EYHL Resumes As Banbridge Confirmed As EY Champions Trophy Hosts

Glenanne moved a point clear at the top of the men’s EY Hockey League as they held on for a 2-2 draw with Lisnagarvey in one of the two games in the competition to survive the frost on Saturday.

The St Andrew’s hosts took the lead in the early stages when Cedric Jakobi’s drag-flick hit the Garvey post-man’s foot on the line. Player-coach Joe Brennan stepped off the bench to score the ensuing penalty stroke before returning to the bench with 1-0 safely on the board.

Jakobi fired another down the same line for 2-0, his flick going in off the post this time for a big early advantage.

The Comber Road side, however, started to work their way back into the game with Brennan making a brilliant save off the line and Richard Couse having to scramble in defence.

The goal was coming, though, and James Lorimer’s penalty corner shot found its way in off a defensive block following a lovely switch at the top of the circle.

Matthew Nelson then levelled the game with a brilliant touch from a low drag-flick to make it 2-2, a big momentum swing before half-time as the Glens had a golden chance to make it 3-1 seconds before the leveller.

The Ulster side continued to press forward in the second half, putting the hosts under pressure, particularly when Gary Shaw and Shannon Boucher spent time in the sin-bin. Jakobi also saw yellow late on while Mark McNellis had to put in an unreal pick to deny the Glens a huge chance in the closing stages, keeping the game level to the final whistle.

The draw sees Glenanne up to 16 points, one clear of Banbridge and Pembroke but with extra games played compared to both.

At Strathearn, Annadale recorded a 3-1 win over bottom side YMCA to move up to fourth place in the league. David Tremlett put Dale in front in the opening quarter before Ryan Burgess got the first of his two goals before half-time, a lead they held into the final quarter.

Burgess and Thom Ritchie exchanged goals in the final quarter as Dale recorded their fourth win out of eight, jumping up a couple of places in the table.

YM are back in action on Tuesday evening against Three Rock Rovers at Grange Road. Rovers game at Cookstown was cancelled due to the frosty conditions over the weekend as was Banbridge’s game Pembroke and Monkstown’s tie against Cork C of I.

All four of the scheduled women’s EY Hockey League Division 2 games were called off due to the frosty conditions around the island with new dates to be sought.

Despite somewhat of a slow start to the second half of the season caused by country-side frost, certainty is assured as to where the EY Champions Trophy will take place this year. Following the laying of their new pitch, Banbridge Hockey Club will take up hosting duties for the end of season showcase event on May 4th and 5th. Banbridge have proved themselves highly capable and enthusiastic hosts, having previously hosted the EY Champions Trophy and Eurohockey League Round 1.

EY Hockey League – Round 9: Annadale 3 (R Burgess 2, C Tremlett) YMCA 1 (T Ritchie); Glenanne 2 (J Brennan, C Jakobi) Lisnagarvey 2 (J Lorimer, M Nelson)

Postponed: Cookstown v Three Rock Rovers; Banbridge v Pembroke; Monkstown v Cork C of I


Pool 1, postponed: Greenfields v Queens University, Corinthian v Trinity
Pool 2, postponed: Dungannon vs NUIG, Monkstown v Lurgan

Green Army 0-3 India

Ireland 0

India 3 (N Kaur, R Khokhar, G Kaur)

2 goals in the opening half and a third in the final minute were the undoing of Ireland as India took their chances in another even contest.

Both teams opted for the direct route in the early phases with Anna O’Flanagan sending the ball towards goal but couldn’t find a team mate to get the vital deflection inside the opening minutes. India, proving clinical throughout, got the scoreboard ticking before the end of the opening quarter from a well worked move down the left. Navjot Kaur did well to control the pass across the circle to her before sending a bobbly ball into the goal on the reverse. Nicci Daly and Sinead Loughran were both showcasing their speed and skill to evade the Indian defence but the eventual shot spun just wide of the goal. Katie Mullan was next to cause the India defence some trouble as she evaded her marker to send a crash ball into the circle but again the final touch was missing. Bethany Barr continued to impress following her recent debut in Chile and won the Green Army’s first penalty corner but a mis-trap at the top saw the chance go a begging. India got their second on the edge of half time as Liz Murphy saved the initial penalty corner shot but Reena Khokhar pounced on the loose ball and dispatched the rebound.

