RIP Anne Laing

Hockey Ireland were saddened to hear today of the passing of Anne Laing, who died peacefully on Friday, 27th March.

Anne was inducted into the Irish Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008, during her career she earned 32 caps for Ireland between the posts as well as playing for Instonians Hockey Club and for Ulster.

Hockey Ireland would like to offer condolences to her family and friends at this difficult time.

Due to the current restrictions her funeral will be private.

Hockey Ireland Coronavirus (COVID-19) UPDATE No. 3

Hockey Ireland Coronavirus (COVID-19) UPDATE No. 3

26 March 2020

Hockey Ireland continues to follow the advice of the Government and Sport Ireland and has noted recent Government announcements that further measures are being introduced to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The Hockey Ireland Board, after further consultation with its branches, has decided the following in the interest of the health and safety of the hockey community and all people on the island of Ireland:

In line with government advice all hockey activity remains suspended.

In order to provide clarity and to assist with immediate and longer-term planning, Hockey Ireland is announcing that the 2019/20 hockey season for all league, cup and all other domestic hockey competitions in Ireland are deemed to have finished.

The consequences of this decision will be looked at by a Hockey Ireland Competitions Working group. The Competitions Working Group will consist of representatives from the Hockey Ireland Board, the Competitions Committee, and representatives from the each of the four branches.

The Competitions Working Group’s proposals, addressing the postponement or cancellation of fixtures, the final league standings, promotion and relegation, and possible European spots for the 2020/21 season will then go to the Hockey Ireland Board for consideration and approval. The final decisions on the details for the conclusion of 2019/2020 season will be published no later than the 12th of April.

The Hockey Ireland offices are situated on the UCD campus which remains closed since the 13th March, all staff continue to operate from their homes. We apologise for this disruption; however, staff continue to have access to our server remotely and are set up to respond to emails as usual.

Hockey Ireland will continue to closely follow developments and issue further information as appropriate. Hockey Ireland would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during this time and appreciates the efforts many of you are going to in order to continue training while at home.

Please keep safe. For further information on Covid-19: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/coronavirus.html

If you have any further queries, please email info@hockey.ie

,

Hockey Ireland Statement on Postponement of Tokyo 2020 Olympics

A decision has been made by the IOC to postpone the Summer Olympic Games to 2021, considering the current global crisis.

“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.”
The full statement is available here: https://www.olympic.org/news/joint-statement-from-the-international-olympic-committee-and-the-tokyo-2020-organising-committee

The Olympic Federation of Ireland have welcomed the call while also acknowledging the complexities involved in postponing the Games. Their focus remains on “protecting and safeguarding the Irish athletes over the coming months and ensuring that they can bounce back to full training and be in peak condition for a successful Games in 2021.” The full statement can be found at: https://olympics.ie/news/19149-confirmed-olympic-games-to-be-postponed-to-2021.html

Head Coach of the Irish Women’s team, Sean Dancer had the following to say on the postponement of the Tokyo Games, “We really appreciate the tough decisions all parties involved have had to make in recent weeks. The decision to postpone the Games not only puts athlete’s welfare first, but also the welfare of much wider communities and countries. These are unprecedented times, and while incredibly stressful for so many, the decision to postpone the Games is one we support.

Our athletes are continuing to train as much as possible given the current circumstances, and we really look forward to being able to train together as a group again when it is appropriate to do so.”

Speaking on the decision, Katie Mullan, Captain of the Irish Women’s team said “As players we are gutted with the announcement to postpone the games as our excitement has been building, however we totally understand why this decision has been made. What matters most is players health and wellbeing, as well as our families and friends, and we hope everyone is staying safe and healthy at this difficult time.

As a team it has been strange doing so much individual training, but everyone has been pushing on with home-gym programmes and trying to increase their fitness with running and cycling. This is a big change for so many people, but everyone is the same situation. We’ll be doing our best to use this as an opportunity.”

In addition to these comments, High Performance Director, Adam Grainger added, “that Hockey Ireland support the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and TOCOG (Tokyo Organising Committee for the Olympic Games) in this decision making, and can appreciate how hard the postponement decision would have been to make.

