Snow and ice in Ulster wipes majority of men’s EY schedule

At time of writing, just one men’s EYHL game remains on the card due to the frozen and snowy conditions across the island with plenty more other games likely to get pulled across the Leinster league and the Irish Hockey Trophy.

With 5cm of snow destined for Ulster overnight, Banbridge and Lisnagarvey took early decisions to call off their games against Cookstown and Annadale, respectively.

Glenanne’s Shannon Boucher and Monkstown’s Nick Dee. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Monkstown against Glenanne, therefore, is the last one standing. A win for the Glens would guarantee the Christmas number one spot and they go into the tie as favourites following seven wins from eight.

Town did have Davy Carson back in their line-up last week against Cookstown after a lengthy absence but Stephen Cole missed the tie as Michael Styles’ crew struggles to get their full side out.

It leaves them with five points to make up on the top four and a potential playoff place.

Currently, Mossley’s date with Belfast Harlequins in the Irish Senior Cup is on the agenda but looks unlikely to go ahead. Ulster Hockey has put in place a blanket cancelation of their domestic competitions.

In Leinster, decisions will be made on a case by case basis. UCD and Corinthian did get in their refix on Thursday evening, sharing a high quality 1-1 draw at Belfield in which Andrew Tutty gave the students the half-time lead before Davy Howard equalised after the break.

Corinthian coach Trevor Dagg said the tie was a “good measure of where we are at” adding: “With the amount of chances we had in the second half, we are a bit disappointed not to come away with the three points. It was hard fought and UCD played well in the first half.

“To be one down at the break, we felt we were well in it and I thought we played really well in the second half. We must have had 15 to 20 circle entries but it didn’t quite break for us.”

Compared to last season, the reds are not as heavily involved in the cups, a gift and a curse for Dagg: “They are competitions you want to be in but, last year, getting to the Irish Senior Cup semi-final added three or four extra games which probably took a little extra out of us. But we are greedy to do well in cups as well as leagues!”

From UCD’s perspective, Rudi Wortmann felt his side were architects of their own downfall.

“Maybe we got a little complacent in the second half. The ball pace was so low and they love to press high. There was space for us to work with but we just didn’t take it; also, playing 15 minutes with only 10 players did not help us either so maybe we have ourselves to blame.

“We missed two sitters in the first half; score them and there is no way they would come back at us from 3-0.”

UCD host Rathgar on Saturday while Corinthian are scheduled to meet Avoca. Dublin University face Clontarf in the other game on the agenda.

There are several Irish Hockey Trophy ties on the list but Portadown versus Bangor is already postponed.

Men’s fixtures (Saturday unless stated)
EY Hockey League: Monkstown v Glenanne, 2.15pm, Merrion Fleet Arena
Postponed: Lisnagarvey v Annadale, Banbridge v Cookstown

Irish Senior Cup, second round: Mossley v Belfast Harlequins, 2.30pm, The Glade

Leinster Division One
Thursday: UCD 1 (A Tutty) Corinthian 1 (D Howard)
Saturday: Corinthian v Avoca, 12.30pm, Whitechurch Park; UCD v Rathgar, 1pm, Belfield; Dublin University v Clontarf, 2pm, Santry Avenue

Irish Hockey Trophy, first round: Bray v Dublin North, 1pm, Templecarrig; Limerick v Portrane, 1pm, Villiers; NICS v Kilkenny, 2.30pm, Stormont; North Down v Raphoe, 2.40pm, Comber LC; Weston v Newry, 3.30pm, Griffeen Valley Park.
Postponed: Portadown v Bangor

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