The Green Army continued to create chances early in the second half as Nikki Evans linked up smartly with Lizzie Colvin to win a penalty corner but a questionable foul on Lena Tice gave India the chance to clear their lines. Shirley McCay and Mullan were next to test the India resolve with a crash ball across the circle followed by another penalty corner but a good save and clearance kept India’s two goal cushion intact despite the chances building for Ireland. In a move that perhaps unfortunately epitomised Ireland’s day, Evans picked up a pass following great play from Mullan and Daly but saw her shot hit the inside of the post before ricocheting out. The final minute of the tie saw India put the game firmly to bed as Gurjit Kaur sent a powerful drag flick low into the right corner.

Starting: E Murphy, S McCay, L Tice, R Upton, Y O’Byrne, B Barr, K Mullan (captain), L Colvin, A O’Flanagan, S Torrans, N Evans

Subs: E Buckley, H Matthews, H McLoughlin, S Barr, E Beatty, N Daly, S Loughran

Schedule (all times listed are local):

1/2/19 4:30pm Ireland 1vs1 India in Hockey Santomera pitch, Murcia

3/2/19 11am Ireland 0vs3 India in Hockey Santomera pitch, Murcia

4/2/19 6:30pm Ireland vs Spain in Armilla Hockey, Granada

6/2/19 12:30pm Ireland vs Spain in Armilla Hockey, Granada

7/2/19 11am Ireland vs Spain in Armilla Hockey, Granada

Path Laid Out For Green Machine In 2019

The Green Machine path is well laid out for 2019 with FIH Series Finals in Le Touqet in June and Olympic Qualification then firmly coming into focus, there is also the Eurohockey Championships to look forward to in Belgium this August.

Ireland’s men will begin a series of training camps in the coming weeks, utilising a panel of 30 players as they prepare for the FIH Series Finals. While pools for that tournament are yet to be confirmed, they could face Chile, Egypt, France, Korea, Scotland, Singapore and Ukraine. Their first international fixture of the year will take place in Kampong against Japan in April, a side on the rise as they were crowned champions at the Asian Games last year.

Similar to last year, the Green Machine will welcome USA to Dublin in May for 2 competitive fixtures on May 24th and 26th, acting as fitting preparation with the FIH Series Finals the following month. A top two finish in Le Touqet will secure Ireland’s place at the Olympic Qualifiers in October/November (date TBC) but before sights can shift to Olympic qualification, the Eurohockey Championships in Antwerp awaits. There are no easy games at the highly competitive continental championships and Ireland sit in a challenging pool with the Netherlands, Germany and Scotland. Preparation for the Euro’s is likely to come in the form of a 4 Nations tournament in Santander in early August.

Speaking about the year ahead, head coach Alexander Cox said “I am delighted to have committed my future to Hockey Ireland and to continue working with the Green Machine at such an exciting time for hockey in Ireland. We learnt a lot from the World Cup in India and are looking forward to getting back on the pitch together and begin working towards Olympic qualification, which is our main goal for this year.

It will be a great opportunity for Irish fans to see the Green Machine at home in May when we face the USA and we are expecting 2 high quality games from an ever-improving side. We are working as a large panel of 30 at the moment which increases the competition in our selection and will begin our training camps shortly”.


