Rob Abbott Indoor Season Recap 2019/2020

For many years Rob Abbott has been the driving force of Indoor Hockey as chair of the Indoor Competitions. His hard work is paying off as you can read below in the article summarising a very exciting season! He’s provided us with a recap of the whole Indoor season. Thanks Rob!

Starting off with the Provinces.

Leinster

Leinster saw its biggest League to date, with 22 Senior teams featuring, 12 on the Women’s side and 10 on the Men’s. After 8 days of group games and knock out stages. The semi-finals on the Women’s side were won by Muckross, who defeated UCD 3-2 in a shootout after an epic 5-5 draw, with Sophie Barnwell stealing the show with a hat-trick for Muckross. In the other semi-final Railway Union defeated North Kildare 4-0. The final was won by an experienced Railway side, who defeated Muckross 2-1. Lilly Lloyd and Lisa McCarthy scoring, Charly flavin scoring for Muckross – who missed a late stroke.

The men’s semi-finals saw Three Rock Rovers (TRR) defeat Monkstown 3-2 in a sudden death shoot out after a 5-5 draw in play, with Darragh Walsh netting an overtime corner to take it to a shootout. In the other semi-final Railway overcame a youthful YMCA side, they were trailing 4-2, but fought back to win 6-4. The men’s final was a goal fest, with TRR prevailing 14-7. All finalists from Leinster qualified for the HI finals.

Leinster also hosted a senior girls school tournament in which, Kings Hospital defeated Mount Temple in the final. On weds 26th January, their was a u14 school-girls tournament hosted by Drogheda Grammar, who went on to beat Muckross 6 -2 in the final. In March a senior boy’s tournament is to be hosted by Columba’s College.

Portrane hosted their under 14 tournament throughout January. A huge thanks to the Henchy Family and all the volunteers who make this a cracking event, with more and more teams entering each year.

Connacht

Connacht also ran a successful Women’s competition in which Galway hockey won. They defeated NUIG in the final 7-3, with Emma Glanville standing out. Galway qualified for the national finals.

Munster

Munster were the last of the provinces to make an Indoor come back after years away from the game. This year they run a Men’s competition in which Limerick defended their title. They won all 4 of their matches, racking up a total of 29 goals! Unfortunately, no Women’s competition was run, but with a few new volunteers on board – I hope to see a return of a Women’s Indoor comp next year as well as more growth on the Men’s side.

Ulster

Ulster Hockey, as usual, ran 2 very successful underage tournaments, u15 and u18s for both boys and girls, with a senior competition also organised.

Ards were successful on the Women’s side coming top of a 4-team group. Banbridge prevailed on goal difference on the Men’s side. Both teams qualified for the National finals.

National Finals

The National Finals were hosted in the Kingfisher, NUIG. All the matches throughout the day were live streamed on the Eurohockeytv platform, with the voice of hockey Nick Irvine on commentary. Viewing figures for the day were just shy of 4000 – with 49 countries tuning in.

Railway Union Women’s retained their title for the 2nd year in a row by beating Muckross 2-0 in the final, Hannah de Burgh Whyte and Emma Smyth both scoring.

Railway’s Men defeated champions of the previous 4 years TRR in a dramatic shoot out. after the game finished 3-3. Bjorn Dasse standing out, by netting a hat-trick for Railway who came from 3-0 down.

Both Railway teams, will now go on to Represent Hockey Ireland in euro club competitions in Feb 2021.

Mens results

Railway 7 Limerick 1

TRR 10 Banbridge 2

Final – TRR 3 Railway 3, Railway won 1-0 in a shoot out

Women’s Results

Railway 3 Galway 0

Muckross 3 Ards 1

Final- Railway 2 Muckross 0

 


International teams

Women’s – 2019 /20 season saw the return of the International team, for the 1st time since 1990. The Women’s ventured down to south Africa for a 6-test series, which was great practice for their European venture. On the trip, they ran South Africa very close, but could not get a victory.

Their European campaign was a huge success though, they finished in 2nd spot in Bratislava, bringing home the silver medal and promotion to European 2nd division – in Jan 2022. They won 5 of the 6 games, beating Finland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Denmark, and Portugal. Losing to Spain. The team were coached by Dave Passmore and Mike Hughes, with Gareth Myburg as manager. Over the season, 17 women became senior International Indoor players.

Men’s – the Men returned to International action for the 1st time since 1987. Their European campaign was in Santander, Spain. In which they finished 3rd and bought home the Bronze Medal. Unfortunately for the men, 3rd spot was not enough for promotion. They drew with Wales and beat Slovenia in the group, losing to Spain and Scotland. In the bronze medal match we beat Wales 2-1. The team were coached by Kenny Carroll and Craig Stewart, with Rob Abbott as Manager. 12 players earned International caps.

European Club Indoor

Three Rock Rovers men ventured to Alanya, Turkey for the Euro Club Trophy. It was the first time in 27 years that were had a team in the B league. TRR managed to finish 6th out of 8th and maintain Hockey Ireland’s status in the league for 2021. After losing their first 3 games against English, Croatian and Dutch teams, TRR drew against Lousada (Portugal) meaning that they had to beat Swiss Champions Rotweiss Wettigen (only relegated to the league last year) in the final game to stay up. They managed to put in their best performance of the week with a 5-4 win. Stephen West saving a last-minute stroke!

