Leinster men hoping to finally see action

The Leinster Branch will be hoping that the local fixture list will not go the way of their Ulster and Munster counterparts as the weather continues to wreak havoc with the sport across the country.

Both provinces have already called a halt to the weekend’s action but men’s division one and two are still currently set to go ahead for the first time since November 20.

The top trio of YMCA, Pembroke and Glenanne will jockey for top spot – both currently sharing it on 13 points – and have potential banana-skins in their path.

Pembroke could be vulnerable to a Railway side whose work-rate has been a feature in their rise into the top half of the table. They receive a side who make the short trip over the Dart tracks without Gowan Jones, Brandon Panther and Jethro Eustice, all in their native South Africa for Christmas. Gordon Elliott and Colin Kelly could return while Adam Pritchard will likely play a larger role in the tie than in midweek.

How they deal with Peter English’s overheads will be key as they looked shaky under Richard Sykes’ high ball in the latter stages of the Neville Cup 5-1 loss to Monkstown.

YMCA will be without Dashiell Hewett, the Australian moving on after a brief stint in the country, and play a Corinthian side who have some shoots of recovery before the snow came.

Glenanne provide a home-coming of sorts for former talisman Alan Browne and striker Enda Tucker as Weston visit St Mark’s for the first time as a division one side.

The Glens impressed in midweek in the Neville, showing their glee at getting back into action, meaning this could be a tough day for the Lucanites.

In the other game, Three Rock hope to finally hand a first team debut to South African Jody Hosking who arrived at the club in November but, while he has witnessed snow for the first time in his life, has yet to take the field.

Three Rock have not tasted action since October 30 due to an Irish Senior Cup bye, a Mills Cup postponement and an interpro-related call off.

Another three blank weekends – two snow-related, one blank for the IHL – means they should be raring to go. Fingal play hosts at the airport.

By way of contrast, should tomorrow’s games fall foul of a forecasted big freeze, the likes of Rovers will be eight games behind where they were at this stage last year having played their 13th league game by Christmas.

It will cause a headache for Paul Revington and the remaining clubs with Irish squad players as the national team’s build-up to the European championships may see their involvement curtailed with a view to not over-playing key men in the New Year. Monkstown’s tie with UCD has been postponed to the New Year due to exam commitments.

In division two, Clontarf will hope to repeat their opening day 5-2 defeat of Navan when they play just their fifth game of the season to date, ensuring a busy second half of the season for Gareth Borland’s men.

Men’s Division One, Saturday: YMCA vs Corinthian, 3pm, Claremont Rd; Glenanne vs Weston, 1.45pm, Glenanne Park; Railway Union vs Pembroke, 1pm, Park Avenue, Fingal vs Three Rock Rovers, 1.45pm, ALSAA
Men’s Division Two, Saturday: Bray vs Dublin University, TBC, Loreto Bray; Clontarf vs Navan, 12.30pm, Mount Temple; Rathgar Chiefs vs Avoca, TBC, High School

** With the weather threatening to put paid to some games this weekend, feel free to leave comments either here or on the Facebook page with fixture updates whether games are going to be played or not and make sure supporters can get to see some hockey this weekend!

Men's Leinster Senior Div 1