Mens Division 1
There were reasons to be cheerful for both Three Rock Rovers’ Joe Brennan and Pembroke’s Paddy Conlon following their 2-2 draw at Serpentine Avenue, accentuating the positives to Declan Hughes.
Corinthian and YMCA are the surprise names at the head of the embyronic Leinster men’s division one table as the two sides with six points from two outings.
Three Rock Rovers and Pembroke’s early season title credentials face a major test in Leinster division one as last year’s Irish Senior Cup finalists show down in the first big game of the new campaign.
Following the opening day of the new season, Dublin City FM’s Declan Hughes caught up with four of the coaches of the men’s Leinster division one sides to get their thoughts on how their side got on, speaking to Paddy Conlon, David Bane, Trevor Dagg and Mark Cullen.
Trevor Dagg’s Corinthian got their season off to a flyer as they beat his former club Avoca 3-1 in Newpark on Leinster men’s division one’s opening day; Monkstown were held 1-1 by Glenanne; Pembroke’s incision saw off Railway Union while Three Rock beat Rathgar
As the final part of The Hook’s preseason build-up, we have enlisted the help of Twitter’s finest Leinster Hockey analyst – or “Eastern Conference” as he prefers to call it – to give us his predictions for the new season!
Jack McCann runs his eye over tound one of the men’s Leinster season which features a series of well-matched fixtures with Avoca battling Corinthian, Pembroke and Railway in the Sandymount derby, and Monkstown travelling to Glenanne while Rathgar host TRR
New season and ten new-look squads begin their men’s Leinster division one campaign after an extremely busy summer of transfer dealings as the chasing pack attempt to close the gap to Monkstown, winners last year after a 40-year wait.
It has been a tricky off-season for the students. Having built a team over the last four years that can more than contest for the upper echelons of the Leinster league and enjoyed a decent maiden season in the IHL, they are now in the position of needing to restart the process
Just two seasons since recording their worst-ever performance in Leinster’s division one, Rovers bounced back brilliantly to land two cups last season and record a best league finish since 2007/08.
Tricky second season for the Chiefs, they will be hoping they can avoid the danger of a relegation playoff in their second season in the top tier.
Having nicked the fifth Irish Hockey League spot, Railway Union have grown their squad considerably with a couple of interesting new arrivals.
Four quality players out, three good replacements thus far for Pembroke as they look to break up last season’s top two of Monkstown and Three Rock in the Leinster league and win back the crown won in 2012/13.
The Irish Hockey League champions finally landed the Leinster men’s division one title last season after 32 years with a come-from-behind win over Glenanne last February at the venue where they start this year’s campaign.
With Gareth Carragher moving to Nottingham for his studies, Glenanne have added off a fine replacement between the posts in the form of Polish international Lukasz Domachowski
With their quartet of South Africans of last season not returning, Corinthian have a much more home-grown look for the upcoming season for Trevor Dagg’s first year in charge.
Promoted at short notice, Mark Cullen’s bootboys have nonetheless managed an intensive enough preseason, playing six games since they were announced as replacing Fingal in the top tie in Leinster.
The women’s draw for the first round of the Irish Senior Cup threw up two tasty ties as IHL semi-finalists from the past two seasons Railway Union and Loreto along with UCD and Ards set to meet on October 4.
UCD’s men have added the vastly experienced Mick McKinnon to their coaching set-up for the 2014/15 season, joining Rory O’Donoghue on the roster for the new campaign.
Avoca’s return to men’s Leinster division one looks set to be a huge ask but coach Mark Cullen says that his side will not have that much shorter of a preseason than anticipated ahead of the big tip-off.