Well Done to Liam Canning and Scott Crombie who coach the side, and Fraser Morris as manager.

Railway Union Women’s ventured to Porto, Portugal for the Euro Challenge 1 event. The finished in 2nd place and earned promotion to the Trophy for 2021. They beat Swedish, Portuguese, and Welsh opposition, drawing with Georgians and losing to eventual winners Dundee from Scotland. Orla Fox and Kate Dillon both featured in the top 5 scorers of the tournament.

Hockey Ireland Youth Panel

Hockey Ireland is seeking young passionate people, between the ages of 18-30, based throughout Ireland, to apply to become a member of our new Youth Panel.

The Hockey Ireland Youth Panel, part of our volunteer strategy funded by the Sport Ireland Women in Sport Programme, aims to offer a voice for young leaders in hockey, offering the opportunity to develop personal leadership skills. Coming onto the Youth Panel offers the following opportunities:

– Up-skilling in relevant leadership areas
– Mentoring from experts
– Gain experience in project and event management
– Potential opportunities to travel and learn from other national associations

For more information, email Sarah at marketing@hockey.ie

Deadline 13th March 2020.

EYHL Women’s Round Up. 23rd Feb 2020

For a third week running, there is a different club on top of the women’s EY Hockey League which continues to throw up dramatic twists and turns.

Old Alex are the side leading the way now on goal difference following their hard-fought 2-0 win over Muckross in Milltown as penalty corner goals from Jeamie Deacon and Millie O’Donnell forged their path to victory.

It means they have 16 points from the last 18 available and sees them jump above Pegasus and Loreto who both dropped points over the weekend.

Performance of the round came in Limerick where Catholic Institute dominated their tie against Pegs to beat the Ulster side for the first time in their 110-year history, running out 4-2 victors.

They had most of the play in the first half but went in level at 1-1 but a scoring spree from Laura Foley, Roisin Upton and Naomi Carroll saw them burst into a 4-1 lead which they saw out.

Insta remain in eighth place but have put daylight between themselves and the relegation playoff place as a result.

UCD and Loreto traded first half goals between Sarah Young and Hannah Matthews to draw their meeting at Belfield 1-1. It leaves Loreto in third place, one point off the leaders, and UCD stay in fourth spot six points back.

Cork Harlequins, meanwhile, continued their excellent run since Christmas with a third win out of four to transform their fortunes from a perilous position to a playoff pursuit.

They trailed to Jenna Watt’s early goal but strikes from Michelle Barry and Emily O’Leary turned things around in the second half for a 2-1 win over Belfast Harlequins.

Railway Union’s date with Pembroke was postponed due to the former being in Portugal to contest the EuroHockey Indoor Challenge I. Pembroke will play on Wednesday night against Muckross while there are two matches on Thursday – Dublin derbies between Old Alex and UCD along with Railway Union against Loreto.

EYHL Division 1: Catholic Institute 4 (C O’Shea, L Foley, R Upton, N Carroll) Pegasus 2 (E Armstrong, T Doherty); Cork Harlequins 2 (M Barry, E O’Leary) Belfast Harlequins 1 (J Watt); Old Alex 2 (J Deacon, M O’Donnell) Muckross 0; UCD 1 (S Young) Loreto 1 (H Matthews)

This week’s fixtures:

Wednesday, February 26: Muckross v Pembroke, Muckross Park, 8pm

Thursday, February 27: Old Alex v UCD, Milltown, 7.45pm; Railway Union v Loreto, Park Avenue, 8.30pm

Saturday, February 28: Loreto v Catholic Institute, Beaufort, 1.15pm; Belfast Harlequins v Railway Union, Deramore Park, 2.30pm; Old Alex v Cork Harlequins, Milltown, 2.30pm; Pembroke v Pegasus, Serpentine Avenue, 2.30pm; UCD v Muckross, Belfield, 2.50pm

Women’s EYHL – day 11 match reports

Old Alex 2 (J Deacon, M O’Donnell) Muckross 0

Old Alex became the third different leader of the women’s EY Hockey League in 2020 as they made it 16 points out of the last 18 available, putting them ahead of Pegasus on goal difference.

Alex were on top in the early stages, winning a couple of corners as Nikki Evans, Orna Bools and Deirdre Duke offered a threat while Emile Ryan Doyle and Audrey O’Flynn impressed at the back.

Jeamie Deacon put them in front from a third corner, Millie O’Donnell’s disguised pass finding the touch for 1-0. Muckross came more into in the third quarter with a rocket shot from Anna O’Flanagan blocked at Pam Smithwick at point blank range.

She also dealt with Sarah McAuley’s disguised shot before O’Donnell got the crucial second goal with less than four minutes to go with a cool finish. It came from a mistrapped corner which she took on, spinning around the first runner and slapped in.

Smithwick kept her clean sheet with a fine stop from Jessica McGirr to maintain the 2-0 lead.

Catholic Institute 4 (C O’Shea, L Foley, R Upton, N Carroll) Pegasus 2 (E Armstrong, T Doherty)

Catholic Institute continued their super run of form to beat the league leaders Pegasus for the first time in the club’s 110-year history, adding to their excellent run of seven points from the last nine available.

