From Antrim to Kinsale, the club indoor hockey season resumes at all levels across the island this weekend with five sports halls hosting 117 matches involving 49 teams and around 600 players involved.
In Leinster, the men’s competition continues on Saturday with reigning national champions Three Rock Rovers making their first appearance on the boards this season when they play Railway Union II.
It is the sole game in Pool A this weekend with the group completed on January 12. Pembroke and YMCA await then with six points each to their name following walkovers received courtesy of Bray’s withdrawal.
Pool B plays to a conclusion with Railway Union and Kilkenny currently occupying the top two spots with two wins from two. Glenanne and Corinthian wait in the wings, making Kilkenny against the Glens in the opening game a potentially crucial showdown at 12.10pm.
On Sunday, the women’s group stages come to a conclusion. Newbridge make their entry in Pool A, playing all three of their games against UCD, Railway and Muckross while there is a key game between Muckross and Railway at 12.40pm.
Pool B has two games left with a win for Glenanne in the first against Bray assuring they progress to the last four. North Kildare and Three Rock face off in the other tie with the winner going through to the semis, too.
The Munster indoor league makes its first appearance on the agenda since the mid-1980s with three men’s teams and six women’s teams taking part in Kinsale.
The men’s competition features Ashton, Limerick and Waterford in a series of round-robin games with the winner earning the right to represent Munster in the National Indoor Trophy.
The women’s event features two groups of three with four clubs represented. Group A has Ashton A, Belvedere B and Waterford while Group B has Ashton B, Cork C of I and Belvedere A taking part. The winners of the groups will contest the final.
In Ulster, the BDO NI Youth Series at U-15 and U-18 Boys and Girls continue. In Leinster, under the watchful eye of Adrian Henchy, the Portrane HC/LHA U-14 Indoor Trophy gets underway with a girls’ Cup and Plate (sponsored by the McCann family) added to the long standing Tommy O’Sullivan Boys Trophy.
With Ireland entering the EuroHockey Indoor Championships for 2020 there is a lot to look forward to as the code continues grows at both youth and adult level.
Outdoors, Ireland’s women jetted out to Chile this week as part of their warm-weather training camp with four games starting against their hosts on January 12, 13, 15 and 16.
Club action is in the preliminary round of the Jacqui Potter Cup.
Saturday 5th January 2019
Munster Division 1: Cork Harlequins v Cork C of I B, 1pm, Farmers’ Cross
Munster Indoor League (all at Saile, Kinsale): Ashton v Limerick, 10.15am; Limerick v Waterford, 12pm; Waterford v Ashton, 1.30pm; Limerick v Ashton, 3.15pm; Waterford v Limerick, 4.30pm; Waterford v Ashton, 5.45pm
Leinster Indoor League (all at St Columba’s): Kilkenny v Glenanne, 12.10pm; Corinthian v Railway Union, 12.50pm; Kilkenny v Railway Union, 1.30pm; Glenanne v Corinthian, 2.10pm; Three Rock Rovers v Railway Union B, 2.50pm
Leinster Jacqui Potter Cup: Dublin North v Glenanne, 10.30am, NSC; Our Lady’s v Avoca, 12pm, Terenure; Old Alex II v Clontarf, 1.15pm, Milltown; Monkstown v Pembroke II, 2pm, ALD Merrion Fleet Arena; North Kildare v Monkstown II, 4.30pm, The Maws; Muckross II v Loreto II, 4.30pm, Muckross Park
Sunday 6th January 2019
Leinster Indoor League (all at St Columba’s): Railway Union v Newbridge, 11.20am; Muckross v Railway Union, 12.40pm; Newbridge v UCD, 1.20pm; Muckross v Newbridge, 2pm; Glenanne v Bray, 2.40pm; Three Rock Rovers v North Kildare, 3.20pm