Mens Division 1
YMCA’s five-goal second half performance broke the will of a gutsy UCD performance, overturning an early deficit to move up to second place in the early season standings.
Joe Brennan netted three goals in five minutes to see Glenanne over the line in an 11-goal battle with Monkstown in the men’s division one. Elsewhere, there were draws at Whitechurch Park and Belfield while Fingal overturned a two-goal deficit in Weston.
Monkstown’s credentials will undergo severe scrutiny this weekend in Tallaght as they travel to face Glenanne in the Gerry McCabe Cup fixture between the sides occupying the top two rungs of the league. Elsewhere, there is men’s division two; women’s division one and girl’s interprovincial action in the province.
Weston club chairman Emmett Hutchin describes Saturday’s first ever division one home fixture against Fingal as “an extremely significant” occasion for the Lucan club after 63 years rising through the divisions to take their place at the top table
Monkstown and Glenanne top the table after two rounds of the men’s division one as they ousted Railway and Fingal but had it far from all their own way. Three Rock won the Rathfarnham derby while Pembroke beat Weston.
Inauspicious starts to the season add to the usual tension between Three Rock Rovers and Corinthian as the sides from either end of the Marlay Park look to break their seasonal duck at Grange Road on Saturday.
Glenanne and Monkstown need last-gasp strikes to down Pembroke and Three Rock with the odd goal in three in the Men’s Division One while Railway waltz to Fingal win and YM get the better of Weston
The time for calling 8-3 preseason defeats as “learning experiences” and claiming “it’s only the Neville Cup” is over as the Leinster division one season’s tip off this weekend. The Hook is here to provide the runners and riders for the site’s fourth season covering Leinster hockey.
Improving each year since taking the job, Trevor Dagg is the longest serving coach still doing the rounds in Leinster division one and his brief will be to consolidate on last year’s top five breach.
In their 63rd year, Weston make their debut appearance in the top flight in the province with many people touting the warning signs following Clontarf’s rise from division two a year ago.
Following a season in which 14 players left to go travelling or for foreign clubs, Three Rock will be hoping for a more settled season this year under the steadying hand of Arul Anthoni.
Railway take the field this season without Paul O’Brien who finally steps down from the first team after an incredible stint in the first team, dating back to the 1980s.
Losing nigh on 600 caps of international experience and the guts of the side that claimed eight titles in the past two seasons has placed Pembroke in the rare role of underdogs for the Leinster title.
Time for a breakthrough for Monkstown and the conditions will scarcely be more agreeable in September than this year. Ireland U-18 Kyle Good – should he avoid injury which limited his first team appearances to a mere handful last year – could be a powerful addition while finally nabbing Robbie McFarlane from UCD adds another scoring option.
As the top side to suffer least from player departures, Glenanne take on the mantle of favourites this season even in spite of Stephen Butler’s departure.
As one of the clubs with the smallest turnover of players, Fingal look a decent bet to improve on last year’s form – the best of which was reserved for the Mills Cup.
Following up the heroics of last season was always going to be tough. Doing so without three central figures will be even harder as drag-flicker Brian Doherty’s Belgian move and Darren Kimfley’s invention robs a huge amount of goals.
Pembroke advanced to the second round of the Neville Cup on penalty strokes, as did Railway Union against Corinthian. Fingal won 3-1 in Lucan while Clontarf won the battle of the division two sides.
As the Neville Cup eases Leinster hockey back into gear this weekend, the question marks raised after a raft of summer transfers will have their first tangible form of answer on Saturday.
Tim Lewis confirmed his move to Crefelder HTC in Germany this morning to The Hook, meaning Pembroke’s opening Leinster senior league tie with Glenanne will have an ever more new-look. Meanwhile, the Leinster Branch released the early season fixtures with all the details here