Ireland’s senior men meet world number six side Argentina this evening in the second of their three test matches this week in Dublin hoping they can add another scalp to their 2015 list.
Already this year, Ireland have seen off higher ranked England, Belgium, Malaysia, Canada and Pakistan to win bronze at the European Championships and move to the brink of Olympic qualification.On Wednesday, Juan Gilardi’s penalty stroke 12 minutes from time saw the visitors to Dublin shade a 2-1 result in a high tempo battle.
The series is designed to keep the Irish team ticking over ahead of a potential Olympic preparation campaign which will be confirmed on October 25th.
That is the final day of the Oceania and African continental championships. Should Australia win the former tournament, Ireland will qualify for Rio.
If not, then all eyes turn to Africa where Ireland require South Africa to win and then hope they fulfill their Olympic council’s intention not to take up the berth at the Games as the organisation do not deem the achievement good enough to invest in.
Because of the Ireland series, there are no EYHL matches this weekend. Leinster men’s Division 1 continues with YMCA looking to build on their fine start to the season, one which has seen them run up two wins without conceding.
They also added a 4-2 win in the Neville Cup against Three Rock last Sunday with Ben Campbell shooting a hat trick. They travel out to the National Sports Campus for the first time where they will meet Fingal in their third league campaign.
Corinthian and UCD is probably the key tie of the round in the shake-up for the all-important top five places. Both would anticipate making it into those slots with a win in this kind of fixture likely to give an important boost.
Both are unbeaten thus far with the Reds being reasonably free-scoring – Ian Stewart and Stephen Reid with hat tricks to their name – while UCD are embedding the likes of Jazze Henry, David Nolan and Ben McCrea. Corinthian bowed out of the Neville Cup to Pembroke in midweek with Nick Burns getting the only goal.
Rathgar will hope to record their first win of the campaign at Weston – who hosted the Arthur Johnson school in midweek – while Avoca play Kilkenny and Clontarf meet Dublin University.
Senior international challenge matches
Friday: Ireland vs Argentina, 7.45pm, Serpentine Avenue
Saturday: Ireland vs Argentina, 6pm, Serpentine Avenue
Leinster Division One (Saturday): Clontarf v Dublin University, 11.30am, Mount Temple; Corinthian v UCD, 12.45pm, Whitechurch Park; Fingal v YMCA, 1pm, NSC; Avoca v Kilkenny, 2.30pm, Newpark; Weston v Rathgar, 2.30pm, Griffeen Valley Park