Hockey Ireland also understands how difficult this postponement must have been for the Japanese people, with our local hosts Iwate town for example having already invested so much time and effort into successfully hosting Hockey Ireland. Our Senior Women’s team are committed to travelling to Iwate town in 2021 and working with the OFI, Sport Ireland, Sport NI and our sponsors to ensure the best preparation possible for our players and staff.”

,

Hockey Ireland Statement on Postponement of Tokyo 2020 Olympics

A decision has been made by the IOC to postpone the Summer Olympic Games to 2021, considering the current global crisis.

“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.” The full statement is available here: https://www.olympic.org/news/joint-statement-from-the-international-olympic-committee-and-the-tokyo-2020-organising-committee

The Olympic Federation of Ireland have welcomed the call while also acknowledging the complexities involved in postponing the Games. Their focus remains on “protecting and safeguarding the Irish athletes over the coming months and ensuring that they can bounce back to full training and be in peak condition for a successful Games in 2021.” The full statement can be found at: https://olympics.ie/news/19149-confirmed-olympic-games-to-be-postponed-to-2021.html

Head Coach of the Irish Women’s team, Sean Dancer had the following to say on the postponement of the Tokyo Games, “We really appreciate the tough decisions all parties involved have had to make in recent weeks. The decision to postpone the Games not only puts athlete’s welfare first, but also the welfare of much wider communities and countries. These are unprecedented times, and while incredibly stressful for so many, the decision to postpone the Games is one we support.

Our athletes are continuing to train as much as possible given the current circumstances, and we really look forward to being able to train together as a group again when it is appropriate to do so.”

Speaking on the decision, Katie Mullan, Captain of the Irish Women’s team said “As players we are gutted with the announcement to postpone the games as our excitement has been building, however we totally understand why this decision has been made. What matters most is players health and wellbeing, as well as our families and friends, and we hope everyone is staying safe and healthy at this difficult time.

As a team it has been strange doing so much individual training, but everyone has been pushing on with home-gym programmes and trying to increase their fitness with running and cycling. This is a big change for so many people, but everyone is the same situation. We’ll be doing our best to use this as an opportunity.”

In addition to these comments, High Performance Director, Adam Grainger added, “that Hockey Ireland support the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and TOCOG (Tokyo Organising Committee for the Olympic Games) in this decision making, and can appreciate how hard the postponement decision would have been to make.

Hockey Ireland also understands how difficult this postponement must have been for the Japanese people, with our local hosts Iwate town for example having already invested so much time and effort into successfully hosting Hockey Ireland. Our Senior Women’s team are committed to travelling to Iwate town in 2021 and working with the OFI, Sport Ireland, Sport NI and our sponsors to ensure the best preparation possible for our players and staff.”

Irish Women no Longer to Travel to South Africa

Having monitored the situation over the previous weeks and given the escalation of measures being taken here in Ireland to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Hockey Ireland Irish Senior Women’s team management has taken the decision to cancel the women’s upcoming trip to South Africa.

The squad had originally been scheduled to travel to South Africa for warm-up matches against South Africa, England, and China early next week for a block of warm weather training and exposure to match play in conditions similar to those expected in Tokyo later this summer.

The squad will no longer be travelling to South Africa and will therefore fall under the Hockey Ireland COVID-19 policy guidelines which were issued to the Hockey Ireland community last night.

Commenting on the decision Hockey Ireland Performance Director, Adam Grainger, said: “After a robust and productive conversation with players and staff today, management have decided to cancel the Senior Women’s upcoming trip to Durban.

While it could be argued that the performance benefits still outweigh the risks of traveling to Durban, the concern expressed by players and staff combined with ‘Coronavirus unknowns’ made the decision to cancel this travel the best solution.

This decision was not taken lightly, and Hockey Ireland would like to thank the squad for their patience on this matter. We will now review and seek to amend the programme plan for the squad for the next few weeks.

Hockey Ireland Coronavirus (COVID-19) UPDATE No. 2

Hockey Ireland Coronavirus (COVID-19) UPDATE No. 2
12 March 2020

As the possibility of the COVID-19 virus spreading in Ireland increases, Hockey Ireland is continually monitoring the situation.

