Grange Road sees a bumper three-game schedule with Niall Denham’s Three Rock Ladies hosting Catholic Institute in the IHT with a semi-final place and Irish Senior berth on offer. Genesis are Leinster’s other remaining entrants – and other unbeaten division two side – facing a tricky away-day in Ballymena.
The junior cup men’s second round sees division three league challengers Three Rock, for whom Veran Pijoan could return, host YMCA while Pembroke face Railway in the Leinster derbies. Holders Pembroke II, surprisingly, lie eight points off the pace with their treble of last year looking a remote possibility but a cup run could be on the cards.
League leaders Corinthian II, with Robbie Byrnes up front and Colm Blennerhassett skippering, are currently setting the pace and will be clear favourites despite the long trip to Bandon. Glenanne II have a tough one at home to Bangor, as do Monkstown against Civil Service.
Weston, meanwhile, enter the competition after a walkover against UCC with one of the toughest ties. Paul Kennedy’s (pictured) charges side host Cork C of I at Griffeen.
The last 16 of the women’s junior cup sees two Leinster division two sides hoping to advance at the hands of lower league opposition, namely Alex II against div three’s TRL II and Loreto II against division four’s Trinity.
Finally, in Challenge Cup action, Phoenix Park and Naas make their tournament bow in rearranged fixtures as do the men from St Brendan’s/Phoenix Park, Mullingar and St James Gate.
Match Schedule (all Saturday January 17)
ESB Irish Hockey Trophy (w)
Ulster Elks v Ashton, 12.15pm, UUJ; Cookstown v Priorians, 1pm, Cookstown HA; Three Rock Ladies v Catholic Institute, 12pm, Grange Rd; Ballymena v Genesis, 2.30pm, Ballymena
ESB Irish Junior Cup (w)
Three Rock Rovers II v Old Alex II, 2pm, Grange Rd; Galway II v UCD II, 12pm, Dangan; Pegasus II v Cork Harlequins II, 1pm, Queens; Armagh II v QUB II, 2.30pm, Ardmore; Randalstown II v Hermes II, 2.30pm, Antrim; Loreto II v Dublin University II, 2.30, Beaufort
Sunday 18: Cork C of I II v Ashton II, 3pm, Garryduff;
Saturday 24: UCC II v Railway Union II, 2pm, Mardyke
Men’s Irish Junior Cup
Bandon II v Corinthian II, 1pm, Bandon; Cookstown II v Lisnagarvey II, 2.30pm, Coolnafranky; Three Rock Rovers II v YMCA II, 2.45pm, Grange Rd; Glenanne II v Bangor II, 3pm, Glenanne Park; Monkstown II v NICS II, 3pm, Rathdown; Pembroke II v Railway Union II, 1pm, Serpentine Ave; Weston II v Cork C of I II, 1pm, Griffeen Valley Park; Instonians II v Raphoe II, 4pm, Shawsbridge
ESB Irish Hockey Challenge (women)
Postponed games from Round 1
Grovesnor v Phoenix Park, 2.30pm, CIYMS; Newry v Naas, 1pm, Newry; Clonmel v Enniscorthy, 2.30pm, Clonmel; Kilkenny v Mallow, 1pm, Kilkenny; Dungarvan v Gorey, 12pm, Priory; Athlone v Enniskillen, 2pm, Athlone
Men’s Irish Hockey Challenge
Postponed games from Round 1
Omagh v SBPP, 1pm, Youth Sports; Mullingar v PSNI, 1.30pm, Mullingar; East Antrim v St James Gate, 1pm, Paisley Park
* If anybody has any info on goalscorers and interesting facts from these games, please mail me at email@example.com on Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon to help with the weekend round-up.