1. David Harte

2. David Fitzgerald

3. Mark Ingram

4. Jamie Carr

5. Jonathan Bell

6. Conor Harte

7. Paul Gleghorne

8. Luke Madeley

9. Stuart Loughrey

10. Matthew Bell

11. Lee Cole

12. Stephen Cole

13. Shane O’Donoghue

14. Michael Robson

15. Callum Robson

16. Kirk Shimmins

17. Sean Murray

18. Daragh Walsh

19. Chris Cargo

20. Matthew Nelson

21. Jeremy Duncan

22. Eugene Magee

23. Owen Magee

24. Alan Sothern

25. Ben Walker

26. Johnny McKee

27. Peter Caruth

28. John Jackson

29. Julian Dale

30. Neal Glassey

Upcoming 2019 Fixtures:

24/4/19 Ireland vs Japan in Kampong

24th & 26th May Ireland vs USA in Dublin

15-23 June FIH Series Finals in Le Touqet, France

1/8/19-7/8/19 4 Nations in Santander (TBC)

17/8/19 Ireland vs Netherlands Eurohockey Championships in Antwerp

18/8/19 Ireland vs Scotland Eurohockey Championships in Antwerp

20/8/19 Ireland vs Germany Eurohockey Championships in Antwerp

22-25/8/19 Classification Matches Eurohockey Championships in Antwerp

Green Army 1 vs 1 India

Ireland 1 (Hawkshaw)

India 1 (Kaur)

With only one place in the world rankings between Ireland and India this was always likely to be an evenly contested clash. The Green Army welcomed back Lizzie Colvin and Shirley McCay to the fray for the first time since their historic World Cup final and Colvin was quick to make an impact in mid field; pulling defenders away to create space before releasing passes to the wings. India won an early PC and netted a goal in the opening quarter, but it was rightly disallowed after hitting an India foot. Recently capped Serena Barr was distributing the ball with ease in the Irish midfield while Hannah Matthews was on hand to dispossess the Indian attackers as they opted for the direct route. It was a powerful penalty corner drag flick from Gurjit Kaur that broke the deadlock in the first half.

Katie Mullan led the chase as Ireland searched for an equaliser with a powerful pass across the face of goal, but Aisling Naughton’s deflection went just wide of Rani’s goal. Matthews was pulling the strings in the backline and sent a pinpoint pass to Ali Meeke who calmly found Sarah Hawkshaw in front of goal for the equaliser. The experienced Indian side tested Emma Buckley on several occasions but the Racing keeper frustrated the strikers with several fine saves. Ireland had the opportunity to put the game to bed in the final moments from a penalty corner won by Anna O’Flanagan following a great team move from Sinead Loughran, Hawkshaw and Leah McGuire but the eventual effort was cleared and the sides shared the spoils in an even contest.

Starting: E Buckley, R Upton, C Brown, K Mullan, S Loughran, H McLoughlin, L Colvin, H Matthews, S Hawkshaw, A O’Flanagan, E Curran,

Subs: E Murphy, A Naughton, S McCay, S Barr, D Duke, A Meeke, L McGuire

Schedule (all times listed are local):

1/2/19 4:30pm Ireland 1vs1 India in Hockey Santomera pitch, Murcia

3/2/19 11am Ireland vs India in Hockey Santomera pitch, Murcia

4/2/19 6:30pm Ireland vs Spain in Armilla Hockey, Granada

6/2/19 12:30pm Ireland vs Spain in Armilla Hockey, Granada

7/2/19 11am Ireland vs Spain in Armilla Hockey, Granada

Tricks 4 Sticks 2019

Hockey Ireland would like to offer support to your club by running a schools programme in your area!

Benefits to you club:
– Increase in membership
– FREE up-skilling of clubs coaches / support
– FREE places on the Young Hockey Leaders Award
– Grant for running a blitz for local schools

Clubs can apply for funding from Hockey Ireland by clicking the link below:


Railway Union and Three Rock Crowned National Indoor Champions

National Indoor Finals

As can often be the case in indoor hockey, there were goals galore and tight encounters alike in this years’ National Indoor Finals at the Antrim Forum.

Railway women and Three Rock notched up double digit tallies in their respective semi-finals, while Ards had a slightly closer affair with Galway with a score of 2-0 at half time before the current title holders found another gear. Railway’s men left it late to seal their place in the final as Cookstown scored the opening goal in the second half only for Railway to come back and score three times in the final 10 minutes.