Hockey Ireland continues to follow the advice of the Government and Sport Ireland and has noted the announcement by An Taoiseach this morning that some measures will come into effect from tomorrow morning until the 29th March 2020, with schools, colleges and childcare facilities closing from tomorrow (Friday 13th March).

The Hockey Ireland Board, after consultation with its branches, has decided the following in the interest of the health and safety of the hockey community and all people on the island of Ireland:

Hockey Ireland together with its four provincial branches are suspending all hockey activity with immediate effect until the 29th March 2020 and is directing all clubs and schools to do the same. All hockey activity including training and education across clubs and schools must now cease. We understand that this decision is disappointing to all hockey players, coaches, officials, volunteers, and supporters, but in light of the circumstances, Hockey Ireland believes this is in our members’ best interests.

The above will not apply to the Senior Women’s team, who are in preparation for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Alternative arrangements for league and cup matches will be reviewed by Hockey Ireland in coming weeks and decisions will be communicated as appropriate.

The Hockey Ireland offices are situated on the UCD campus which will be closing this evening, and from tomorrow, 13th March, all staff will be operating from their homes. We apologise for this disruption, however staff continue to have access to our server remotely and are set up to respond to emails as usual.

As the situation is changing very quickly, we will continue to closely follow developments and issue further information approaching the 29th March Date.

Please keep safe. For further information on Covid-19: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/coronavirus.html

If you have any further queries, please email info@hockey.ie

,

Hockey Ireland suspends all hockey activity

Hockey Ireland together with its four provincial branches are suspending all hockey activity with immediate effect until the 29th March 2020 and is directing all clubs and schools to do the same. All hockey activity including training and education across clubs and schools must now cease. We understand that this decision is disappointing to all hockey players, coaches, officials, volunteers, and supporters, but in light of the circumstances, Hockey Ireland believes this is in our members’ best interests.

As such the Irish Senior Cup Finals which were due to take place in UCD on the 29th March 2020 are now postponed. As the situation is changing very quickly, we will continue to closely follow developments and issue further information regarding the Hockey Ireland Cup Finals approaching the 29th March Date.

Please keep safe at the time.

Irish Senior Cup 2020- POSTPONED

The Hockey Ireland Board, after consultation with its branches, has decided the following in the interest of the health and safety of the hockey community and all people on the island of Ireland:

Hockey Ireland together with its four provincial branches are suspending all hockey activity with immediate effect until the 29th March 2020 and is directing all clubs and schools to do the same. All hockey activity including training and education across clubs and schools must now cease. We understand that this decision is disappointing to all hockey players, coaches, officials, volunteers, and supporters, but in light of the circumstances, Hockey Ireland believes this is in our members’ best interests.

As such the Irish Senior Cup Finals which were due to take place in UCD on the 29th March 2020 are now postponed. As the situation is changing very quickly, we will continue to closely follow developments and issue further information regarding the Hockey Ireland Cup Finals approaching the 29th March Date.

Please keep safe at the time.

Men’s EYHL & EYHL2 Round-up 8 March 2020

EYHL

The battle to avoid the relegation playoff place is heating up with YMCA and Pembroke both picking up useful results in their bid to stay in the top tier of the men’s EY Hockey League.

For the Y, it was their second win in three outings and while they remain in ninth place, their form guide has given them a huge chance of avoiding the playoff after they beat Corinthian 2-1.

They trailed 1-0 at Wesley to a Craig Mackay goal after just seven minutes before penalty corner goals from Grant Glutz and Ben Campbell swapped the lead in the first half. No further goals came but there was plenty of drama as YM held on for the win.

Pembroke, meanwhile, saw Alan Sothern score twice in the last three minutes to earn a 4-4 draw against Monkstown, putting a dent in Town’s outside title aspirations. Pembroke led twice in the first half via Jack Ryan and Greg Chambers before a Gareth Watkins hat trick and one from Mark Gibbons seemed to swing the tie Monkstown’s way.

Lisnagarvey’s position at the top was strengthened by the outcome as they won 4-3 at Three Rock Rovers with two first quarter goals laying the base for the win. They hold a five-point lead over Banbridge but now with two games in hand over the nearest rivals.

