Pegs bounce back to move level with Loreto; Bann vs Town the men’s highlight

Pegasus moved back into a share of top spot of the women’s EY Hockey League – albeit with a game extra played – with a midweek 2-1 win over Belfast Harlequins courtesy of Alex Speers goal three minutes from time.

Lizzie Colvin put Quins ahead and in the mood for a first win of the campaign but Pegs equalised through Niamh McIvor in her second game of the day having helped BRA reach the Ulster girls Senior Cup final.

And Speers then grabbed the winner to lift Pegasus back to a share of first place with Loreto on 22 points heading into this weekend’s fixtures.

Alex Speers scored her 11th goal of the season in midweek. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Next on their list is their second meeting of the season with Railway Union at home, hoping to repeat their success from opening day.

Loreto’s only loss of the campaign came at Pembroke, a 3-2 loss at Serpentine Avenue, and so they will be gunning for revenge when they lock horns on Saturday at Beaufort.

Old Alex are on the road to Belfast for the second week in succession, this time going to Harlequins, aiming to continue their perfect record in 2020 to date.

UCD take on Cork Harlequins in Belfield; Yvonne O’Byrne was in ubiquitous form in Quins’ performance last weekend against Loreto when they probably should have nabbed a draw but for a late aberration. The two sides drew on opening day.

Draw-masters Muckross are the other home club this weekend with the showdown of Anna O’Flanagan and Roisin Upton the key one when Catholic Institute come visiting, their third straight trip to Dublin.

EYHL2 has a big day ahead; Pool B’s top two showdown at the Mardyke with Ards the visitors to UCC. Their first meeting was UCC’s toughest of their season to date and they know they will need to keep tabs on sharp-shooter Zara Malseed who has been scoring at a goal a game.

But a victory could see them top of the group and right in the frame for a playoff place. Monkstown will hope for no slip-up at Greenfields to progress their claims.

Pool A has been dominated by Corinthian so far and they will be favourites to continue their perfect record in all leagues this term when they host currently bottom side NUIG.

At least one of their nearest will lose ground as Lurgan and Trinity – both eight points back on 12 points – look for a big win in their playoff pursuit.

It leaves three Leinster Division One games on the card – North Kildare look to continue their winning streak when they meet Genesis; Rathgar take on Naas and Avoca play Glenanne. Avoca were 3-0 winners over Genesis in midweek to move up to fifth place with Zoe Watterson, Moirin O’Neill and Anna Richardson scoring the goals.

Trinity’s title hopes took a blow, meanwhile, drew with Glenanne 2-2 which puts them seven points off the pace with an extra game played.

In the men’s EYHL, the big game is on Sunday when in-form Banbridge face Monkstown at Havelock Park off the back of five wins in the last six outings.

Lisnagarvey have continued their unbeaten run into the new year but the big wins have been narrowed of late with two single-goal wins in the last couple of weeks. As such, Pembroke will hope they can keep things tight and that Alan Sothern – with eight goals in three games – can do the business.

Glenanne and YMCA have a big game on their hands with the loser of the tie set to be in the relegation playoff place. The Glens hit the Y with a sucker-punch in their first meeting of the season after a big comeback to win 3-2.

Corinthian are unbeaten since November and will be ambitious to use their game at Annadale to close the gap on the top five. Dale, though, have only one point this season but it did come against the reds and if they are to escape their predicament, this is the kind of tie they will need points from.

Banbridge and Monkstown face off on Sunday. Pic: Deryck Vincent

It is crunch time in EYHL Division 2. Cork C of I and Harlequins both currently top their groups in the men’s competition; should the former beat Railway Union at Park Avenue, they would be assured of a semi-final berth with a couple of games to spare.

Instonians can put the pressure on when they meet Avoca who need a win to avoid elimination.

Harlequins, meanwhile, go to in-form Clontarf who can leap-frog them with a win in Pool B. Cookstown and Kilkeel reprise their cracking 5-4 contest from the Ulster Premier League last week in the other tie.

Three games in Leinster Division One – Dublin University and Dublin North meet in a well-matched tie between seventh and eighth. Third placed Portrane are on the road to Kilkenny while Weston face Rathgar.

Three Rock Rovers face effectively three relegation pool games following two defeats on day one of the EuroHockey Indoor Club Trophy in Alanya, Turkey.

Despite a second half comeback, the Rathfarnham club fell 6-3 to England’s East Grinstead early in the morning with Ross Canning getting a double. They subsequently were picked apart by a patient HK Zelina from Croatia 6-1.

It condemns Ireland to the relegation pool with a game to spare but Saturday morning’s opponents SCHC – from the Netherlands – are in the same boat.

That means that result will carry through to the four-team relegation pool where they will be joined by Switzerland’s Rotweiss Wettingen and Portugal’s AD Lousada.

Friday

Men

EuroHockey Indoor Club Trophy (all in Alanya, Turkey – all times Irish): Three Rock Rovers 3 (R Canning 2, J Walker) East Grinstead (ENG) 6; Three Rock Rovers 1 (H Morris) HK Zelina (CRO) 6

Saturday 15th February 2020

EuroHockey Indoor Club Trophy (all in Alanya, Turkey – all times Irish): Three Rock Rovers v SCHC (NED), 6am

EYHL Division 1: Annadale v Corinthian, Strathearn, 4pm; Glenanne v YMCA, St Andrews, 1.45pm; Pembroke v Lisnagarvey, Serpentine Avenue, 2.30pm

EYHL Division 2 – Pool A: Instonians v Avoca, Shaw’s Bridge, 2.30pm; Railway Union v Cork C of I, Park Avenue, 1pm

Pool B: Clontarf v Cork Harlequins, Mount Temple, 2pm; Kilkeel v Cookstown, Kilkeel HS, 2.30pm

Leinster Division 1: Dublin University v Dublin North, Santry Avenue, 11am; Kilkenny v Portrane, Kilkenny College, 1.45pm; Weston v Rathgar, Griffeen Valley Park, 12pm

Munster Charity Cup: Waterford v Bandon, Newtown, 3.30pm; Ashton v UCC, Ashton School, 4pm

Women

EYHL Division 1: Belfast Harlequins v Old Alexandra, Deramore Park, 2.30pm Loreto v Pembroke, Beaufort, 2.45pm; Muckross v Catholic Institute, Muckross Park, 1pm; Pegasus v Railway Union, Queens University, 4pm; UCD v Cork Harlequins, Belfield, 1pm             

EYHL Division 2 – Pool A: Corinthian v NUIG, Whitehchurch Park, 3.15pm; Lurgan v Trinity, Lurgan JHS, 2.30pm

Pool B: Greenfields v Monkstown, Dangan, 2.30pm; UCC v Ards, Mardyke, 12pm

Leinster Division 1: Avoca v Glenanne, Sion Hill, 2.30pm; North Kildare v Genesis, The Maws, 3.15pm; Rathgar v Naas, The High School, 3pm

Munster Division 1: Ashton v Bandon, Ashton School, 12.30pm; Cork C of I v Limerick, Garryduff, 2pm; Waterford v Belvedere, Newtown, 12.30pm

Sunday 16th February 2020

Men

EuroHockey Indoor Club Trophy (all in Alanya, Turkey – all times Irish): classification matches

EYHL Division 1: Banbridge v Monkstown, Havelock Park, 2.30pm

Women

Jacqui Potter Cup semi-final: Loreto v UCD, Beaufort, 2pm

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