A double weekend in the men’s EY Hockey League can see plenty of momentum shifts across the board both in the top and bottom halves of the table.
Railway Union and Glenanne are both coming into their meeting at Park Avenue off the back of wins after tricky starts to the campaign.For Railway, they have won two on the bounce after a pair of initial losses and look in confident mood as evidenced by Mark English’s spectacular goal against Cookstown last week.
Glenanne suffered a series of heavy setbacks but found their rhythm last week against Annadale in the second half and will look to build on that against Railway in what is normally a feisty match-up.
On Sunday, both sides will meet Ulster opposition with Railway travelling to Annadale while Glenanne host Lisnagarvey.
While some other clubs have had a slightly restful start to the season, Monkstown are facing their third double-header in succession.
They face Cork C of I in a top of the table clash before travelling up to Cookstown. David Cole misses the games with a broken knuckle but Peter Caruth – who missed the last couple of games – is on the comeback trail having played in the opening of the Merrion Fleet Arena last Sunday.
Pembroke will be looking to kickstart their push for the playoff places with a couple of games they will see as winnable, hosting Annadale on Saturday afternoon before playing Three Rock Rovers on Sunday, also at Serpentine Avenue.
Mick McKinnon has become a more central figure for Pembroke on the coaching front with Dave Passmore stepping back for the time-being due to other commitments.
He will be looking to get his side on the board but has a doubt over the fitness of Keith O’Hare who has a concern over a rib injury. Speaking about the upcoming tie, McKinnon said his side showed “some improvement” against Banbridge last time out and will look to “implement the lessons learned there”.
Bann start their weekend at Grange Road against a Three Rock side that have been miserly in defence to date, conceding just four times in four games.
Next on the agenda is a trip back up the M1 to Co Down to Havelock Park for Sunday’s game with Cork C of I in another game that will see a shake-up on the league standings. Lisnagarvey host Cookstown in Saturday’s other tie.In Leinster Division One, the student sides moved into the top half of the division with midweek wins. UCD moved up to fourth place with a 5-0 win over Avoca who they leap-frog into fourth place with Shane Madeley, Iain Styles, Brian O’Malley, Ben McCrea and Jazze Henry on the mark.
For Dublin University, Rory Nichols scored on his debut for the club after switching from Monkstown with Tom Gibbs nabbing the other goal in a 2-0 success over Weston.
There’s just one league game on the menu for this weekend with Clontarf looking to build a lead at the top of the table. They play Kilkenny on Sunday with Stuart Bradley potentially coming up against his old club.
Otherwise, the focus is on the Mills Cup with three first round ties on the agenda. Weston play Fingal; Trinity meet Rathgar and Avoca face Corinthian on Saturday.
They will look to join Three Rock, Pembroke and YMCA who are already through to the second round. YM beat Clontarf in midweek last week 3-2.
Men’s EY Hockey League
Saturday: Railway Union v Glenanne, 2pm, Park Avenue; Lisnagarvey v Cookstown, 3pm, Comber Road; Monkstown v Cork C of I, 3pm, Merrion Fleet Arena; Three Rock Rovers v Banbridge, 3pm, Grange Road; Pembroke v Annadale, 4pm, Serpentine Avenue
Sunday: Banbridge v Cork C of I, 2pm, Havelock Park; Glenanne v Lisnagarvey, 2pm, Glenanne Park; Annadale v Railway Union, 2.30pm, Lough Moss; Pembroke v Three Rock Rovers, 3pm, Serpentine Avenue; Cookstown v Monkstown, 3.30pm, Steeleweld Park
Leinster Division One, Tuesday results: Dublin University 2 (T Gibbs, R Nichols) Weston 0; UCD 5 (S Madeley, I Styles, B O’Malley, B McCrea, J Henry) Avoca 0
Sunday: Kilkenny v Clontarf, 3.15pm, Kilkenny College
Mills Cup, first round: Weston v Fingal, 1pm, Griffeen Valley Park; Dublin University v Rathgar, 12.45pm, Santry Avenue; Avoca v Corinthian, 12.30pm, Newpark