After a weekend of Ulster sides impressing in the Irish Hockey League, this weekend’s schedule in the Irish Senior Cup would appear to have the odds weighted more in Leinster side’s favour.
On paper, the closest match-up is Instonians visit to Pembroke for their second round battle. The Serpentine Avenue outfit have had the edge in this regularly repeated fixture in recent years, most recently winning 3-2 at the same venue in last year’s IHL.Alan Sothern played a key role in that win with a brace but has since departed for Belgium. William Robinson was another scorer that day and he is still banging in the corners, his double against UCC last weekend getting them off to a flyer in the IHL.
Two evenly matched sides with ambitions of reaching the top table, this tie is well set to entertain with Paul Gleghorne potentially a key figure.
Railway Union’s tie against Mossley is another interesting one with the main task being to tame Irish Under-21 Neal Glassey but the Newtownabbey side have lost their three league ties to date in the Ulster Premier.
Monkstown return to domestic action with an emminently winnable tie at Belfast Harlequins and will hope to find the scoring sticks that deserted them a week ago in Barcelona.
It is unlikely Richard Sykes and Andy Ewington will go 11 corners without converting and the elevated pace of play should stand to Graham Shaw’s side.
Deploying Lee Cole as a sweeper looks a clever move and he stood out along with David Fitzgerald and Fabian Wullschleger last weekend though the Glenageary club will continue to miss Peter Caruth until at least November as well as Andrew Ward.
Thomas Sonntag, from German second tier side Rheydter, looks a tidy addition for his Erasmus year.
Rathgar travel to play Cork C of I for the first time. They do so with Ross Gribben in the line-up, joining his brother Dan in a first time for a maiden outing. Ross is a former goalkeeper but has converted to outfield and will be hoping to be a part of a team to cause something of a shock against David Hobbs’ side.
Whether Hobbs and John Jermyn could be a key facet in whether the Chiefs can do some damage.
The draw for Round 3 of the Irish Senior Cup will take place this Saturday, 18th October following the Cork Church of Ireland v Rathgar match in Garryduff.
Reigning champions Three Rock will fancy their chances against UCD. Former Rover Conor Quinn has been impressive once again this term and could make things difficult but Three Rock’s big win over Railway Union suggests they should be well placed to win out.
The pick of the ties is definitely at Havelock Park where Banbridge host Ulster Premier rivals Cookstown. The Co Tyrone club were without key men Ewan Butler and the in-form Greg Allen for last week’s IHL opening draw against Annadale and will hope to have them back against the in-form Bann who have been scoring goals for fun.
Lisnagarvey and Corinthian’s game is pushed back to November 15.
Suttonians move out of division two means Fingal have another weekend off with four games remaining on the agenda and puts five teams on six points at this stage of the campaign.
Men’s Irish Senior Cup, round two (Saturday): Banbridge v Cookstown, 2.45pm, Havelock Park; Belfast Harlequins v Monkstown, 2.30pm, Deramore Park; Cork C of I v Rathgar, 2.30pm, Garryduff; Pembroke v Instonians, 3.45pm, Serpentine Avenue; Railway Union v Mossley, 1pm, Park Avenue; UCC v Glenanne, 2pm, The Mardyke; UCD v Three Rock Rovers, 2.45pm, Belfield
November 15: Lisnagarvey v Corinthian
Leinster Division Two: Three Rock Rovers II v Clontarf, 12.45pm, Grange Road; YMCA II v Corinthian II, 1.30pm, Milltown; Pembroke II v Kilkenny, 2pm, Serpentine Avenue; Railway Union II v Monkstown II, 3pm, Park Avenue