Banbridge and Lisnagarvey clash head-on at Comber Road in the most intriguing tie in round three of the EY Irish Hockey League on Saturday, writes John Flack.
Pembroke produced another strong show of character to beat Monkstown; Bann with another late show; TRR, Lisnagarvey and Glenanne record first wins of the men’s EY campaign
Banbridge coach Mark Tumilty feels there is room for improvement, despite his team’s impressive 4-3 victory over last season’s Champions Trophy winners Three Rock Rovers last weekend.
Banbridge have agreed an exciting new partnership with Southern Regional College wth media students at the Banbridge campus producing video highlights of games held at Havelock Park.
The men’s EY Hockey League returned with a bang on Saturday with Banbridge’s last minute winner against Three Rock Rovers providing an immaculate spectacle on day one of the campaign
Annadale look to have bolstered their panel well in the off season with Irish Under-21 international Ryan Getty, Andrew O’Hare and former Bangor sharp-shooter Ryan Burgess adding to their deck.
Banbridge’s slow start to last term – coinciding with a glut of injuries to the likes of Eugene Magee and John McKee – ultimately left them outside of the playoff places.
Michael Haycock will take on sole charge of the team after Stephen Cuddy stepped down from his position of co-coach in the summer lay off.
Denis Pritchard returns to CI after a 12 year absence. He last coached the men’s first team 2006
Last season’s surprise package will have to try and replace Shane O’Donoghue in their line-up as their captain and top scorer has moved back to Dragons for a second spell
In a summer of moves abroad, Lisnagarvey look to be by far the most affected with an international quartet moving to European clubs
Monkstown line up with a new look management team, headed by player-coach Gareth Watkins who moves across from the women’s section.
A summer of significant change with three internationals departing to maximize their international chances for inclusion in the upcoming World Cup
The back-to-back EY Champions Trophy winners take on the mantle of favourites this season, particularly as they have not seen many of their major stars move on unlike their rivals.
Having been knocking on the door for the last couple of seasons, newly promoted YMCA will be looking to consolidate in the league under head coach Jason Klinkradt.
Monkstown have appointed both men’s and women’s new first team coaches for the upcoming season as they prepare for the new campaign.
The pools for the inaugural Irish Hockey League Division 2 have been laid out as the new competition, designed to bridge the gap between the provincial and EY Hockey Leagues.
Cookstown secured their place in the top flight of Irish hockey with a strong performance against brave Bangor on Sunday at Shawsbridge.
Jody Hosking scored a dramatic winner 48 seconds from time to see Three Rock Rovers retain the EY Champions Trophy title at Grange Road in front of their home support, capping an incredible season for the Rathfarnham club.
Glenanne produced some glorious counter-attacking hockey to pick off Pembroke who were left to rue their own profligacy in front of goal in the first of the men’s EY Champions Trophy semi-finals.