh.
Unbeaten Three Rock ladies have a tough tie at Grange Road against Kilkenny who have welcomed former Irish international Catriona Carey into the fold. Genesis will hope to continue their good start to the season under Coen van Putten as they welcome Ulster Senior 2 side, Banbridge, to Belfield.
MEN’s IRISH HOCKEY TROPHY FIXTURES
Saturday: Weston v Navan, 2.30pm, Griffeen; Armagh v Dublin Uni, 1pm, Ardmore Sports; NICS v Newry, TBC; Kilkeel v Clontarf, 2.30pm, Kilkeel HS; Belfast HQ v Skerries, 2.30pm; Deramore; Bray v Naas, 1.15pm, Loreto Bray; Avoca v Suttonians, 1.15pm, Newpark
WOMEN’S ESB IRISH HOCKEY TROPHY FIXTURES
Saturday: Catholic Inst v Galway 1.30, Rosbrien; Queens Uni v Greenisland, 1pm, The Dub; Wexford v Yeats County, 11am, Enniscorthy, Priorians v Parkview, 2.30, St Columb’s Park; Carrickfergus v NICS, 1pm, Carrickfergus; Three Rock Ladies v Kilkenny, 3pm, Grange Rd; Genesis v Banbridge, 2.30pm, Belfield, NUI Galway v Clontarf, TBC; Dromore v Weston, 2.30pm, Ferns; Ballyclare v Kilkeel, 2.30pm, Ballyclare HS; Avoca v North Down, 2.45pm, Newpark