Bann were 2-1 winners over UCD who fronted up well but could not catch a break as their tough run now extends to five defeats. For Bann, they have 22 out of the last 24 available as Josh Moffett’s double put them on course for the result.

Glenanne made it three wins in a row to move up to fifth place as they won 6-4 – for the second week running – against Annadale with Stu Ronan and Johnny McCormack’s goals in the last 10 minutes proving vital. Dale are now 11 points adrift at the bottom.

EYHL Division 1: Glenanne 6 (R Shaw 2, J McCormack 2, S Boucher, S Ronan) Annadale 4 (R Burgess 3, D Tremlett); Pembroke 4 (A Sothern 2, G Chambers, J Ryan) Monkstown 4 (G Watkins 3, M Gibbons); Three Rock Rovers 3 (R Canning 2, E Jennings) Lisnagarvey 4 (J Lorimer 2, J Lynch, D Nelson); UCD 1 (J Guilfoyle) Banbridge 2 (J Moffett 2); YMCA 2 (G Glutz, B Campbell) Corinthian 1 (C Mackay)

Next week’s fixtures

Saturday, March 14th: Three Rock Rovers v Pembroke, Grange Road, 1.30pm; Corinthian v UCD, Belfield, 2pm; Banbridge v Glenanne, Havelock Park, 2.45pm; Lisnagarvey v YMCA, Comber Road, 3pm; Monkstown v Annadale, ALD Merrion Fleet Arena, 4pm

Men’s EYHL – day 13 extended reports

YMCA 2 (G Glutz, B Campbell) Corinthian 1 (C Mackay)

YMCA won what could be a crucial contest in the battle to avoid the relegation playoff place as they came from a goal down to beat local rivals Corinthian 2-1 at Wesley. YM started the brighter, flashing a great chance across the face of goal in the first minute.

But, after absorbing a lot of pressure, the reds took the lead in the seventh minute from their first chance when the ball fell to Craig Mackay on the baseline and he slotted home from a tight angle.

YM ramped up the tempo – in what was a tie played at an intense pace – and converted two corners in the second quarter, the first from Grant Glutz and a second from Ben Campbell to take the lead just before half-time.

The second half continued at high speed with the reds trying to push on to get an equaliser but it was the hosts who had the better of the chances. They were awarded a stroke at one stage in a manic sequence of events; Ross Henderson chipped over his namesake, Charlie, but a flying Henry Micks tipped the looping ball onto the bar.

The ball fell to Ben Campbell who had the goal at his mercy but did not get a clean connection to his volley under pressure from some flailing defensive sticks and the ball bounced wide. A stroke was initially awarded but an umpires’ consultation saw a free out given instead, deeming the shot was not impeded.

Ben Cullen was also set through one-on-one but Charlie Henderson got out well to tip the ball away before contact. YM were reduced to eight players for part of the last five minutes with Iain Patterson, Matthew Walker and Harry McCarthy in the bin.

Corinthian had a corner repelled by Jakim Bernsden while Ian Stewart claimed for a stroke in the closing minutes but it was waved away as his shot went wide from close range.

Three Rock Rovers 3 (R Canning 2, E Jennings) Lisnagarvey 4 (J Lorimer 2, J Lynch, D Nelson)

Lisnagarvey moved another big step closer to retaining the men’s EY Hockey League as a strong start put them in position for this win over fourth placed Three Rock Rovers. They were 2-0 up in the first quarter from a quick strike from Daniel Nelson and a penalty corner just inside the left post from James Lorimer.

Evan Jennings finished off after the breakdown of a short corner to get the home side back into it, making 2-1 at half-time. Johnny Lynch restored the gap with a very well taken third for Garvey, controlling an in-field pass inside the Rovers half and powering a shot past Conor Quinn from the top of the circle.

Rovers again got one back thanks to a reverse-stick shot from Ross Canning as the hosts enjoyed a spell in command but were denied an equaliser by the outstretched James Milliken from a Harry Morris effort.

