YM close gap on and off the pitch; Alex and Muckross face huge Leinster showdown

YMCA had big boosts on and off the pitch to get them back into the men’s Leinster Division One title frame to add some extra pressure on leaders Corinthian.

On the field, they led from pillar to post against the reds last Sunday to earn a 3-2 victory. Grant Glutz and Ben Campbell continued their incredible scoring form to make it 2-0 at half-time, combining for 35 league goals this league campaign.

YMCA’s Ben Chadwick. Picture: Matthew McConnell

Ian Stewart pulled one back from but Jamie Tobin’s wonder goal restored the two-goal wedge when he deflected over the goalkeeper’s head after a strong Campbell had beaten a number of players down the endline.

It was the Y’s first win of 2018 but they look set to have an extra three points added to their tally following the reversal of their defeat to Dublin University due to a registration infringement. They had originally won the game 2-1 but has now been adjusted to read 1-0 in favour of YMCA.

The decision is currently pending an appeal from the students and so Leinster registration secretary David Curran could not go into the specifics of the case bar saying it was a “match card infringement”.

He did add, however, an appeal to all clubs to pay greater attention to keeping their registrations up to date to avoid such scenarios occurring.

“It is vital that clubs pay attention to the process for both keeping registrations up to date and ensuring that match cards are filled in accurately and in a timely fashion.

“The Men’s Section have provided automated tooling for the past number of seasons to make this process as easy as possible. This is in the interest of all clubs and the Mens Committeee, including myself, are available to any club who have any queries regarding the process.”

The upshot is YM have clawed back a good chunk of their deficit to the leaders and a win over Dublin North on Saturday could move them within three points of Corinthian and level with UCD.

Corinthian, for their part, returned to the top of the table when they won their back match against Weston on Thursday evening with Stewart, Jonny Bruton, Andrew Sutton, Dan Treacy and Hugo Burns all scoring in a 5-1 result.

Kilkenny’s game with Rathgar is the only other one on the agenda on Saturday afternoon in the league.

On the women’s side in Leinster, with the EYHL on a break due to the international games in Malaga, there is a doozy of a tie on the agenda with Old Alex meeting Muckross.

Alex lead the way with a narrow two-point advantage following 11 wins out of 12, while Muckross have just one less win to their total. Both clubs have been scoring goals for fun and conceding precious little, netting an aggregate 92 with just 17 let in at the other end.

They are already well acquainted this season following two attempts to play the first league meeting, Old Alex prevailing 4-1 in the refix after floodlight failure first time around.

Alex are the more experienced panel and have former underage international Anna Roopnarinesingh bang in form, dovetailing with Fiona Bradish and Sylvia O’Mahoney.

Muckross defender Clodagh Ferry. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Muckross are a much younger outfit with a wealth of schoolgirls in the side like the free-scoring Yasmin Pratt, Natasha Twomey, Clodagh Ferry, Sarah Macauley, Caroline Mathews, Lisa Mulcahy and Niamh Gowing while Sophie Barnwell was part of the Irish Under-21 panel last summer.

It promises to be a crucial fixture in the title race with plenty of quality on display. Corinthian’s hopes of claiming top spot have drifted a little in recent times, despite remaining unbeaten, with five points from their last nine.

They remain comfortable in third place and a home win against Rathgar would pretty much copper-fasten an IHL Division 2 ticket. Genesis will look to keep their mathematical chance of reeling them in with three points against Clontarf while a resurgent Avoca take on North Kildare.

Sunday sees Bray and Hermes-Monkstown meet in the final Jacqui Potter Cup quarter-final.

Leinster Division One
Sunday: YMCA 3 (G Glutz, B Campbell, J Tobin) Corinthian 2 (I Stewart 2)
Thursday: Weston 1 (E Ryan) Corinthian 5 (I Stewart, J Bruton, A Sutton, D Treacy, H Burns)

Saturday: Dublin North v YMCA, 12pm, NSC; Kilkenny v Rathgar, 2pm, Kilkenny College
Tuesday: Rathgar v Dublin North, 7.30pm, High School

Munster Division 1
Friday: Bandon v UCC, 8.15pm, Bandon GS
Sunday: Cork C of I B v 12pm, Limerick , Garryduff.

Leinster Division One (all Saturday): Old Alex v Muckross, 12pm, Milltown; Our Lady’s v Glenanne, 12pm, Terenure; Corinthian v Rathgar, 1.15pm, Whitechurch Park; Genesis v Clontarf, 1.45pm, St Raphaela’s; Avoca v North Kildare, 2.30pm, Newpark

Jacqui Potter Cup, quarter-final (Sunday): Bray v Hermes-Monkstown, 4.30pm, Loreto Bray

Munster Division 1
Friday: Limerick v Catholic Institute, 7.30pm, Villiers.
Saturday: Ashton v UCC, 12.30pm, Ashton School; Cork C of I v Belvedere, 11am, Garryduff; Waterford v Bandon, 12.30pm, Newtown School.

Munster Senior Cup, first round (Saturday): Limerick v Cork Harlequins, Villiers.

Men's Leinster Senior Div 1