Railway’s women were looking to bring the National Indoor title back to Leinster for the first time since the start of the decade. Isobel Joyce got her side off to the ideal start inside the opening 30 seconds with a tap in in front of goal following a great baseline run and pass from Orla Fox. Fox got her own goal shortly after from the first penalty corner of the match. The experienced Railway side were relentless in their pursuit of goals and a good run by Lily Lloyd drew the initial save but Anna-May Whelan was on hand to fire home the rebound and give her side a 3-0 lead. Ards pulled a goal back as Frankie Brown’s penalty corner shot hit a defender’s foot on the line and Rebecca Weir calmly slotted home the penalty stroke. Ards started the second half well but Railway’s pace and pressure caught them on the break and Whelan got her second goal of the game. Joyce got Railway’s fifth from a seemingly impossible angle down the right-hand side. Ards had little choice but to remove their keeper and opt for a kicking back as they continued to chase the game but the open goal was taken advantage of by a Railway break and Cecilia Joyce solidified Railway’s victory and their place as champions.

The men’s final began with Railway arguably starting the brighter against Three Rock Rovers but it was the latter who took the lead as Luke Madely finished off a great team move. But a minute later and the game was level again as Eoin Macarthur flicked the ball through Carr’s legs at the other end. It was Madeley again who stuck his side out in front with a well worked penalty corner switch. Ben Walker scored somewhat of a solo wonder goal in the 19th minute following a great save from Stephen O’Keefe. Walker picked up the ball on the half way line and evaded 3 Railway defenders before scoring into the goal on his reverse to make it 3-1 at the half time whistle. Three Rock were awarded a penalty stroke as O’Keefe charged from his goal and took Jodie Hoskings out; Ross Canning scored into the corner to extend his team’s lead. Railway Union continued to make circle penetrations but had to opt for a kicking back as the clock wound down. The pace of Rovers was unyielding and characteristic of the side that took their chances today both Walker and Canning doubled their tallies to secure the 6-1 victory.



9.30am – Ladies Semi Final 1: Ashton 0v11 Railway Union

10.30am – Ladies semi Final 2: Ards 5v1 Galway

11.30am- Mens Semi Final 1: Limerick 2v17 Three Rock Rovers

12.30pm – Mens Semi Final 2: Cookstown 1v3 Railway Union

1.30pm – Ladies 3rd/4th place game: Galway 3vs3 Ashton. Galway win 2-1 in penalty shootout

2.30pm – Mens 3rd/4th place game: Cookstown 8vs3 Limerick

3.30pm – Ladies Final: Railway Union 6-1 Ards

4.45pm – Mens Final: Railway Union 1vs6 Three Rock Rovers

Hockey Wins Big At Belfast Telegraph Awards

Hockey was well represented at the Belfast Telegraph Awards with Eugene Magee, Shirley McCay and Ayeisha McFerran all picking up awards.

Special Recognition Award sponsored by O’Neill’s: Eugene Magee
Banbridge Hockey Club hero Eugene Magee has picked up an astounding 277 caps for Ireland in a stunning career. He realised his boyhood ambition by playing at the Olympic Games in 2016, won European bronze with Ireland and also played at this year’s World Cup finals.At club level, he has helped Banbridge to All Ireland league and cup trophies as well as Ulster success in the Premier League, Anderson Cup and Kirk Cup.”I was a hurling man and it was only going to Banbridge Academy that I discovered a hockey stick. I’m thankful that I did,” said the man who took up the sport at 14.”I’ve got (the 2020 Olympics) in Tokyo in mind now and we’re training hard for it. We’ll see what happens.”This is a brilliant honour.”

Malcolm Brodie Player of the Year (Gold) sponsored by Celerion: Ayeisha McFerran
The winner of the gold award for amateurs is Ireland Hockey goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran, who was named Goalkeeper of the Tournament, coming through two penalty shoot-outs on her side’s run to the World Cup final. It’s the second piece of recognition for the Ireland girls’ efforts tonight as they became the first Ireland side in any sport to reach the World Cup decider. “Sorry I can’t be there – I’m in Chile with the rest of the Ireland girls,” she said via a pre-recorded video.”It’s a massive honour to be considered among the sporting talents to come out of Northern Ireland. Thank you to everyone who considered me for the award.”

