The Leinster Schoolboys hockey Leagues are entering the business end of the pool stages with high-quality match-ups already looking likely in both the A and B league playoffs.
Senior A will probably have a familiar semi-final quartet to contend as both Wesley and St Andrews are likely to fill the top two spots on one side having played out a 1-1 draw at pool stage.
Kilkenny College, however, will be anticipating the visit of Wesley College to the Castlecomer Road with eagerness and a shot at an A league semi. The loser of that fixture will find themselves sure of a B league semi.
St Kilian’s look best placed to complete the line up for that B pool. King’s Hospital and High School are strong in the other pool. They played out a nine goal thriller last week with the Rathgar side emerging victorious by coming back from 4-1 down.
All is not completely decided yet and Newpark are still well in the hunt and, if they fail to make the A league semi, they will be amongst the favourites to land the B league playoffs.
As things stand, they are ahead of King’s Hos but with more games played and have already lost to the Palmerstown outfit. The revival of fortunes at KH will give nostalgia to some. It is great to see East Glendalough in the senior mix as well as Sandford Park who are building well.
The junior leagues have a traditional enough look to them. Pool 1has been dominated by St Andrew’s and Wesley with Kings Hospital, High School and Newpark battling for the top two spots. The odd one out will find themselves in B League contention sizing up St Columba’s and St Kilian’s on the other side.
The minor leagues are at a very interesting stage. In Pool 1, three schools are competing for two spots in the A league semi.
Sutton Park are enjoying a revival of fortune and are level with Wesley and St Andrews. As it stands, Wesley have drawn with St Andrew’s and Sutton.
Andrew’s edged by Sutton 2-1 on Wednesday, putting them top with Sutton second and Wesley in third but with an extra game still to play.
Kings Hospital and High School again look comfortable on the other side of the competition with a nod to East Glendalough who have a victory against Mount Temple under their belt.
The Under 13s in Pool 1 has Wesley and St Andrews again at the top but, again, Sutton Park are not to be ruled out as they snap at the heels of their southside rivals.
St Andrews beat Sutton Park in a competitive affair. St Columba’s, too, feel they will be competitive having run the Booterstown outfit to a goal.
Plenty of competitive matches to be played there yet. In the other pool, Newpark are coming again with a strong crew and will be aiming for A League playoffs ahead of Kings Hospital and High School. There will be competition for medals across the province.