Both sides were down personnel with Shirley McCay sustaining a couple of broken toes last week – though she is due to return soon – while youth internationals Niamh McIvor, Charlotte Beggs (both Pegasus) and Sarah Fitzgerald (Insta) rested after their weeks’ exertions.

Christine O’Shea put the Limerick side 1-0 up in the 12th minute but Ella Armstrong replied soon after for the Ulster side; it remained 1-1 through to half time despite non-stop pressure from the hosts.

But they went back in front a minute into the second half when Laura Foley forced home from a barrage of shots, Megan Todd saving twice before the ball the forward’s way. Roisin Upton made it 3-1 five minutes later for an imposing advantage and the win was made safe from the moment of the day.

Naomi Carroll got on the end of some quick passing to lift the ball out of a few tackles with some neat 3D skills and then clipped home with an upright reverse-stick shot. Taite Doherty pulled one back with five minutes left but Insta had their win.

Cork Harlequins 2 (M Barry, E O’Leary) Belfast Harlequins 1 (J Watt)

Cork won the battle of the Harlequins to make it four wins from their last five games, moving them level with fifth placed Pembroke having been in the relegation playoff spot before this recent run.

They trailed early on to a Jenna Watt goal and it might have been worse in the second quarter but they survived rhe concession of a penalty stroke which Watt was unable to convert.

Belfast were the side in the ascendancy, playing some strong hockey while Cork looked dangerous on the counter and they got level from that route. Belfast had a couple of corners only for the hosts to race out of defence to set up Michelle Barry to whip home the equaliser in the 40th minute.

And in a dramatic last six minutes, Barry was shown a yellow card but her side managed to get the winner from a penalty corner courtesy of Emily O’Leary.

UCD 1 (S Young) Loreto 1 (H Matthews)

UCD and Loreto shared the spoils to leave them in fourth and third place, respectively, after their high octane draw at Belfield. Sarah Young put the students in front in the 22nd minute of a fairly tight first half with few chances.

But Loreto were back on terms on the half hour when Hannah Matthews slotted a penalty stroke and while the students had the best of the second half openings, a Niamh Carey shot flashed wide while the Beaufort side’s corner defence held firm to keep the game level.

EYHL Men’s Round Up. 23rd Feb 2020

YMCA produced a cracking second half performance to move out of the relegation playoff spot as they beat fifth place UCD 4-0 on Saturday, boosting their chances of staying up.

After a scoreless first half, Ross Henderson netted either side of a Grant Glutz reverse-stick goal before Eric Prehn completed the rout.

The result lifted them above Pembroke who fell 3-2 to Glenanne on a tough day for the Serpentine Avenue club. The game was preceded by a minute’s silence for Ken Treacy who passed away on Thursday in Beaumont Hospital at the age of 37 – he was a member of Pembroke’s all-conquering teams of the 2000s.

On the field, the Glens built a 3-0 lead through Stephen Brownlow, Brad Venter and Stu Ronan before two late Alan Sothern goals cut the deficit.

Three Rock Rovers recorded four points from their two games over the weekend. On Saturday, they drew 2-2 with Banbridge in a game of contrasting halves – Rovers led 2-0 at the break through James Kyriakides and Mitch Darling but Bann stormed back through brothers Philip and Peter Brown for the draw.

On Sunday, Darling struck again with five minutes to go to win a nail-biter at Belfield 2-1 after Guy Sarratt and Ross Canning traded first half goals. The result has Rovers four points clear of UCD in fourth place in the chase for EY Champions Trophy spots.

Monkstown, meanwhile, fought back from a first minute concession to beat Corinthian 5-1 and cut the gap to Lisnagarvey to five points at the top. The reds went 1-0 up via Calum Adair but Rory Nichols and Davy Carson swapped the lead before the end of the first quarter and second half goals from Geoff Cole, Carson and Andrew Fogarty made the game safe.

Garvey and Annadale’s top versus bottom match was postponed until March 28.

Men’s EYHL Division 1 – day 11 results

Saturday: Glenanne 3 (S Brownlow, B Venter, S Ronan) Pembroke Wanderers 2 (A Sothern 2); Monkstown 5 (D Carson 2, R Nichols, G Cole, A Fogarty) Corinthian 1 (C Adair); Three Rock Rovers 2 (J Kyriakides, M Darling) Banbridge 2 (Philip Brown, Peter Brown); YMCA 4 (R Henderson 2, G Glutz, E Prehn) UCD 0

Sunday: UCD 1 (G Sarratt) Three Rock Rovers 2 (R Canning, M Darling)

Next week’s fixtures – Saturday, February 29: UCD v Glenanne, Belfield, 1pm; Corinthian v Three Rock Rovers, Whitechurch Park, 2pm; Banbridge v YMCA, Havelock Park, 2.45pm; Annadale v Pembroke, Strathearn, 4pm; Monkstown v Lisnagarvey, ALD Merrion Fleet Arena, 4.15pm

Men’s EYHL – Day 11 extended reports

Saturday

Glenanne 3 (S Brownlow, B Venter, S Ronan) Pembroke Wanderers 2 (A Sothern 2)

Glenanne picked up their first win since early October with a 3-2 success at St Andrew’s in a match preceded by a minute’s silence in honour of Ken Treacy, a stalwart of Pembroke’s golden generation of the 2000s.

