YM look to take down Dale in repeat of key EYHL promotion battle

YMCA will have a glint in their eye when they try and take down Annadale, the side that was instrumental in blocking their path to the EYHL, in the second round of the Irish Senior Cup.

Back then, Callum Robson’s last minute winner saw Dale win out 2-1, a goal that put them through to the last round of promotion playoffs with YM bowing out.

Annadale’s Rhiley Carr. Pic: Deryck Vincent

Since the spring, Dale have made a good start to life back in the national division with Peter Caruth guiding them to seven points and a marquee win over Monkstown last Saturday.

Whether he can play a part will depend on an injury sustained in the latter part of that game. Without him, the side will look to the experience of David Smyth at the back and the superb range of passes of Australian Rhiley Carr to set swift counters in motion.

YM, meanwhile, are in free-scoring mode in Leinster’s Division One with Ben Campbell and Grant Glutz combining for 22 goals already this campaign. They also have the boost of the three-point deduction against them annulled by the branch which means they are right in the mix at the top of the table.

Another Leinster side keen to show they are able to rise to the EYHL level is UCD who make a short hop across to Monkstown. Indeed, the students beat Railway Union 3-2 in midweek to advance to the next round of the Neville Cup.

Andrew Meates turned in Andy Keane’s pass from a corner break-out move for 1-0. Simon McKeever levelled from a corner before Iain Styles touched in a crash ball for a 2-1 lead.

Mark English’s reverse equalised once again but Andrew Tutty’s corner push won the tie. In the UCD side, there is a half-dozen former Monkstown players in the line-up who will relish having a pop at their former club.

For Monkstown, Gareth Watkins has been back in light training for the first time this season while Geoff Cole is out of a cast but the tie may be a little early for both.

Railway, for their part, go up to Lisnagarvey looking to make life difficult, something they did in their recent league meeting before falling 2-0 to high quality third quarter goals.

Three Rock and Cookstown meet for a second successive week with both sides welcoming back a few players for the tie at Grange Road.

For Rovers, Daragh Walsh missed the 4-1 win last week due to exams while Richard Pautz and Harry Morris are also back. For Cookstown, Keith Black, Scott McCabe and Andy Barbour could return.

It is a busy weekend for Rovers with Cork C of I coming to Dublin on Sunday for an EY Hockey League match brought forward from December.

C of I welcome a rugged Kilkeel side who always make life difficult for higher ranked sides in the Irish Senior Cup. The coastal Co Down side already made their first ever Kirk Cup final in midweek and would love to add another cup run to their list.

Pembroke and Glenanne will be big favourites despite being on the road to Ulster, facing Premier League mid-table sides South Antrim and Queens. Mossley, third in Ulster, face sixth placed Belfast Harlequins.

In Leinster, there are a couple of league ties on the agenda with Avoca looking to get back to winning ways when they host Weston. Clontarf take on Dublin North.

Men’s fixtures (Saturday unless stated)
Irish Senior Cup, second round: Annadale v YMCA, 2.30pm, Strathearn School; Cork C of I v Kilkeel, 2.30pm, Garryduff; Lisnagarvey v Railway Union, 3pm, Comber Road; Monkstown v UCD, 2.15pm, Merrion Fleet Arena; Mossley v Belfast Harlequins, 2.30pm, The Glade; Queens University v Glenanne, 2.30pm, Malone; South Antrim v Pembroke Wanderers, 2.30pm, Friends School; Three Rock Rovers v Cookstown, 3pm, Grange Road

EY Hockey League (Sunday): Pembroke Wanderers v Railway Union, 2.30pm, Serpentine Avenue; Three Rock Rovers v Cork C of I, 3.30pm, Grange Road

Leinster Division One: Avoca v Weston, 12.45pm, Newpark; Clontarf v Dublin North, 2.15pm, Mount Temple

Munster Peard Cup, first round: Ashton v Limerick, 3.15pm, Ashton School; Bandon v Cork Harlequins, 1pm, Bandon GS

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