A double weekend for most, one of the main talking points concerns the absence of a potentially pivotal men’s Leinster division one tie between Monkstown and Pembroke, originally scheduled for Sunday.
It means Pembroke’s date at Glenanne on Saturday takes on a big significance. Always a heated encounter, the Glens have quietly worked their way back into the title race with seven points since Christmas to move within three points of top spot.
This has been achieved despite the absence of Joe Brennan but Graham Shaw and Paul Fitzpatrick’s side have been plugging away to neat effect.
Pembroke welcome back Kirk Shimmins and Mark Loughrey to their line-up following Irish U-18 trials but Alan Giles and Ronan Flannery are major doubts. Both were named in their Mills Cup semi-final match-day 16 but Giles had a back spasm in the warm-up while Flannery has been carrying knocks all season and sat out that tie.
Monkstown will hope not to slip up on Saturday against UCD after a frustrating night against Three Rock on Tuesday. The students have plenty of former Town men in their ranks but have a doubt over David Watkins but Shane O’Donoghue is available.
The Town, meanwhile, received a postponement for Sunday’s date, a situation which Pembroke appealed, feeling there were not grounds.
What the basis for the postponement and subsequent appeal concern remain at the hands of the Leinster Hockey Association who agreed to the change in date but were not in a position to divulge the reasoning, stating to The Hook: “In line with our long standing practise, the LHA does not find it appropriate to comment on individual appeals.”
The Irish Hockey Association, though, did confirm that international players would have been available for the date, stating: “Fitzgerald was always allowed play as a goalkeeper while Gareth Watkins was never due to train on February 19 as it was always scheduled as PC training. Paul Revington indicated this a number of months ago in his communication document to the clubs.”
For Pembroke, South African Matt Brown is due to return to the club in the coming weeks.
In the race for the IHL places, Corinthian are in the last chance saloon as a loss to Railway Union at Whitechurch Park would see them at least seven points, and two places, off the pace.
Their third quarter performance against Pembroke last week showed guts with Dan Treacy’s energy driving them on but Railway have not lost in the league since September and have serious belief in their ranks.
For the reds, a tough date on Sunday against Glenanne completes a hard weekend. YM will hope to stay clear of the IHL wildcard playoff place, hoping to make Clontarf’s winning feeling a fleeting one.
The Bulls big game is on Sunday, facing northside rivals Fingal in a six-pointer between ninth and tenth with Mount Temple school teachers Gareth Borland and David Bane pitting their wits against each other in the player-coach mode.
In division two, the rollercoaster continues as Avoca look to stay clear of the pack but need to tame the triple threat of Mukhtar Ahmed, Ralph Billings and Chris Neville who did for Mullingar on Wednesday evening in the league, Portrane taking a 6-0 win.
Chasers Suttonians face a feisty date with Weston who still have plenty of interest in promotion, as do Dublin University who face a number of their old boys now plying their trade at Rathgar.
Kilkenny, meanwhile, are hoping to make it a memorable weekend as their men line up a second successive Irish Hockey Challenge final date as they host PSNI in the semi-final.
It is part of a double-header at Kilkenny College, following on the cats ladies who are at the same stage of their respective competition and meet Clonmel.
Two Leinster sides are left in the competition with Botanic and Monkstown ensuring there will be at least one finalist from the province.
In women’s division one, the form-guide would suggest five victories for the top five against those in the bottom half of the division.
Unbeaten in three, Trinity have the most potential in their ranks but their opponent, Railway Union, currently offer the least opening for an upset.
The Santry beach could slow their attacking ambitions with Ailbhe Coyle one of the battling influences who could motivate their rearguard – similar to what Glenanne managed to do a couple of weekends ago.
UCD play Corinthian but will hope to have some of their missing half-dozen back in the fold. They were without Deirdre Duke, Kate Collins-Smyth (broken finger), Hannah de Burgh-Whyte, Noelle Farrell, Dora Gorman and international-tied Chloe Watkins.