Game Changer Award sponsored by Electric Ireland: Shirley McCay
The winner of this award, to recognise the impact of a woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the local sporting landscape, is Ireland hockey hero Shirley McCay, who helped her side reach the World Cup final and won the Ulster Shield with Pegasus.Also nominated: Kirsty Hegarty, Cathy McAleer, Sinead Reel “Being the underdog, nobody rated us,” she said of Ireland’s run to the World Cup decider. “We were ranked 15 out of 16 and we were a lot more prepared to face the other teams than they were to face us. It never gets tiring watching the success we had. When we look back, it had come after a combination of a few years of failures.”Whatever my decision is (about retirement), I’ll either miss the girls or I’ll be back with them. The friendships you make are for life.” About her goal at the World Cup: “I don’t talk about mine as much as Gerry Armstrong talks about his.”

Saba Restaurants and Saba To Go announced as Official Partner

Award winning Saba Restaurants and Saba To Go have been announced as Official Partner to Hockey Ireland. With over 13 years of success in the restaurant industry, Saba are delighted to support Hockey Ireland as an Official Partner.

The Saba team are working with Hockey Ireland to provide the perfect meals and nutrition for the players on the national women’s team. Saba will be fuelling the Ireland’s women’s team at their training sessions and games in Ireland as they prepare for upcoming competitions and qualifications for the Olympics in Tokyo 2020.

Saba are currently celebrating their annual ‘Caveman Month’. During January, Saba offers a healthy and nutritious paleo inspired menu available in both Saba restaurants and our three Saba To Go takeaways. With health and fitness at the top of our customers minds at the start of the New Year, Saba are delighted to announce this partnership with Hockey Ireland, so they too can enjoy Saba’s healthy and nutritious authentic Thai and Vietnamese food.

Saba’s Owner Paul Cadden has said: “We are very proud to partner Hockey Ireland for the upcoming years and support this inspiring group of players. They have had an amazing year reaching the World Cup Finals, a first for any Irish team and also winning RTE Sports Team of the Year and Graham Shaw winning Manager of the Year. This team are very ambitious, and we are delighted to play our part to help them achieve their goals and inspire the next generation of players. In a game where small margins can improve performance, we hope Saba’s food gives them that extra 1%, fuelling the Green Army towards the Olympics in Tokyo 2020.”

Hockey Ireland’s CEO Jerome Pels has said: “We are delighted to have Saba Restaurants and Saba To Go come on board as an Official Partner. Saba offers high quality, nutritious meals that are ideal for our senior women’s team while they prepare to compete on the world stage. Saba chefs have been working closely with our management and nutritional staff to ensure the Green Army will be fuelled to the highest standard. We very much look forward to working together over the coming years”.

Match To Celebrate Gormleys Career To Take Place In Pembroke

One of Ireland’s greatest players of all time is to play one last game in the green jersey with Ronan Gormley’s career set to be celebrated on January 5.

A special match between an Ireland select team and a Pembroke selection will take place at Serpentine Avenue at 3pm on the day, offering a great occasion for the Irish hockey public to pay tribute to a true great.

He retired from international hockey earlier this year following 13 years in the Irish setup earlier in 2018 having played 256 times for Ireland, captaining the side 121 times.

Gormley was part of the first Irish team to medal at the European Championships in 2015 as well as playing at the Rio Olympics in 2016 among many highlights.

For the celebration, an array of Gormley’s teammates from throughout his playing career will turn out for one last time and all are welcome for what promises to be a fitting send.

The list includes players from All-Ireland winning days at Pembroke and history-making days with the Green Machine as well as his illustrious club career on the continent which saw him win an EHL silver medal with Madrid’s Club de Campo.

The game will involve both current and past Irish internationals who are all looking forward to a fun yet competitive day out.

The game will be played at 3pm on January 5 at Pembroke Wanderers, Serpentine Avenue and all are welcome.

The organisers are encouraging kids to bring sticks as they will be welcome on the pitch at half-time and face painting and a bouncy castle will make this a great family occasion.