Stephen Brownlow opened the scoring with a low drag-flick and it was 2-0 at half-time following a lovely interchange between Jonny McCormack and Brad Venter ended with the latter blasting a rising shot into the top right corner.

Another classy move down the right wing between McCormack and Brownlow ended with Stu Ronan flicking home amid the scattered Pembroke defence for 3-0 early in the second half.

Alan Sothern got one back with a brilliant first time backhand volley, keeping his eye on the ball after a few flailing sticks missed out on a bouncing ball. Sothern then added a drag-flick to cut the gap to 3-2 but they drop to ninth place in the table while the Glens move up to seventh overall.

YMCA 4 (R Henderson 2, G Glutz, E Prehn) UCD 0

YMCA’s stunning second half show saw them leap out of ninth place above Pembroke as Ross Henderson grabbed a double for the Ballinteer outfit. The first half was scoreless with the teams exchanging penalty corners but the goals started to flow in the second half with Henderson providing an immaculate finish for 1-0.

Grant Glutz’s reverse made it two and they were flying high when Henderson got on the end of some great build-up play from Sam Hyland. Eric Prehn then defied gravity to score his first of the season from close to the baseline for the fourth in the closing minutes.

Monkstown 5 (D Carson 2, R Nichols, G Cole, A Fogarty) Corinthian 1 (C Adair)

Monkstown came back from a goal down to beat Corinthian 5-1 at the ALD Merrion Fleet Arena, cutting Lisnagarvey’s lead at the top back to five points, albeit with a game extra played.

Calum Adair netted for the reds in the first minute when Peter Caruth took a quick free which the teenager controlled before hitting home into the backboard. Town were level in the ninth minute thanks to a Rory Nichols drag-flick.

And it was 2-1 before the end of the first quarter with some pretty impressive skills and touches from Davy Carson put him in position to lob the ball over Charlie Henderson. The second quarter remained scoreless before Town ran riot in the second half. Ross Quirke was fed by Karl Lynch whose quick pass was lifted over a stick by Geoff Cole and then hit into the backboard.

Andrew Fogarty made it 4-1 in the 51st minute with a lovely spin and turn in front of goal and the scoring was complete with five minutes left when Keith Kenning took the ball down impressively and passed to Gareth Watkins. A lovely run down the right ended with a pass to a diving Quirke who crossed for Carson to finish with a clever touch.

Three Rock Rovers 2 (J Kyriakides, M Darling) Banbridge 2 (Philip Brown, Peter Brown)

Two wildly contrasting halves of hockey ended up with a probably deserved share of the spoils with both sides leaving Grange Road with a few regrets.

Just days after announcing his international retirement, Bann’s Eugene Magee said his side need to find the happy medium between structure and throwing caution to the wind after a timid first half saw them on the back foot.

“It is about that balance; we perhaps lacked the latter in the first half but gained a bit in the second half and had our chances to win the game but it wasn’t to be.”

Three Rock coach Elun Hack agreed to an extant: “Each team won one half and a draw is a fair reflection. Frustrating because the first half we were good at executing our game plan; we have identified areas we need to improve and the first half we were very good and difficult to break down.

“The second half we deviated from the game plan and paid the price. Banbridge are obviously a quality outfit so to go 2-0 up was a big positive but the draw is disappointing.”

Three Rock bossed the first half with Bann keeping out a couple of corners before James Kyriakides put the hosts on the board from a heavily deflected shot after Mitch Darling’s driving run spread the defence.

Darling then made it 2-0 with a solo second, taking a free quickly, going parallel to the circle before unleashing a backhand to the bottom corner.

Bann created next to nothing in that half but, with a much more aggressive press in the second half, they came to the party in a big way in the second half. Philip Brown slammed in a corner in the 39th minute from their first shot in earnest.

His chance to repeat the trick three minutes later was charged down brilliantly by Ben Walker, something which became a feature as the half went on with David Kane and Harry Morris also shutting out corners with the full face of their sticks.

The equaliser was not long in coming, though, as an overload down the right saw the ball worked into the centre to Peter Brown – who is enjoying life this term in the forward line – and he wriggled this way and that to evade Jody Hosking’s tackle and squeezed in a shot.

Bann were rampant and the third quarter time break was a relief for Rovers who steadied and they almost nicked in front when Walker deflected, first time, a long overhead just wide. Banbridge had a couple of corners but the defence was rigid and it stayed at 2-2.

Sunday: UCD 1 (G Sarratt) Three Rock Rovers 2 (R Canning, M Darling)

Three Rock Rovers came from a goal down to beat UCD and develop a four point gap between the sides in the chase for EY Champions Trophy places. The students went in front thanks to a Guy Sarratt drag-flick in the 25th minute but the lead only lasted a short while as Ross Canning got a running deflection from an excellent cross by David Kane.

That left it at 1-1 at half-time while the third quarter was largely spent swapping cards. Mitch Darling then cracked home his second of the weekend from the top of the circle to make it 2-1 with five minutes to go.

