Men's weekend preview: Fulton vs Anthoni

Not many fixtures in Leinster hockey capture the imagination like the recent series between Glenanne and Pembroke and, while Three Rock have got involved in the mix at the top of the table, nothing stirs the emotions like this tie.

This Saturday sees the first meeting of good friends Arul Anthoni and Craig Fulton in a coaching capacity, having worked together in South Africa.

The pair have been in opposition once before, the 1997 World Cup qualifier in Kuala Lumpur when Anthoni scored the winner in a 4-3 victory over South Africa for Malaysia. And while Fulton does not want to make a lot of that issue, saying his side will “play the game not the occasion”, Anthoni jokes that result is “always on Craig’s mind”.

Pembroke have no new injury concerns with Ronan Gormley and Tim Lewis both playing full parts in the international series this week.

Anthoni, meanwhile, is pleased with the shape his squad is taking on. “I’m happy because there are so many players I can move around and can play in different positions, there’s a lot of mobility in the team.” John Goulding returned to Ireland earlier this week but is unlikely to figure.

As for the game itself, the Glenanne coach is relishing the big game. “All the teams that come up against Glenanne will come extra hard and extra cautious so every game is hard especially between the top three or four teams.

“I know Craig well. We can use that to our advantage as he is playing and coaching as it’s especially difficult when you play against a strong team so we can use that.”

Elsewhere, Corinthian have a tricky home assignment against Kilkenny, Monkstown face old boy Dave ‘Shabhaz’ Jenkins for the first time and UCD will look to bounce back from their varsities semi-final defeat against Fingal.

YMCA are left kicking their heals for a second successive week due to Three Rock’s involvement in Europe but play their back match on Tuesday against UCD.

Men’s Divison One fixtures
Corinthian v Kilkenny, 2.15pm, Whitechurch; Monkstown v Railway Union, 1pm, Rathdown; Pembroke W v Glenanne, 2pm, Serpentine Ave; UCD v Fingal, 1pm, Belfield

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