* UPDATE: since this story was first posted the IHA has subsequently taken on board a request UCD to move the game from the December date due to exams. The ISC semi-finals will now be played on January 16, 2010.
The IHA today confirmed the revised dates for the ESB Irish Senior Cup semi-finals and round four and five of the Irish Hockey League.
The need for a rejig occurred following the announcement of Ireland’s world cup qualifier date in Chile to be played in late April and early May 2010 which clashed with these high profile games.
The refixes see the ISC semi-finals brought forward five months to December 12 while round four of the IHL will be played on February 27/28 and the vital fifth series on Sunday, March 14.
The cup date, though, could cause some problems for the respective clubs, especially for Railway Union who face their third trip to Ulster in consecutive weekends.
Indeed, they could have to travel without Emer Dillon and captain Isobel Joyce (pictured) whose work situations have seen them struggle to play every Saturday game and getting another full day off may be a problem at short notice.
Explaining the date changes, a notice on the IHA website said “On Wednesday, November 25, we were advised of the date and venue for the Women’s World Cup Qualifier scheduled for Chile from Saturday 24th April to Sunday 3rd May
“These dates were not expected as we had originally been advised the WCQ would be held between early March and mid April. The new dates has an obvious impact on the original dates for the Semi-Final (24th April) and Final (25th April) of the ESB Irish Senior Cup and Round 4 (17th /18th April) and Round 5 of the ESB Irish Hockey league (1st May).
“Therefore in consultation with the National Coach Gene Muller, Chair of IHA Competitions Committee John Smyth and the Chair of the IHL Committee Inez Cooper the revised scheduled have been agreed.”
The ESB Irish senior cup final moves to May 8/9 and the IHL finals weekends will remain on their allotted dates.