UCD had a couple of corners to make a difference but Ben Walker’s running number one and Conor Quinn in goal combined to keep them out. Conor Empey impressed for the students in an effective attacking role but Jody Hosking and James Kyriakides were solid in defensive roles for Rovers. It was UCD’s third successive defeat as they struggle to regain the momentum from the first half of the season.

Launch of WIS Performance Coach Development Programme

Hockey Ireland is delighted to announce the launch of our new coaching initiative, the Performance Coach Development Programme, which is being piloted this year with the aim of supporting and developing female coaches to work at senior club, interprovincial or international level.

The programme, funded by Sport Ireland’s Women in Sport Programme, will run for 2020 and is open to female coaches who are already coaching at, or have a desire to coach, at performance level. Coaches will work with a team of experienced mentors across a 12-month period with a focus on developing key aspects of performance coaching both on and off the field.

We are looking to engage an initial 6-12 female coaches for this mentoring programme with options to further develop through our core coach education programmes and potentially through EHF-led programmes such as Coaches 4 Europe or Top Coaches Programme. So, if you are a female coach already working at or with ambition to coach at performance level, what are you waiting for?

If you would like to register your interest, please contact Phil Oakley on phil.oakley@hockey.ie and include a detailed description of your coaching career to date and outline your coaching ambitions. The deadline to register your interest is Monday March 2nd 2020.

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Eugene Magee Officially Retires from International Hockey

Having made his debut for Ireland in 2005 against Belgium, Magee since received 295 caps for Ireland before officially deciding to retire from International Hockey. With over 60 goals scored for Ireland, and a self-described career high of scoring against Germany in the Olympics in Rio 2016, Magee informed team-mates and management of his decision late last week.

Men’s Head Coach, Mark Tumilty, who has also worked with Eugene for a number of years with Banbridge Hockey Club, described Eugene as “a fantastic servant to Irish Hockey, [having] played a key role in the success of the team over the last decade. Eugene will rightly be regarded as one of the best to have worn the green shirt.

An exceptional hockey player, team-mate and person. It has been a pleasure to work with Eugene at club and more recently at international level and I wish him and his family all the best with his retirement from international hockey.”

Magee retires as Irish Hockey’s most capped Men’s player. He was an integral part of Ireland Men’s historic return to competing in the Olympics in 2016, as well as their return to the World Cup last year having failed to reach that level since 1990. He scored twice in the Olympic Qualifier sudden death shootout in Canada last year, as well as scoring in a famous 4-2 win over England at the European Championships back in 2015.

“After much consideration, I have decided to retire from international hockey,” said Eugene, “I have enjoyed 15 years as part of the Irish Men’s hockey team and it has been my privilege to represent my country among so many talented players.

To be able to play hockey with your friends is one thing but to compete on an international scale takes a huge amount of work from a lot of people and to them I am truly grateful. To all the coaches, players, physiotherapists, doctors, psychologists, physiologists, nutritionists, strength and conditioning coaches, managers, hockey Ireland background staff, equipment sponsors, financial sponsors, employers, home hosters and the wider hockey family, I would like to say huge thank you.

I would also like to publicly acknowledge my support network at home, particularly my parents and my wife Aoibhne, without whom I would not have enjoyed the career I have had.

Through many years there have been ups and downs but overall, I have loved the experience. International hockey has been a huge part of my life and although it will feel strange to retire, I feel very privileged to have gained all the experiences I have had and to have played my part for the team. I now look forward to exciting times ahead with a young family and watching the incredible talent in this team develop.

It has been an honour to wear the Irish shirt.”

Eugene’s advice to young hockey players over the years has been “Play with freedom, hard work and a smile and the rest will take care of itself.”

RIP Jean Kilcoyne (Corrigan)

Hockey Ireland extend deepest sympathy to the family of Jean Kilcoyne (Corrigan) who died on Saturday following a long illness.

Jean was an international umpire and former President of South East & was hugely involved in the Development of Carlow Hockey club

https://rip.ie/death-notice/jean-kilcoyne-rathvilly-carlow/413744#!photo

Men’s EYHL Weekend Round-Up 16 February 2020

Lisnagarvey’s lead at the top of the men’s EY Hockey League stretched out to eight points after their comfortable 5-2 win over Pembroke and Banbridge’s 4-3 success over Monkstown.

For Garvey, Andy Williamson’s hat trick of penalty corner goals made the difference as he put them on the board early in the game. Johnny Lynch added to that before Alan Sothern – who ended the game with 10 goals in four games – got one back but two more from Williamson and one from Daniel Nelson put them out of sight.

That put their lead at eight points on Saturday evening and Monkstown were unable to make any inroads on Sunday as Banbridge’s great start proved just about enough for victory.

They built a 3-1 lead in the first quarter with Philip Brown flicking in two corners to add to Josh Moffett’s goal inside the first 30 seconds.

Owen Magee banged in another for a 4-1 lead with 10 minutes to go before Geoff Cole and Rory Nichols set the nerves jangling but Bann held on for a fifth win in a row.

Corinthian were the other side to register a win as Ian Stewart, Glennn Holmes and Andrew Sutton scored in a 3-1 win at bottom side Annadale.

That success puts them within two points of the top four thanks to seven points from the nine available thus far in 2020.

Glenanne’s date with YMCA was abandoned in the third quarter due to a waterlogged pitch with the score locked at 0-0.

