Following a stunning season to date, UCD are very much the team to beat in the women’s Irish Hockey League that gets under way this weekend as Ireland’s top 12 teams battle it out for the top title in the club game.
Leinster and Irish hockey will host a couple of forums in the next week that could have a huge effect on the sport’s landscape as the IHA puts forward a proposal for a “full” Irish Hockey League.
With the original dates for the Irish Hockey League finals clashing with the Champions Challenge 1, the IHA have brought forward the competition as a whole with the finals set to be played in early April
The Irish Hockey Association was handed a headache on two fronts this morning following the confirmation of the Champions Challenge I hosting venues by the International Hockey Federation this morning.
Monkstown and Banbridge – the 2012/13 men’s finalists – will meet in the group stages of the Irish Hockey League following confirmation of the groups for the upcoming season’s competition.
Old Alex confirmed they will be back in the Irish Hockey League in 2014 as they pulled away from UCC in Garryduff last weekend to claim the 12th and final berth in the competition.
Old Alex will aim to pin down qualification for the 2014 edition of the women’s Irish Hockey League this weekend when they take on UCC in Garryduff in the final round of the wildcard playoffs (Saturday, 2pm).
Julia O’Halloran proved the match winner for the second successive women’s Irish Hockey League final as her superbly taken penalty piled on the agony on Loreto for a second successive year.
Nikki Keegan’s coolly taken silver goal penalty stroke saw Loreto take up the first place in Sunday’s Irish Hockey League final in Grange Road, eventually overhauling a game Ards; Railway Union dismissed UCD on penalties to keep the double shot going
Loreto, Railway Union, UCD and Ards claimed the women’s Irish Hockey League semi-final spots on a dramatic fifth round of group matches in which Ballymoney saw their final four hopes taken away from them
Loreto struck twice in the closing minutes against Pegasus to earn a 3-3 draw that keeps them in pole position in the women’s IHL Pool A; Railway Union, Ballymoney and UCD are also well placed but nothing has been finalised as yet in either group
While the women’s Irish Hockey League’s Pool A was initially labelled the ‘Group of Death’, Ards shock win over UCD means Pool B is the most open of the competition with all six sides harbouring hopes of a final four spot.
Loreto remain the only side unbeaten in the women’s Irish Hockey League after they claimed a pair of wins this weekend; Railway and UCD’s double wins brings them back into contention while Hermes and Old Alex registered first wins of the campaign
The second weekend of this season’s Electric Ireland women’s Irish Hockey League threatens to be the making or breaking of many of the sides as the double-headers can either crush dreams or soar hopes.
Loreto bounce back to land big win over Railway and launch their IHL campaign in strong fashion; UCD felled by Ards while Hermes and Old Alex also undone by Ulster opposition as Pegasus make statement of intent
Connacht President Yvette Quinn has hailed the move to hand the province a first ever entry into the women’s Irish Hockey League as “recognition of the improving standard in the west”; Leinster league action back for round four
Arguably the toughest pool in the history of the competition for the 2012/13 season, the women’s Pool A has caused some to wonder whether a different approach to seeding is necessary for the IHL; plus Irish U-16/18 news
Hermes and YMCA needed just one game to negotiate their passage into next season’s Irish Hockey League, after the final day’s play in the men’s and women’s competitions was cancelled.
The Irish Times have reported that Paul Revington is to step down as the Irish men’s senior coach by the end of June, suggesting the IHA will announce the decision in the coming days.
Julia O’Halloran’s 52nd minute smash earned Railway Union their second national title but chaos 13 seconds from the full-time hooter is likely to prove the indelible memory from a nail-biting final