While outdoor fixtures took a partial hit over the weekend, the indoor side of the game seems to be gathering momentum around the country with a series of new initiatives.
In Belfast and Limerick, the Pro Series Indoor groups enjoyed their first taster sessions with a view to March’s regional competitions. In Donabate, the annual Tommy O’Sullivan Memorial Cup competition got under way with the first of four Sundays of the Under-14 boys tournament while Connacht will host a tournament next weekend.
— PSi Belfast Bears (@PSIBelfastBears) January 7, 2018
With Ulster Hockey hosting a first Under-15 tournament before Christmas with six boys and six girls clubs taking part, a variety of new initiatives appear to be putting greater emphasis on the version of the game for the first time in a while.
On the adult men’s front, the Leinster group stages came to a conclusion with Three Rock making it five wins from five with three Sunday wins, beating Pembroke (6-5) and Railway Union (4-1) to assure their passage to through. They completed their perfect record when they came back from 3-1 down to beat Glenanne 5-4 with Ross Canning netting a hat trick with Dylan Shirley and Luke Madeley also scoring.
Railway ended second with two narrow wins on Saturday at St Columba’s getting them over the line, beating Glenanne (4-3) and Corinthian (5-4). They will face the Glens in the semis after they finished the group with three wins from five.
Pembroke took the final semi-final spot with big wins in their last two games, beating Wicklow 11-2 and Corinthian 7-2 to snag a playoff date with Three Rock next Sunday. The semis are on January 14 at 5.30pm and 6.15pm.
On the women’s side, next Sunday is the big day in the playoff hunt. In Pool A, three sides are on three points with Railway in the best shape, having won their only game to date with a 4-3 success against Glenanne with two goals from Ruth Clifford and one each from Orla Fox and Kate McKenna.
The Glens and Pembroke have three points but have played a game extra. Pool B has seen one game a piece with UCD beating TRR 3-0 with Emma Young, Sarah Patton and Katie Mullan on the mark.
Emilie Ryan-Doyle and Neassa O’Malley gave North Kildare a solid 2-0 win over Avoca to give them a good start in the competition.
In the Tommy O’Sullivan tournament, YMCA and Railway Union recorded three wins a 2-2 draw with each other to reach the finals weekend at Under-14 boys level.
Outdoors, the Jacqui Potter Cup saw five Leinster Division Two sides going through with plenty of Division One sides bowing out. Perhaps the result of the round saw Avoca knock-out Old Alex on strokes.
They had led 1-0 at half-time courtesy of Susie Cannon’s goal before Lisa Jacob and Rebecca Evans combined for an equaliser. The Blackrock side won 4-2 in the shoot-out.
Naas beat higher tier opposition in Clontarf 2-0 at Caragh Road as did Railway II – against Genesis 3-0 and Pembroke II – 2-0 vs Our Ladys – while Old Alex II out-lasted their first team when they beat Glenanne 3-1 with Amy Giblin scoring twice.
Muckross and Corinthian avoided potential banana skins with wins over Three Rock Rovers and Loreto II, respectively. North Kildare vs YMCA was frozen out. Those two sides will face off next Saturday in the second round.
Indeed, the second round draw means plenty of big guns will fall, too. EYHL sides Railway Union meet Trinity while Hermes-Monkstown take on Loreto. Naas’s reward for their win is a cut at UCD.
Leinster indoor league
Saturday: Glenanne 3 Railway Union 4; Corinthian 4 Railway Union 5; Glenanne 3 Corinthian 2
Sunday: Three Rock Rovers 6 (R Canning 2, P McConnell 2, D Walsh, L Madeley) Pembroke 5; Wicklow 2 Pembroke 11; Three Rock Rovers 4 (R Canning 2, D Walsh, H Morris) Railway Union 1 (A van As); Corinthian 2 Pembroke 7; Glenanne 12 Wicklow 6; Wicklow 4 Corinthian 6; Glenanne 4 Three Rock Rovers 5 (R Canning 3, D Shirley, L Madeley)
Standings: 1. Three Rock Rovers 15pts (+23) 2. Railway Union 12pts (+7) 3. Glenanne 9pts (+10) 4. Pembroke 6pts (+5) 5. Corinthian 3pts (-13) 6. Wicklow 0pts (-32)
Leinster indoor league
Saturday: UCD 3 (E Young, S Patton, K Mullan) Three Rock Rovers 0; North Kildare 2 (E Ryan-Doyle, N O’Malley) Avoca 0
Sunday: Railway Union 4 Glenanne 3; Pembroke 8 Genesis 3
Pool A standings (played): 1. Pembroke (2) 3pts (+3) 2. Glenanne (2) 3pts (+1) 3. Railway Union (1) 3pts (+1) 4. Genesis 0pts (-5)
Pool B (all after one game): 1. UCD 3pts (+3) 2. North Kildare 3pts (+2) 3. Avoca 0pts (-2) 4. Three Rock Rovers 0pts (-3)
Jacqui Potter Cup, first round
Saturday: Naas 2 Clontarf 0; Railway Union II 3 (K Orr 2, K Dillon) Genesis 0; Loreto II 0 Corinthian 1 (L McGrane); Old Alex II 3 (A Giblin 2, Y Rogers) Glenanne 1 (S Rush); Pembroke II 2 Our Ladys 0
Sunday: Monkstown II 1 Bray 2 (M Shelley 2); Avoca 1 (S Cannon) Old Alex 1 (L Jacob), Avoca win 4-2 on strokes; Muckross 3 (J Gilsenan 2, S Barnwell) Three Rock Rovers 0
Postponed: North Kildare v YMCA
Jacqui Potter Cup, second round draw (January 13): Bray v UCD II; Hermes-Monkstown v Loreto; Naas v UCD; Old Alex II v North Kildare/YMCA; Pembroke II v Avoca; Pembroke v Railway Union II; Railway Union v Trinity; Corinthian v Muckross