In EYHL2, Cork C of I were moments away from earning a guaranteed semi-final spot with two games to go but had to settle for a 2-2 draw at Railway Union. They remain top of the group with Inst moving into second place courtesy of an 8-1 win over Avoca.

In Pool B, Clontarf jumped up into top spot with a 5-0 win over previous leaders Cork Harlequins. Quins remain in second, though, due to Cookstown’s 5-3 loss to Kilkeel.

Weekend results
EYHL Division 1: Annadale 1 (W Aston) Corinthian 3 (I Stewart, G Holmes, A Sutton); Pembroke 2 (A Sothern 2) Lisnagarvey 5 (A Williamson 3, D Nelson, J Lynch); Banbridge 4 (B McCandless 2, J Moffett, O Magee) Monkstown 3 (G Watkins, G Cole, R Nichols); Glenanne v YMCA – match abandoned at 0-0 in third quarter

EYHL Division 2 – Pool A: Instonians 8 (S Kelso 2, S Hamill, M Watt, Brown, C Kirk, W Robinson, B Palmer) Avoca 1 (H Fowler-Hudson); Railway Union 2 (M McKenzie, M Fulham) Cork C of I 2 (J Jermyn 2)

Pool B: Clontarf 5 (D Keuter 2, J Edmonds, K Mullins, K Murray) Cork Harlequins 0; Kilkeel 5 (D Finlay, E Agnew, J Finlay, M Henning, D Rae) Cookstown 3 (S Smith, S McCabe, R Miller)

Next week’s men’s EYHL fixtures

Saturday, February 22nd: Glenanne v Pembroke, St Andrew’s, 2.45pm; Monkstown v Corinthian, ALD Merrion Fleet Arena, 2.30pm; Three Rock Rovers v Banbridge, Grange Road, 1.30pm; YMCA v UCD, Wesley College, 2.15pm

Sunday, February 23: UCD v Three Rock Rovers, Belfield, 1.30pm

Men’s EY Hockey League – day 10 extended reports

Saturday: Pembroke 2 (A Sothern 2) Lisnagarvey 5 (A Williamson 3, D Nelson, J Lynch)

Lisnagarvey ended the weekend eight points clear as Andy Williamson’s hat trick helped them to a 5-2 win over Pembroke at Serpentine Avenue. They raced into an early 2-0 lead with Williamson’s drag-flick soon followed up by Johnny Lynch’s great solo run from halfway, riding a few tackles before finishing off.

Pembroke were in the ascendancy after that but could not make any inroads when Garvey were reduced to 10 men for 10 minutes before the game settled into a midfield battle leading up to half-time.

Alan Sothern halved the deficit early in the second half but Daniel Nelson’s rocket to the roof of the goal put Garvey back in the clear and a second Williamson corner made it 4-1. He completed his treble in the final quarter where Sothern also netted what was his 10th goal in four games but it proved to no avail.

Annadale 1 (W Aston) Corinthian 3 (I Stewart, G Holmes, A Sutton)

Corinthian closed the gap to the top four playoff places with a comfortable win at Strathearn over bottom side Annadale as their good run of form continues, making it seven points out of nine in 2020.

Ian Stewart put them in front after just three minutes before Glenn Holmes rolled back the years for 2-0 at the end of the first half. Andrew Sutton fired in a cracking third and while Will Aston nicked one back on three-quarter time, the Whitechurch reds were well on course to their fourth win of the season.

Glenanne v YMCA – match abandoned at 0-0 in third quarter

Glenanne and YMCA’s tie at St Andrew’s was abandoned with the score at 0-0 in the third quarter due a water-logged pitch. A new date for the refixed game which will be played in its entirety will now be sought.

Sunday: Banbridge 4 (B McCandless 2, J Moffett, O Magee) Monkstown 3 (G Watkins, G Cole, R Nichols)

Banbridge made it fives on the bounce – scoring 31 goals in the process – with a 4-3 win over second-plaved Monkstown, surviving a late fright after they had built an imposing lead.

Josh Moffett made it 1-0 after just 30 seconds before Philip Brown pushed in a penalty corner for 2-0. Town had already threatened with Luke Roleston making a series of key saves before the Dubliners got one back from a mistake in defence, Gareth Watkins the recipient for 2-1 in the 14th minute.

But another Brown corner goal extended the lead again to 3-1 which they held through to half-time and throughout the third quarter. Owen Magee seemingly made the game safe when he drilled into the bottom corner with 10 minutes left but corner goals from Geoff Cole and Rory Nichols trimmed the gap to 4-3 with time running out. Bann held on and their winning streak remains in tact as they sit in third place on their own now.

EYHL Division 2 round-up

Cork C of I were within moments of copper-fastening a semi-final date only for Michael Fulham’s late goal to earn Railway Union a 2-2 draw in Pool A of the men’s EYHL Division 2.

John Jermyn’s pair of penalty corners had C of I on course for a fourth successive win in the group but Fulham popped up with a corner goal in the last two minutes to level the game. It leaves C of I needing a draw from either of their final two games but they could still qualify without that should other results pan out in their favour.