Old Alex travel to Pembroke aiming to stay ahead of Hermes in fourth place while Three Rock Ladies’ survival bid has been dented by a knee injury to Anna Carson.
** UPDATE (February 23): The IHA would like to confirm that Monkstown did not receive information that their two international players Gareth Watkins and David Fitzgerald were available for Sunday, February 19 until after the appeal. They apologise for indicating that they received this information some months ago.
Weekend fixtures (all Saturday unless stated)
Men’s Leinster Division One:
Monkstown v UCD, 1.30pm, Rathdown; Clontarf v YMCA, 12.30pm, Mount Temple; Corinthian v Railway Union, 1pm, Whitechurch Park; Glenanne v Pembroke Wanderers, 12.30pm, Glenanne Park Sunday: Corinthian vs Glenanne, 1pm, Whitechurch Park; Fingal v Clontarf, 1:30pm, ALSAA; UCD v Railway Union, 4pm, Belfield
Men’s Leinster Division Two: Avoca v Portrane, 2pm, Newpark School; Suttonians v Weston, 1pm, Sutton Park; Dublin University v Rathgar, 2.15pm, Grange Road
Men’s Irish Hockey Challenge, semi finals: Limerick v Ballynahinch, 2pm, Villiers; Kilkenny v PSNI, 3pm, Kilkenny college
Women’s Leinster Division One: Pembroke v Old Alexandra, 11am, Serpentine Ave; Trinity v Railway Union, 11.30am, Santry; UCD v Corinthian, 1pm, Belfield; Hermes v TRL, 1.30pm, St Andrew’s; Loreto v Glenanne, 2.30pm, Beaufort
Divsion Two: Railway Union v North Kildare, 11.30am, Park Ave; Loreto v Genesis, 11.30am, Beaufort; Newbridge v Old Alexandra, 1pm, St Mary’s, Naas; Hermes v Pembroke, 3.30pm, St Andrew’s; Corinthian v UCD, 4pm, Whitechurch Sunday: Pembroke v Corinthian, 4pm, Serpentine Ave
Electric Ireland (women’s) Irish Hockey Challenge, semi finals: Botanic v Monkstown, 1pm, Holy Faith Glasnevin; Kilkenny v Clonmel, 1pm, Kilkenny College
Electric Ireland (women’s) Irish Hockey Trophy, quarter finals: Ballymena v Galway, 4.30pm, Ballymena Showgrounds; Clontarf v Omagh, 2pm, Mount Temple
14 Responses to “Pembroke and Monkstown day of reckoning delayed”
February 18, 2012 6:57 am RED,WHITE and BLUE!!!! says
funny how in the irish trophy and irish challenge semi finals has worked out for the mens?! All 4 n.ireland clubs drawn away!one word FIX!!! Best of luck 2 portadown south antrim ballynahinch and the PSNI! Do Northern Ireland proud lads!!!!
February 18, 2012 5:38 pm Monkstown HC says
For the record – MHC believed that Irish players would not be released for a crucial match this Sunday so we applied for a postponement as we thought we’d be down 3 players. Postponement was granted.
We all want the Irish team to qualify for London and the international players to get the best possible preparation for March qualifier. The problem for clubs currently is that they do not know until the last minute if internationals are available or not. That is why for next season we’d like IHA to timetable the international timetable/breaks for next season so that Leinster Branch can plan fixtures. What would be good is if IHL, ISC & Leinster league could be played with full availability and Mills Cup, Neville Cup (on round robin basis perhaps) & indoor could be scheduled for when internationals perhaps not available.
February 18, 2012 6:41 pm requesting postponement because of 3 players? says
Oh No! Missing 3 players? Granting a postponement for missing players is a joke of an excuse. Did Monkstown 2s play today or were they scheduled to play
Postponements should not be granted for missing 3 players. That is what a squad is for. Surely they had enough players in their squad to put together a decent side.
