IHL refixtures cause Annadale headache

The IHL have confirmed the times and venues for this weekend’s refixed games after the recent abandonments due to the frost.

Each venue has gone for an afternoon tip-off this Sunday in a bid to beat the cold snap. The IHL committee has also confirmed that all games will start from 0-0.

This decision has not sat well with Annadale who have hit out at this decision after they led 4-1 in Coolnafranky against Ulster champions Cookstown in the third quarter before the umpires deemed the underfoot conditions dangerous as a result of the sub-zero conditions.

A press release from the Annadale IHL Committee said of the decision: “The IHL (committee) confirmed there is no precise rule for the treatment of abandoned games.

“We are concerned that this decision is not in the best interests of the progress and development of the IHL, a league which we have welcomed as part of the strategic development of Irish hockey.

“Comparisons have been made in the decision to other Irish hockey competitions, but it did not take into account the impact of the bonus point rule, nor is it totally clear what will happen if such a situation was to occur during a finals weekend.

“We are also concerned at financial implications for re-arranged matches, particularly for those with extended journeys and overnight expense.

“The IHL is a club league. We feel that this is a matter for all clubs in Ireland and they must be represented and have an input to these important decisions, rules and regulations for the future development of the IHL.”

The Belfast club cited that in the EuroHockey League (EHL) — which the match format variations for the IHL has largely been based on — matches are resumed from the point they were stopped, with the scoreline from the abandoned encounter intact.

However, an IHL spokesperson told the Munster blog, Southern Fried, over the weekend that while they were very sympathetic towards Annadale’s situation, the decision was made in line with regulations governing other Irish hockey competitions.

The spokesperson added that the EHL is played in a tournament format — where all teams compete together at one location — which facilitates re-starting abandoned matches from where they were stopped, while the IHL’s league format restricts this.

IHL Round 2 Schedule (Sunday):
Monkstown v Lisnagarvey, 3pm, Rathdown; Fingal v TRR, 1pm, ALSAA; Cookstown v Annadale, 2.30pm, Coolnafranky; Loreto v Pegasus, 3pm, Beaufort; UCD v Ballymoney, 3pm, Belfield; Instonians v Pembroke Wanderers, 3.15pm, Shawsbridge

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