Last year’s EY Champions Trophy finalists Loreto and Pegasus face off at Beaufort in a big early season women’s EYHL battle with the hosts looking to end the Ulster side’s perfect record.
For the Dubliners, they have had a mixed bag to start the season with a strong defensive performance earning them a win over UCD before snatching a draw at the death against Muckross.
Ali Meeke took on the goalscoring duties both times as they were shy – on Sunday – the services of Hannah Matthews, Nicci Daly, Hayley Mulcahy and Siofra O’Brien.
For Pegs, their panel has undergone something of an overhaul since last May’s final with the likes of Ellie Montgomery, Molly Dougan, Niamh McIvor, Olivia Berry, Charlotte Beggs added to the line-up while Grace Irwin, Kate Gourley, Steph Thompson and Kate Miller are out this season.
Shirley McCay missed the 1-0 win over Cork Harlequins but could return for this crucial encounter with Pegs hoping to become the first visiting side to win on Loreto’s new water-based turf.
Elsewhere, the early season results suggest each game has the potential to be close. Muckross host Railway Union, the latter contesting their second D4 derby in the past week having lost to Pembroke last Saturday.
Belfast Harlequins have a tough encounter as they bid to get their first win at Deramore Park against UCD. Catholic Institute welcome Old Alex to Limerick and Cork Harlequins host Pembroke.
In EYHL2, the key game in Pool B is Ards’ trip to Monkstown. Should the former make it four wins from four, they will have at least an eight point lead after the weekend. UCC host Queen’s at the Mardyke looking to keep their challenge for a top two place going.
In Pool A, leaders Corinthian are on a bye weekend, giving teams a chance to close the seve-point gap currently in place. Cork C of I host Lurgan while Trinity go to NUIG for a match with an adjusted 2.30pm start time.
Leinster Division One has four games on Saturday and one on Sunday with Corinthian on double duty, facing Rathgar on Saturday and a tester against Avoca on Sunday.
On the men’s side, UCD’s game with Annadale has been postponed due to illness in the students’ camp.
Preseason, the odds would have been strongly stacked in favour of Pembroke and Banbridge’s men’s EY Hockey League contest being a key one in the shake-up for the playoff places.
The former welcomed back Olympians Kirk Shimmins and Alan Sothern into the fold as well as former international Nick Burns. Bann, meanwhile, had Owen Magee coming back into the line-up following a year in the pro-ranks to add to the rejuvenated Jonny McKee.
And yet it has not happened for either side with both garnering just one win each from the first five rounds of the marquee competition with only Annadale beneath them.
As such, their meeting at Serpentine Avenue (2.30pm) is a crucial one for both sides to finally catch their mojo before the top four playoff places disappear off into the distance.
The erratic Three Rock Rovers face Glenanne in a similar mindset. The Glens will not have access to Kieran Bolger as sideline coach as his red card for dissent last weekend incurred an automatic one-game suspension.
Hockey Ireland have also confirmed a number of changes to the schedule. Round 3 of the competition, originally scheduled for September 29, has been set for February 1 while Round 5 – on the card for October 19 – will now be played on February 8.
Lisnagarvey will aim to make it six wins out of six when they host Corinthian in the EY Hockey League at Comber Road for the first time.
In Leinster Division One, Weston against Avoca and Railway Union meet Kilkenny in a prefix. The Neville Cup semi-finals sees Portrane take on Clontarf on Saturday and reigning champions Three Rock Rovers face Avoca.
Saturday 23rd November 2019
Men – EYHL Division 1: Lisnagarvey v Corinthian, Comber Road, 5.30pm; Pembroke v Banbridge, Serpentine Avenue, 2.30pm; Three Rock Rovers v Glenanne, Grange Road, 3pm; YMCA v Monkstown, Wesley College, 4pm
Postponed: UCD v Annadale
Irish Hockey Challenge: Limerick v Mullingar, Villiers, 3pm; Midleton v Galway, Midleton College, 3.15pm
Leinster Division 1: Weston v Avoca, Griffeen Valley Park, 12pm; Railway Union v Kilkenny, Teresians, 12.15pm
Munster Peard Cup – 1st Round: Bandon v Catholic Institute, Bandon GS, 2.30pm; Cork Harlequins v UCC, Farmers’ Cross, 2.30pm; Waterford v Cork C of I, Newtown, 3.30pm
Neville Cup, semi-final: Portrane v Clontarf, Donabate LC, 3pm
EYHL Division 1: Belfast Harlequins v UCD, Deramore Park, 4pm; Catholic Institute v Old Alex, Rosbrien, 1pm; Cork Harlequins v Pembroke, Farmers’ Cross, 1.05pm; Loreto v Pegasus, Beaufort, 2.45pm; Muckross v Railway Union, Muckross Park, 3.15pm
EYHL Division 2 – Pool A: Cork C of I v Lurgan, Garryduff, 12pm; NUIG v Trinity, Dangan, 2.30pm
Pool B: Monkstown v Ards, ALD Merrion Fleet Arena, 2.30pm; UCC v Queens University, Mardyke, 12pm
Irish Hockey Challenge: Bangor v Botanic, Bangor Aurora, 4pm; Kilkenny v Cork Wanderers, Kilkenny College, 12pm; Galway v Larne, Dangan, 1pm; NICS v Weston, Stormont, 1pm; Portrane v NUIG, Donabate LC, 1pm; Athlone v Mullingar, Athlone RSC, 2pm; Clonmel v Greenfields, Rockwell, 2.30pm
Leinster Division 1: Clontarf v Avoca, Mount Temple, 2pm; Genesis v Naas, St Raphaela’s, 1pm; North Kildare v Glenanne, The Maws, 1pm; Rathgar v Corinthian, The High School, 2.15pm
Examiner Cup – Round 2: Bandon v Limerick, Bandon GS, 12.30pm; Waterford v Ashton, Newtown, 1.30pm
Sunday 24th November 2019
Neville Cup – semi-final: Avoca v Three Rock Rovers, Newpark
Leinster Division 1: Corinthian v Avoca, Whitechurch Park, 2pm