A lot of clubs are missing 3 players or more through injury or absence etc does that mean that we should all apply for postponements? This is not the first time the branch have made a crazy postponement decision. What if Pembroke get 3 players injured between now and the refix? Will the branch or Monkstown allow for a postponement- I doubt it.
and the response from the branch when questioned? Where is the transparency?
February 18, 2012 8:35 pm Stephen Findlater says
@requesting postponement because of 3 players – Just by way of information, the regular rulings I have received – in my role as TRR match sec – have been a difference of two players for international call-ups is one of the benchmarks for getting a postponement.
February 18, 2012 9:31 pm Too much info says
U know it’s getting a bit tiresome all this backbiting bout monkstown and their requests for postponments. Sounds to me like they asked for it in good faith regardless of injury to two of their best players on top of it but how come everyone but monkstown knew Gareth was released. Maybe perhaps the assistant coaches divulge more confidential info than they should to the press seen as it is a rovers player that posted the info. Pembroke were always good at looking for postponements if they weren’t at full strength in their hay day. Haven’t seen much complaint from them posted however.
February 18, 2012 9:39 pm demo says
the rule applies to international players only and the way squads are picked at the moment, how are the leinster branch supposed to keep up with the irish managememt ,when they dont talk to each other.nothing new here
February 19, 2012 12:11 am @monkstown says
“Fitzgerald was always allowed play as a goalkeeper while Gareth Watkins was never due to train on February 19 as it was always scheduled as PC training. Paul Revington indicated this a number of months ago in his communication document to the clubs.”
A number of months notice, funny how members of the monkstown team knew about the postponement weeks ago?
Can you clarify why you didn’t apply for a postponement of the game against Ucd ?
February 19, 2012 10:21 am Queso says
@Too Much Info
Did you bother to read the article?? The information regarding the fact international players would all have be available came directly from the IHA to all clubs through Paul Revington. Nothing condfidential there as it’s directly quoted.
February 19, 2012 4:53 pm Rob Kelly says
@ requesting postponement because of 3 players?
Firstly, why do you not say who you really are?
Secondly, a game being postponement because the best players in the country are unavailable because they are working their socks off for the national team seems like a good reason. You will be the first complaining the league is weakened for half the season by players not being around for half the games.
Do you like complaining for the sake of it or do you have something productive to say!!!
February 20, 2012 8:50 am Hook fan says
I thought the Irish Management Team wrote to all clubs informing them that any player in the core squad would not be available for there clubs after Christmas unless they were released to play by the IMT. Both Monkstown players were released to play on Sunday so why didnt the match go ahead????
February 20, 2012 1:17 pm Bango says
Fairly snide last comment there “Too much info”.
Whatever the communication mix-up, seems this postponement hasn’t really helped Monkstown – looks like they should have had as full a team available as possible for the day but must now play the game within 15 days (LHA rules), possibly without their top stars.
Could work out pretty well for Pembroke despite their appeal if the Saffa is on his way back too.
February 20, 2012 1:25 pm Stephen Findlater says
@Too much info et al – the information obtained in this story came through the IHA as mentioned in the post and, as it came through official channels, has been passed on to the Monkstown team management who requested same via email.
Information is sent to me in a number of way; via email, phone calls, conversations pitch-side and so on. In this case, I was alerted to there being an issue with regard to this key game in the Leinster season on the Monday via a couple of comments on the site earlier in the week.
While it is not entirely relevant, this did not come due to my club connections to one of Ireland’s assistant coaches. In any case, the information did not appear to be confidential as per the IHA’s communication.
February 20, 2012 1:30 pm Stephen Findlater says
This thread of comments is closed until further notice
February 20, 2012 1:33 pm ucc mhc says
@RED,WHITE and BLUE!!!! As a member of UCC Hockey Club I know the lads have had more trips to the North/Dublin in the last two seasons than home draws. I doubt its a fix.
However there is one very obvious and easy way to solve all this scepticism and I’m surprised it hasn’t been done before now. All draws could easily be recorded and put on YouTube. Simple and not that time consuming.
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