Ukraine pull out of WCQ; Div one refixes

* Ukraine have pulled out of the upcoming World Cup Qualifier in Chile leaving a vacant place in the competition with either the Netherlands Antilles, Ghana or Lithuania as the next in the list to take up the place. Ukraine were already replacements for Trinidad and Tobago who turned down their invite a month earlier.

Should no one take up the place, it means Ireland will have an extra rest day during the group stages. They have been scheduled to play Scotland on April 24 followed by Malaysia a day later. Any replacement side will be played on April 27 before Australia on April 29. The final group game is on Saturday against Chile on May 1 before the classification matches on May 2.

* The women’s Leinster division one looks set to be extended beyond the original April 10 date as a date remains to be confirmed for the Hermes vs Bray fixture. It was originally reset for April 17 by the Leinster Branch, though with a number of divisional finals leading to a possible shortage of umpires, it could yet be switched to April 15 or 18.

Hermes’ title rivals will play their back match against UCD on Wednesday, April 7 in Belfield. Pembroke are pencilled in to play Old Alex on April 17 in a fixture which will act as a warm-up game for Alex’s IHL playoff bid.

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