In the week when Olympic qualification was assured after a 108-year wait, Hockey Ireland will hope the sport can capitalise on the marquee acheivement with an upsurge in interest in the sport. For the clubs, the first chance to provide a showcase for the game is Saturday’s opening round of the Irish Senior Cup
Ireland continue their three-game series this evening against Argentina at Serpentine Avenue; there is also a full programme of Leinster league games in Division 1 as YM, Corinthian and Clontarf look to build on their good starts to the campaign
Corinthian made it two out of two in men’s Leinster Division One, winning 6-2 from a potentially tricky away fixture against Kilkenny; UCD, Clontarf, YMCA, Dublin University and Avoca were also winners on day two of the new season
Over a dozen members of the extended Irish men’s panel will lock horns in the marquee men’s EY Hockey League clash between Lisnagarvey and Monkstown at Comber Road tomorrow.
Clontarf player-coach Gareth Borland struck late to nab a big three points for the Bulls against Avoca on day one of Leinster men’s Division One in what is anticipated to be one of the tussles for a top five spot.
The new look men’s Leinster Division One gets underway tomorrow with the battle to claim a place in the EY Hockey League a key target for a number of last year’s remaining Division One side.
Clontarf claimed their first national title on Saturday as they landed the Irish Hockey Trophy title in hugely contentious circumstances ahead of Bandon at Belfield.
Six national finals provide the grand finale to the Irish hockey club season with the Irish Junior, Trophy and Challenge finals all playing out at Belfield over the weekend.
A sixth different men’s Irish Senior Cup champions in six years will be declared on Sunday as Railway Union, Cork C of I, Banbridge and Pembroke lock horns in the final four at Belfield; Fingal and Clontarf battle for IHT final spot; four LHA finals up for grabs
Most eyes will be on Serpentine Avenue as the battle for the final Irish Hockey League semi-final place will be played out by Pembroke and Instonians, bidding to join Three Rock Rovers and all-but-qualified reigning champions Monkstown in the final four.
Rory Nichols fired seven goals in two days to propel Monkstown II over the line in men’s Leinster Division Two with two emphatic wins on the final weekend of the season.
After two nines and an eight-goal haul, Clontarf broke double-figures on Saturday with a 10-0 win over Corinthian II to complete their division two league season in style; Monkstown II remain in the box seat after they emerged from the weekend with four more points to their name.
The men’s proposed restructure was outlined on Wednesday evening at the LHA forum with Clontarf, Fingal, Kilkenny and Dublin University – along with possibly Weston or Mullingar – set to form part of the Leinster men’s division one next season.
The four first teams from Leinster’s women’s division two – namely Muckross, Avoca, Rathgar and Genesis – look set to be promoted to division one when the expanded Irish Hockey League comes into effect next season.
Monkstown II got over probably the highest of their remaining hurdles to look clear favourites for the Leinster men’s division two title after they beat Pembroke II.
Barring a huge upset, Monkstown will be crowned Leinster division one champions on Saturday evening as they need just a point against basement side Rathgar. The IHL debate, though, continues to rumble on in Ulster with vice chairman Stuart MacDonnell resigning in midweek
A last minute winner from Jazze Henry saw Monkstown beat YMCA 2-1 and move a step closer to winning Leinster’s division one; TRR and Railway tie in dramatic fashion; Pembroke land IHL place while Rathgar and Glenanne also win; Town IIs also progress title hopes
The men’s Irish Junior Cup semi-final picture cleared up to some extent with Monkstown II and Lisnagarvey II confirming their spots in the final four while Annadale and Cookstown moved into the quarter-finals over the weekend.
The top four all showdown in men’s Leinster division one, something that will give the IHL chasers plenty of hope that they can close the gap for a place in next year’s marquee competition.
As a result of Three Rock and Monkstown’s 2-2 draw, Pembroke took advantage to pick up two wins and move top of men’s Leinster division two in another twist in the title race.