The last quarter was a tense affair as Garvey scored another short corner through Lorimer for 4-2 – making two from three corners. Rovers again got one back from a Canning stroke but Garvey held on for a deserved win, keeping them five points clear of second placed Banbridge but with two games in hand.

Pembroke 4 (A Sothern 2, G Chambers, J Ryan) Monkstown 4 (G Watkins 3, M Gibbons)

Alan Sothern scored twice in the last three minutes to earn a vital point for Pembroke that keeps them out of the relegation playoff place on goal difference, putting a dent in Monkstown’s title aspirations.

Pembroke had led in the first minute but a Gareth Watkins penalty stroke tied things up at 1-1 at quarter time. Simon Thornton’s heroics kept it that way and allowed the hosts to take the lead with Greg Chambers getting on the end of a great move for 2-1 just before half-time.

Monkstown, though, turned things around in quick succession in the third quarter when Watkins netted his second stroke in the 43rd minute and then completed his hat trick from play.

Mark Gibbons looked to have got the killer fourth goal with 10 minutes to go, making it 4-2. But Sothern is in a remarkable vein of form and he ran up his 15th and 16th goals in his last six games to make it a draw, the first an excellent effort from play, the next yet another stroke.

Glenanne 6 (R Shaw 2, J McCormack 2, S Boucher, S Ronan) Annadale 4 (R Burgess 3, D Tremlett)

Two goals in the last eight minutes saw Glenanne remarkably win 6-4 for the second week running to rise up to fifth place in the men’s EYHL table, eventually shaking off Annadale at St Andrew’s.

David Tremlett put Dale 1-0 up at quarter-time from play but a couple of quickfire goals from Richie Shaw swapped the lead by the 20th minute. Another flurry of Glens goals put them in what should have been cruise control by the 44th minute as Shannon Boucher and Johnny McCormack put them 4-1 up.

Ryan Burgess, however, promptly nailed a three-minute hat trick to level it at 4-4 with 16 minutes still to go before Glenanne steadied themselves with Stu Ronan and McCormack capitalising. After waiting four months for a win, it was their third three-pointer in succession.

UCD 1 (J Guilfoyle) Banbridge 2 (J Moffett 2)

Banbridge moved into second place on their own courtesy of Josh Moffett’s second half double at Belfield as the students woes continued with a fifth successive league defeat.

After a scoreless first half, Bann went in front in the third quarter and Moffett doubled up with three minutes to go. John Guilfoyle got one back for the students a minute late but too late to change the outcome of the contest.

For Bann, it made it 22 points from the last 24 available and coach Gordon Cracknell said it was a tough result to dig out.

“UCD were very good today and made it very difficult for us. We stuck at it and I think we got our just rewards in the end.

“We did start poorly [this season] but the team has really pulled together and are on a great run now. We’ve got to keep working at it and, if we do, we will be where we need to be. Unbeaten in Dublin this season and that is a big achievement.”

To that end, the adapted well with Alex Tinney and Sam Farson both out injured with schoolboys like twins Louis and Charlie Rowe featuring alongside their older brother Eddie.

For UCD’s Michael Styles he was frustrated not to get more from the tie, feeling they had their chances: “We’ve played really well today, defended really well and created so many chances. Three shots just hit their goalkeeper, we had one taken off the line – as a coach, you are annoyed to have lost but really proud of the effort and standard the lads played at. That’s the way things go.”

EYHL2

Men’s EY Hockey League Division 2 round-up

Cork C of I became the first men’s side to be guaranteed a place in the final four of the men’s EYHL Division 2, giving them the chance of bouncing straight back up to the national division.

They proved too strong for Instonians at Garryduff with John Jermyn’s hat trick proving pivotal in a 6-2. Jonny Bruton put C of I one up in the 11th minute before Chris Kirk’s penalty stroke levelled matters.

But the Cork side went on to score the next five goals with Jermyn and Bruton on the mark in the second quarter before Jermyn and Stephen Parker made it 5-1 by the end of the third quarter. Jermyn traded goals with William Robinson from corners to end it at 6-2.

The result opened the door for Railway Union to leap into second place in the group thanks to a 7-1 win at Avoca with Daragh Curley scoring three of them. They were in control from early on, leading 4-0 at half-time, and they never really looked back, rising to 13 points, two ahead of Inst who they play in the final round of group games on April 4th.

