Banbridge coach Mark Tumilty feels there is room for improvement, despite his team’s impressive 4-3 victory over last season’s Champions Trophy winners Three Rock Rovers last weekend.
They face Cork C of I at Havelock Park in week two of the competition and will look to build on that result with, perhaps, a more polished performance from their coach’s perspective.
“The result was more important than performance but we need to better this weekend against Cork. We don’t have a good record against Cof I in recent years so it will be a really tough test for us,” Tumilty said.
“I feel we have a good squad that can be competitive this year but will need to perform better than Saturday. I was impressed by Rovers, and as many have said, they probably were favourites, it is good to have a three point advantage on them early in the season.”
Rovers, for their part, will look to get on the board in the first EY Hockey League game to be played at Wesley College against YMCA who had a chastening first time out last week, falling 7-1 to Cookstown.
The Grange Road side welcome back Jamie Carr after he missed last weekend’s tie with former Rovers Eoin Buttanshaw and Ross Henderson meeting their old club.
Pembroke and Monkstown both enjoyed productive starts to the season with wins over Ulster opponents ahead of their meeting on Saturdy at Serpentine Avenue.
For Pembroke, it was a smash and grab as Garvey could not take advantage of statistical positives. They meet a Town side who found their mojo in front of goal, something they really struggled for with Gareth Watkins, Davy Carson and Kyle Good back in tandem.
Cookstown’s big win over YM sees them in confident mood for the visit of Lisnagarvey to Steelweld Park. The Co Tyrone side’s corners were particularly impressive last week and something for Garvey to be wary of.Annadale, meanwhile, will be looking to bounce back from their opening day defeat to Monkstown. They host Glenanne who are looking to find their rhythm after a low-key 1-1 draw at Garryduff.
Day two of the Leinster Division One season’s highlight is probably the meeting of Corinthian and Railway Union, two sides keen on promotion to the EYHL1 this season.
The Munster league also makes its belated return after a postponement last weekend due to the lack of registrar for the provincial board to oversee the leagues. Catholic Institute have been promoted and make their return against Cork C of I B.
Waterford’s return to the top level for the first time since 2006 is delayed due to a bye weekend.
Men’s weekend fixtures (all Saturday)
EY Hockey League: Annadale v Glenanne, 2.30pm, Strathearn; Pembroke v Monkstown, 2.30pm, Serpentine Avenue; Cookstown v Lisnagarvey, 2.30pm, Steelweld Park; YMCA v Three Rock Rovers, 2.30pm, Wesley College; Banbridge v Cork C of I, 2.45pm, Havelock Park
Leinster Division One: Kilkenny v Dublin University, 12pm, Kilkenny College; Avoca v Portrane, 12.30pm, Newpark; Rathgar v Clontarf, 12.30pm, High School; UCD v Dublin North, 1.30pm, Belfield; Corinthian v Railway Union, 2pm, Whitechurch Park
Munster Division One: Bandon v Cork Harlequins, 12pm, Bandon GS; Cork C of I B v Catholic Institute, 3pm, Garryduff; UCC v Ashton, 3pm, The Mardyke