Three Rock Rovers and Old Alex gave their hopes of qualifying for the 2011/12 Irish Hockey League a big boost as both recorded wins on the opening night of the wildcard playoffs in Garryduff.
With Munster sides finally getting their wish of home advantage, Three Rock Rovers and Old Alex travel south to Garryduf this afternoon hoping they can negotiate the IHL wildcard playoffs.
Banbridge claimed their first All-Ireland club title since 1991 as Owen Magee’s penalty shoot-out goal denied their Lisnagarvey hosts the men’s Irish Hockey League title on the Comber Road.
Suzanne Beaney’s superb hat-trick signed off on a remarkable double – the first since 2007 – as Pegasus powered their way to the ESB Electric Ireland Irish Hockey league title, beating Hermes 4-1.
Ulster sides Lisnagarvey and Banbridge will contest the men’s IHL final with Pembroke’s two-year reign coming to an end this evening while Glenanne’s extra-time misery in this competition continues, losing in a shoot-out to Bann
Pegasus got the better of UCD for the second time in a fortnight to make it through to a women’s IHL final for the first time while Hermes’ three-goal blitz in the third quarter saw them advance ahead of Railway Union
Despite the ending of their 13-year reign as Ulster champions, Pegasus stand on the cusp of one of their most memorable years as they seek to add the women’s IHL title to the Irish Senior Cup title they won just a fortnight ago.
Pembroke’s reign as the only men’s winner of the Irish Hockey League will be out to its severest test this weekend as they attempt to bounce back from their EHL capitulation, facing Lisnagarvey while Glenanne play Banbridge
Lisnagarvey and their Comber Road home have been announced as the hosts for the Irish Hockey League finals weekend on April 30 to May 1 following the tender process.
Three of Leinster’s four sides qualified for the women’s IHL semi-finals but, for the one that missed out, Loreto will have a familiar sinking feeling despite posting a fine win over Hermes.
Late goals at Serpentine Avenue and Havelock Park provided massive twists of fortune for Pembroke and Banbridge as they took the men’s IHL semi-final berths from Pool B on an incredible afternoon’s action.
For a second year running, Hermes and Loreto showdown for the second place in the women’s Pool A IHL semi-finals after Pegasus took the first spot last week. UCD are already home and hosed and Railway are set to join them
With Lisnagarvey winning 3-1 in Cookstown on Thursday night, their home tie with Corinthian is very much the key tie on the men’s IHL Pool A’s judgement day. Four sides, meanwhile, are in the mix in Pool B
Pegasus and UCD became the first two sides to confirm their places on IHL final’s weekend as they notched bonus point victories this weekend to head up their respective groups.
In stark contrast to the Irish Senior Cup, Leinster sides currently occupy all of the men’s IHL playoff places after a weekend which saw Monkstown, YM, Corinthian and Glenanne win with only Pembroke faltering
At the business end of the women’s IHL group stages, Railway Union and Armagh can go a long way to securing their place in the playoffs this weekend should either take victory from their meeting on Saturday.
Pronounced splits between top and bottom halves of the men’s IHL tables have the chance to be wedged further apart as the top three in each group will face a side less well off on Saturday.
IHL progression remains in the balance for Railway, Loreto, UCD and Hermes as both Pools look set to go down to the wire. The students and Loreto were the happiest, both bagging bonus point wins. The other pair dropped a place each in their respective tables.
Leinster’s teams produced a string of big results as YMCA and Glenanne came away from Cork with bonus point wins while Pembroke, Monkstown and Corinthian also stay on track with wins over Ulster opposition in the Irish Hockey League
One of the enduring inter-provincial rivalries, Hermes and Pegasus fight for the right to lead Pool A of the women’s ESB Irish Hockey League when they meet in Belfast on Sunday