Men’s committee lay out new structure for next season

The men’s proposed restructure was outlined on Wednesday evening at the LHA forum with Clontarf, Fingal, Kilkenny and Dublin University – along with possibly Weston or Mullingar – set to form part of the Leinster men’s division one next season.

This is because of the upcoming league restructure as a result of at least four Leinster teams moving up to the expanded Irish Hockey League next season.

Railway Union's Rob Abbott and YMCA's Stephen Walker contest a high ball Pic: Adrian Boehm

Railway Union’s Rob Abbott and YMCA’s Stephen Walker contest a high ball Pic: Adrian Boehm

Monkstown, Glenanne and Pembroke have already booked their place while either Three Rock Rovers or Railway Union will land the last automatic berth. One more IHL place will be via a wildcard playoff between Ulster and Leinster’s fifth place finisher along with Munster’s number two side.

To that end, the lie of the land will be decided on Saturday with Milltown the key venue. There, if Rovers see off YMCA, they will be assured of fourth place but it is easier said than done against a side that has beaten them twice this season.

And they still need a win to give them an outside chance for an IHL place though they require Railway to slip up against Rathgar. They are the key games while Avoca will aim to escape the bottom rung of the table when they meet UCD.

Pembroke and Monkstown’s tie at Serpentine Avenue while Glenanne meet Corinthian with not a huge amount on the line.

From the domestic perspective for 2015/16, the proposals for division one are that it will continue to be made up of first teams only with the next placed four to five first teams promoted to division one based on their league standings at the end of this season.

It means that Avoca, UCD, Rathgar and Corinthian will form part of the league next term, too, with one of YMCA and Railway.

Employing the Munster model introduced earlier this year, these sides will play each other once before Christmas when, based on their league standings, they will be split into Tier A and B.

Post-Christmas, the sides will play each other twice on a home and away basis with Tier A fighting for the Leinster league title and Tier B going for the Stephen Doyle Cup.

For Division Two, the league will likely be a mix of first and second teams with promotion and relegation using the same rules as before. If two first teams finish in positions one and two, they will be automatically promoted with positions nine and ten in Division One relegated.

If only one first team is in first or second in division two, they will be promoted in place of the tenth place finisher. The highest ranked first team in Division Two – finishing third to eighth – then has the option of a playoff against ninth in Division One.

It means that there will be no relegation for divisions three to seven as part of the teams moving up while the intention is to have as close to ten teams per division as possible.

The Dublin University side that won Leinster division three recently

The Dublin University side that won Leinster division three recently

A second division made up of the next 10 best first teams was considered by the men’s committee. However when those clubs were canvassed, five of the 10 answered with either a “Definite No” or a “Probable No”. The Mens Committee was then forced to drop the proposal.

1. Leinster Mens Hockey will go from 8 Divisions to 7 Divisions.
2. Clubs will continue to maintain their affiliation to Leinster Hockey Association through the payment of per team affiliation fee (including their IHL team).
3. Leinster IHL team players will be registered with the LHA as per normal Registration Rules.
4. In order to maintain this consistency with the administration of registrations; Leinster IHL teams will be required to submit their side of the Match Card to the Leinster Match Card system.
5. IHL Teams can still enter the Mills Cup.
6. Lower teams in a club will not be granted a postponement based on a higher team playing an out of province fixture in the IHL. Postponements will only be granted for IHA Cup competitions.
7. The IHA have yet to confirm, but the top 5 in Division One will enter the Irish Senior Cup and the bottom five in Division One will enter the Irish Hockey Trophy as of 2015/2016 end of season standings.
8. At the end of this current season; for the most part there will be no relegation and depending on circumstances 3­5 teams will be promoted from each division.

Elsewhere, division two has four more matches with Clontarf aiming to set a target for the rest to chase as they finish their league campaign against Corinthian off the back of six straight wins.

Men’s fixtures (all Saturday)
Leinster Division One (all at 2pm):
Glenanne v Corinthian, Whitechurch Park; YMCA v Three Rock Rovers, Milltown; Pembroke v Monkstown, Serpentine Avenue; UCD v Avoca, Belfield; Rathgar v Railway Union, High School

Division Two: Pembroke v Fingal, 12.30pm, Serpentine Avenue; Monkstown v Kilkenny, 1pm, Rathdown; Clontarf v Corinthian, 12.30pm, Mount Temple; Railway Union v YMCA, 4.30pm, Park Avenue

Irish Junior Cup quarter-final: Annadale v Cookstown, 2.30pm, Lough Moss

Men's Leinster Senior Div 1