Elsewhere, Instonians eased by the challenge of Avoca with seven different scorers on the list against Avoca 8-1 at Shaw’s Bridge. Inst move into second place on their own, three points back from C of I but two clear of Railway. Avoca are eliminated as a result.

In Pool B, Clontarf are now in pole position after they jumped from third to first place in the group with a 5-0 win over Cork Harlequins. Jordan Edmonds set them on their way when he turned over the ball, dribbled to the edge of the D and unleashed a powerful shot for 1-0.

A Davyn Keuter drag-flick and a Kevin Mullins reverse made it 3-0 before half-time in the midst of some torrential rain which necessitated an extended half-time break with excess water cleared by volunteers at Mount Temple.

Keuter got the fourth goal before Kevin Murray finished off a lovely attacking move along the baseline. The bulls go up to 11 points, one ahead of Harlequins who remain in the playoff spots after Kilkeel got a surprise win against Cookstown 5-3.

The two Ulster sides are now on seven points with a gap to try and close.

Women’s EYHL & EYHL2 Round-Up 16 February 2020

All five of the women’s EY Hockey League Division 1 ties defied the weather to serve up a series of close-run battles with Pegasus moving back out on their own at the top of the table.

They backed up their midweek 2-1 win over Belfast Harlequins to beat Railway Union on the same scoreline at Queen’s with Lucy McKee scoring on the double.

She gave her side the lead before Kate Lloyd equalised in cracking style but McKee provided the defining moment in the second half.

Loreto, meanwhile, were held to a 1-1 draw by Pembroke at Beaufort despite Nicci Daly making a scoring-return to the side. She cancelled out fellow international Gillian Pinder’s goal as they end the week two points off Pegasus but with a game in hand.

Old Alex’s winning streak continued as they showed a clinical edge to beat Belfast Harlequins 2-1. They were two goals up via Millie O’Donnell and Jeamie Deacon before Linzi Hamilton scored on the final hooter to reduce the gap but not change the outcome. They are three points off the lead but also have a game in hand.

Munster sides Catholic Institute and Cork Harlequins both recorded big wins in Dublin as they raided Muckross and UCD, respectively.

After a scoreless first half, Insta went 1-0 up via Laura Foley only for Sarah McAuley to level matters but Naomi Carroll just got enough on her shot to make it 2-1, lifting them up to eighth place.

Yvonne O’Byrne got the only goal at Belfield for Cork Harlequins with a penalty corner deflection in the second quarter for a 1-0 win over UCD who enjoyed plenty of the play but did not have the killer touch.

In EYHL Division 2, Corinthian became the first side to qualify for the semi-finals with their sixth successive win – a 5-1 defeat of NUIG – putting them in the clear. Chasers Lurgan and Trinity drew 1-1, leaving them both 10 points back; the latter have the advantage of an extra game still to play. Both games in Pool B were cancelled due to the weather.

EYHL Division 1: Belfast Harlequins 1 (L Hamilton) Old Alexandra 2 (M O’Donnell, J Deacon); Loreto 1 (N Daly) Pembroke 1 (G Pinder); Muckross 1 (S McAuley) Catholic Institute 2 (L Foley, N Carroll); Pegasus 2 (L McKee 2) Railway Union 1 (K Lloyd); UCD 0 Cork Harlequins 1 (Y O’Byrne)

EYHL Division 2 – Pool A: Corinthian 5 (A Kinlan, N Torrans, J Douglas, J McGrane, N Walsh) NUIG 1 (S Minihan); Lurgan 1 (J Morrow) Trinity 1 (A Long)

Pool B: UCC v Ards; Greenfields v Monkstown – both postponed due to Storm Dennis

Next week’s fixtures – Saturday, February 22: Catholic Institute v Pegasus, Rosbrien, 1pm; Cork Harlequins v Belfast Harlequins, Farmers’ Cross, 1.05pm; Old Alex v Muckross, Milltown, 1.30pm; Pembroke v Railway Union, Serpentine Avenue, 2.30pm; UCD v Loreto, Belfield, 2.50pm

Women’s EYHL Division 1 – extended reports

Belfast Harlequins 1 (L Hamilton) Old Alexandra 2 (M O’Donnell, J Deacon)

At Deramore, Harlequins had the bulk of the possession and scoring chances but Old Alex showed the more clinical touch in front of goal.

Almost immediately after Serena Barr had a ‘goal’ disallowed from a penalty corner, Alex went ahead in the 17th minute when Millie O’Donnell fired home another set-piece with a direct shot.

Four minutes from half-time, the Dublin side made it 2-0, Jamie Deacon deflecting a cross from Pia Diepman high into the net for a brilliant goal. The second-half belonged to Harlequins and Jenna Watt, Barr and Claire Weir all had efforts saved by Alex keeper Carolyn Crampton in the early stages.

Quins then missed a glorious opportunity to reduce the arrears as they failed to convert a two-on-one breakaway, Watt’s shot being stopped by Crampton in the 55th minute and Weir’s follow-up suffering a similar fate.

Two minutes later, Watt’s frustration was clear to see when the Alex keeper raced off her line to deny her again from a penalty corner switch back to the injector. Irish international Nikki Evans fired wide on her backhand three minutes later following a lovely counter attack after being set up by Deirdre Duke and Isabella Dunlop.