In Pool B, Julian Dale netted all four goals for Cork Harlequins in their 4-2 win over Kilkeel to move back to the top of the table after a hard-fought encounter. Kilkeel opened the scoring with a lovely David Finlay touch but Dale equalised from a stroke after a goalbound shot hit a player’s body.

Quins took the lead soon after via a Dale drag, the first of three. Eddie Agnew got a scrappy equaliser for Kilkeel after some pressure, the ball trickling over the line in the end.

But another Dale drag took the lead at 3-2 with eight minutes to go and while Kilkeel had two corners to try and equalise, they could not take them while Dale did take his chance.

Cookstown, meanwhile, got right back into the frame for a semi-final berth thanks to a 3-2 win over Clontarf. All the goals came in the first half; Paul Watt put the Co Tyrone side 1-0 up; Kevin Murray levelled and Ryan Millar made it 2-1 to the hosts with 15 minutes played.

John Mullins equalised for Tarf but Scott McCabe got what proved to be the killer blow in the last minute of the half. Clontarf stay in second place, however, by virtue of their losing bonus point from this game.

For both clubs, if they can record home wins on April 4th, they can go through to the semi-finals. Clontarf host Kilkeel while Cookstown meet Harlequins.

Men’s EYHL Division 2

Pool A: Avoca 1 (J Elmes) Railway Union 7 (D Curley 3, R Devlin, H Heisterkamp, M Fulham, F Keaveney); Cork C of I 6 (J Jermyn 3, J Bruton 2, S Parker) Instonians 2 (C Kirk, W Robinson)

Pool B: Cookstown 3 (P Watt, R Millar, S McCabe) Clontarf 2 (K Murray, J Mullins); Cork Harlequins 4 (J Dale 4) Kilkeel 2 (D Finlay, E Agnew)

Green Army Sponsors Host Star-Studded Lunch for IWD2020

Official Hockey Ireland sponsors, SoftCo and Park Developments, and official partner, Saba restaurants, hosted an International Women’s Day lunch to celebrate the Irish Senior Women’s Hockey Team and spotlight their incredible journey on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games.

The Irish Women’s Hockey team, and management attended the event, as well as the sponsors and their clients and some of Ireland’s top influencers. The team who are busy preparing for the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo this summer were delighted to take a break from their busy training schedule to enjoy a celebratory lunch in their partner’s restaurant, Saba, with their sponsors SoftCo and Park Developments, who have built an incredible support network around the team.

The lunch was accompanied by a Q&A hosted by sports journalist and television presenter, Evanne Ni Chuilinn. Evanne interviewed four time Olympian, Olive Loughnane, Sport Ireland Institute Head Performance Psychologist, Kate Kirby and Irish Women’s Hockey Head Coach, Sean Dancer. They discussed the team’s preparation for Tokyo 2020, what they can expect of the Olympic experience and the importance of having a winning mentality and resilience heading over to the Games.

Speaking at the event, Olive Loughnane (OLY) said: “The Olympics is the absolute pinnacle for high performance athletes who get to represent their country on the biggest stage of them all. There is nothing that can fully prepare you for the actual Olympic experience itself, it is truly special and unique and will be a dream come true to this group. My advice would be to just enjoy every minute of it and be present. These women have made a huge amount of sacrifices to be where they are today and it was a real privilege to be invited here to share my own experiences.”

The Q&A was followed by a panel discussion from members of the team who gave an insight into their preparation and training schedule as they get ready to travel to South Africa for warm-up matches against South Africa, England and China. There was a great sense of optimism and belief in the room as the team and staff reiterated their goal of going for gold at the Olympics.

Irish Women’s coach Sean Dancer said: “I would like to thank SoftCo, Park Developments and Saba for their continued support of this incredible team and our journey. Their support has been fundamental to our Olympic preparations and without it our current training programme would not be what it is. It is great to have the opportunity to all get together today and celebrate the journey we have all been on and the memories this incredible group of women have given us as they continue to push the boundaries and inspire those around them to chase their dreams.”