Glenanne face a monster weekend as the EYHL leaders host Banbridge on Saturday before they endeavour to win back the Mills Cup on Sunday from Three Rock Rovers on a busy bank holiday weekend.
In the men’s EYHL, there’s little doubt about the top tie as Banbridge aim to stop their recent slump and get their title ambitions back on track against the Glens at St Andrew’s.
“Another difficult game for us especially due to our recent run of results,” said Bann coach Mark Tumilty after they bowed out of the Irish Senior Cup and lost to Monkstown in the league last week.
“We need to be more clinical in both circles in order to get our season going again. We need to produce an improved performance and I have belief in the players that we can get back to winning ways.
“We still have a chance to win the league but I feel we need to win all our remaining games but at least I hope to have a full squad to pick from on Saturday.”
Glenanne, meanwhile, are also coming off the back of a defeat – their first of the season outside of the Neville Cup – to Three Rock but remain two points clear and the team to catch.
Lisnagarvey will look to get their challenge back on track after a 2-2 draw against YMCA when they host bottom side Cork C of I in a fixture they won 10-0 last term.
Monkstown and YM go into their Dublin derby with both sides on a high from recent results. Guy Sarratt’s brilliant drag-flicks and Ryan Spencer’s classy control and reverse in the 4-3 win over Bann show plenty of rising talent in the Town ranks.
For the Y, they have earned seven points from the last 12 available with Ben Campbell driving things on to give them a great shot at avoiding relegation problems.
Three Rock host Annadale at Grange Road in their fourth successive home tie in the EYHL in a decent run of form. In the past fortnight, they have beaten three of the top four from the EYHL, adding a 3-1 midweek win over Pembroke in the Mills Cup.
Simon Thornton excelled for Pembroke in a scoreless first half but he could not keep out Conor Empey’s effort in a goalmouth scramble after a volley of shots.
Ben Walker swept in the second and when Pembroke went to 10 outfielders, Kevin Mullins added a third. Jack Ryan got one back on the final whistle.
It sets up a rematch for Rovers with Glenanne on Sunday eight days on from their cracking league meeting at Grange Road as St Patrick’s Day brings the Mills Cup final.
While Rovers won their meeting a week ago, the Glens had plenty of moments and but for a brilliant performance from Jamie Carr, it might have been different.
Also on the Sunday are the Neville Davin Cup final between Railway Union and Portrane and the Benny Atkinson Under-16 Cup final which features the Three Rock and Monkstown young guns.
On Saturday, there are also three Leinster Division One matches on the schedule. Railway Union moved top in midweek with a 5-1 win over Dublin North with Rob Devlin, Richard Forrest, Daragh Curley, Jeremy McKeever and Adam O’Callaghan sharing the goals.
UCD, though, can move back above them if they win their game in hand at Newpark. The students have been training at Avoca’s home ground since work started on the Belfield venue and so it will not be wholly unfamiliar.
Nonetheless, it may be a tricky tie against a Blackrock side that has found some form recently. UCD have been a bit hit and miss since Christmas but they did fire against Bandon in EYHL2 last week.
Corinthian keep plugging away in third and will look to keep rolling against a Kilkenny side who will need to bounce back from a tough day against Avoca last time out. Clontarf face Dublin University in the battle for fourth spot.
Men’s weekend fixtures (Saturday unless stated)
EY Hockey League: Glenanne v Banbridge, St. Andrews, 2pm; Lisnagarvey v Cork C of I, Comber Road, 1pm; Monkstown v YMCA, ALD Merrion Fleet Arena, 1pm; Three Rock Rovers v Annadale, Grange Road, 3pm
Leinster Division 1
Tuesday: Railway Union 5 (R Devlin, R Forrest, D Curley, J McKeever, A O’Callaghan) Dublin North 1 (L Metcalfe)
Saturday: Avoca v UCD, Newpark, 12.30pm; Clontarf v Dublin University, Mount Temple, 12pm; Corinthian v Kilkenny, Whitechurch Park, 12.45pm
Monday: Portrane v Rathgar, Donabate CC, 7.45pm
Mills Cup, semi-final (Tuesday): Pembroke 1 (J Ryan) Three Rock Rovers 3 (C Empey, B Walker, K Mullins)
Sunday 17th March 2019
Mills Cup final: Three Rock Rovers v Glenanne, 2pm, Grange Road
Neville Davin Cup final: Portrane v Railway Union, Grange Road, 12.30pm
Benny Atkinson Cup U16 final: Three Rock Rovers v Monkstown, Grange Road, 10am
Munster Senior Cup final: Cork Harlequins v Bandon, Garryduff, 4.15pm