Quins finally got on the scoresheet with the last play of the game when Lizzie Colvin’s shot took a Linzi Hamilton deflection at a set-piece but it was too little, too late.

UCD 0 Cork Harlequins 1 (Y O’Byrne)

Yvonne O’Byrne’s single goal from a penalty corner deflection saw Cork Harlequins grab their second win of 2020 as they defended superbly to keep UCD scoreless at Belfield.

They managed to stay level in the first quarter as Niamh Carey, Abbie Russell and Lena Tice all went close but it was the visitors who took the initiative in the second quarter. And when the students’ corner team was reduced in numbers for breaking the line early, Harlequins played a clever corner move which O’Byrne guided in for the game’s only goal.

UCD returned to the ascendancy in the third quarter as they camped in Harlequins’ half for long portions but could not find a way through the defences of Kate Murphy and her defensive team.

Loreto 1 (N Daly) Pembroke1 (G Pinder)

Loreto and Pembroke shared the spoils to see the former drop off top spot – albeit with a game in hand – following their tie at a rain-soaked Beaufort. Pembroke started strong, winning a trio of penalty corners as they edged the first quarter but all were well defended.

The Ballsbridge side, though, did go in front a couple of minutes into the second quarter with Gillian Pinder on the mark from play. The advantage did not last long, however, as Nicci Daly – back after a lengthy break – made an instant impact when she finished off from a lovely lay-off from Siofra O’Brien.

Liz Murphy’s defence remained busy in the second half, clearing a chance off the line as both teams had their moments. Ali Meeke and Sarah Torrans went close in the closing quarter but Pembroke had their point, making it four out of six against the Beaufort side this term.

Muckross 1 (S McAuley) Catholic Institute 2 (L Foley, N Carroll)

Catholic Institute moved out of the relegation playoff place with what could prove a vitally important away win at Muckross in a howling gale on Marlborough Road as tough conditions made free-flowing hockey difficult at times.

After a scoreless first half, the game burst into life in the third quarter after an excellent finish by Laura Foley who hopped in front of her marker to get a stick to a Rosie Pratt pass. The quality of the move and finish saw the ball fly into the top corner, something which was required to beat Ellie McLoughlin who was in exceptional form.

Muckross levelled quickly from a Sarah McAuley effort from a penalty corner but the Limerick side got back in front when Roisin Begley – one of the game’s star performers – crossed from the left to Leah Clery whose backhand pass found Naomi Carroll. She rounded McLoughlin and her shot was credited as the final touch – it was hard to establish whether it had crossed the line but Foley followed up from close range to make sure.

Pegasus 2 (L McKee 2) Railway Union 1 (K Lloyd)

Pegasus returned to the top of the women’s EYHL table as they found the best part of an otherwise miserable day weather-wise to grind out a 2-1 win over Railway Union.

Pegasus were quicker to settle into their rhythm, dominating the first quarter. They won two penalty corners in the first five minutes, converting the second one via a Lucy McKee deflection. Railway replied almost immediately, intercepting a loose pass and countering to great affect with a well taken reverse by Kate Lloyd.

Railway played well in the second quarter and had chances to take the lead, but some squandered chances and some excellent work by the Pegasus goalkeeper Megan Todd, meant that the scores were level at half time.

During the third quarter, McKee rocketed the ball into the roof of the net giving Pegasus a 2-1 lead and allowing the home team to control the final quarter despite Railway going to 11 outfield players for the final seven minutes.

During that time, there was one worrying moment for Pegs when Railway’s final short corner struck the backboard; however, after consultation, the umpires agreed the initial shot was too high and the score remained 2-1 to Pegasus.

EYHL Division 2 round-up

Corinthian became the first team to confirm their place in the semi-finals of EYHL Division 2 as they ran up their sixth successive win in Pool A, beating NUIG 5-1.

Amber Kinlan put them in pole position from the outset with a second minute goal and she then helped created another for Nicola Torrans at the back post for a 2-0 lead.

NUIG pulled one back via Sinead Minihan before the end of the first quarter but the buffer was back in place when Cilia Holderman assisted Jodie Douglas for 3-1 at half-time. Jessica McGrane finished between her legs for goal four and Niamh Walsh completed the win from a tight angle in the final quarter.

Chasers Lurgan and Trinity, meanwhile, shared a 1-1 draw which leaves them both 10 points back. After initial Lurgan pressure, it was Trinity who went in front in the second quarter via Ailish Long before Julie Morrow equalised soon after half-time.

And the Ulster side hung on to parity in the closing minutes when they survived four penalty corners for Trinity. Lurgan have the edge on goal difference in the battle for the second place in the group but have played an extra game which could be vital.

Both games in Pool B were postponed due to Storm Dennis with UCC against Ards and Greenfields’ tie with Monkstown succumbing to the weather.

Nicola Dignam (nee Lyons) RIP

It was with great sadness that Hockey Ireland learned this week of the death of Nikki Dignam following a long battle with illness. She started her hockey in Crescent Comprehensive School, Limerick and represented Munster before moving to Dublin and joining Loreto HC where she was Captain of the 1’s for a couple of years. She was also involved in latter years with Wicklow HC and with Irish Masters.

We would like to extend our sincere condolences to Nicola’s family and friends. Details of the arrangements can be found here