Performance Coach Development Programme for female coaches relaunched

Hockey Ireland is delighted to announce the relaunch of our Performance Coach Development Programme (PCD) for female coaches. The programme, which was originally due to run in 2020, was suspended due to Covid-19.

The aim of this pilot programme is to support and develop more female coaches to coach at performance and high-performance levels within Ireland.

The programme, funded by Sport Ireland’s Women in Sport Programme, will run for 2022 and is open to female coaches who are coaching at senior club or interprovincial level. Coaches will work with a team of experienced mentors across the 12-month period with a focus on developing key aspects of performance coaching both on and off the field.

Hockey Ireland is looking to engage an initial 6-10 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 and the Top Coaches Programme.

Phil Oakley, HI’s national coach education manager, said “Traditionally, we have seen very few female coaches working at performance level. Within EYHL 1, there have been seasons with only been one female club head coach. Within a sport with over two thirds female participation, this should be significantly higher. Our aim is to provide mentoring support and development opportunities and create a pathway for increased numbers of female coaches at performance level.”

Applications are being sought from female coaches who are coaching competitive hockey regularly at senior club or interprovincial levels. Coaches must hold a minimum of a Hockey Ireland Level 1 coaching qualification and be Safeguarding certified.

If you would like to apply, please contact Phil Oakley on phil.oakley@hockey.ie and include a detailed description of your coaching experience to date and outline your future coaching ambitions. The deadline to register your interest is Wednesday January 5th 2022.

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C of I fightback as Cookstown and Bandon keep perfect records

Men’s EYHL Division Two round-up
Cork C of I came back from 2-0 in the closing quarter to land what could be a vital draw against Instonians in the hotly contested Pool A of the men’s EY Hockey League Division 2.

For a long time, they tailed to Ben Palmer’s second quarter drag-flick and they were in further trouble when the experienced Chris Kirk popped up with a second in the fourth quarter for a 2-0 Inst lead.

But Ian Balding and Jonny Bruton nabbed late goals to make it 2-2 and add it to their 5-0 opening day win over Rathgar to sit on seven points at the head of the group.

Inst are on seven as well with Railway Union one point worse off on six thanks to their 4-1 success against Rathgar at Park Avenue. All four goals came from the stick of Mark English, bringing his tally in all competitions so far this season to 39 goals.

Pool B is shaping up to be an incredibly tight one with Kilkeel entering the fray with a 0-0 draw against Cork Harlequins. Quins had drawn with Clontarf on the first day of this three-team pool to leave the win column blank for everyone so far.

The Mourne men survived a couple of early corners before going on to have a trio of their own before half-time, one of which hit the post. Into the second half, neither side were able to nail one of their set pieces and so the laurels were shared.

In Pool C, Bandon and Cookstown have two wins from two but both were pushed all the way by Mossley and Portrane, respectively.

In west Cork, Bandon eventually shook off the Newtownabbey side’s challenge 5-3. Captain Fionn O’Leary had them two to the good at half-time only for Simon Todd and Jordan Robinson to level the game by the end of Q3.

Ian Perrott added a pair for Bandon to keep their noses in front but a second from Todd kept the game up for grabs at 4-3 with time running out. Bandon, though, got the vital clinching goal from Ethan Hamilton Foott in the last three minutes to lift them to 10 points.

At Portrane, Ryan Millar got the only goal for Cookstown in the final throes of the third quarter for a 1-0 success for the Co Tyrone side. Portrane take a losing bonus point for their efforts.

Men’ s EYHL Division 2 results
Pool A:
Cork C of I 2 (I Balding, J Bruton) Instonians 2 (B Palmer, C Kirk); Railway Union 4 (M English 4) Rathgar 1 (S Madeley)
Pool B: Kilkeel 0 Cork Harlequins 0
Pool C: Bandon 5 (F O’Leary 2, I Perrott 2, E Hamilton-Foott) Mossley 3 (S Todd 2, J Robinson); Portrane 0 Cookstown 1 (R Millar)

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Glens back on top as O’Donoghue strikes at the last against Dale

Men’s EY Hockey League – day nine round-up
Three Rock Rovers 1 (R Canning) Monkstown 1 (G Sarratt)

For a third time this season, a Monkstown performance has knocked the current first placed side off top as they drew 1-1 with Three Rock Rovers at Grange Road.

It followed wins over Lisnagarvey and Glenanne and they were within a couple of minutes of repeating the trick only for Ross Canning’s corner deflection to level it in the 67th minute. On the flip side, James Walker almost won the day when he clipped the underside of the bar moments later but a draw was probably a fair result.

Both sides were understrength with Town missing David Nolan, Jazze Henry, Nick Dee and Andrew Fogarty for the tie while Ben Johnson was missing for Rovers with Ben Ryder and Mark Samuel not lasting the half due to injuries.

Rovers had the best of the first half hour with Dave Fitzgerald producing a fine performance, the pick of the early interventions a scramble away a chance from Evan Jennings who also shot inches wide.

Town survived 12 minutes of suspensions before returning to 11 players with devastating effect just before half-time with a pitch-length move, starting with a turnover in their own defensive left corner which was transferred out to Rory Nichols charging at pace. His cross found Guy Sarratt on the left of the D and he shot home.

The Rathdown club carried that upper hand into the third quarter with a couple of near misses from Sarratt and Jeremy Duncan. Rovers, though, threw everything forward in the last 10 minutes with Fitzgerald producing the pick of his saves from Ali Haughton before Canning equalised with a touch to Jody Hosking’s corner power-slap to share the spoils.

Monkstown’s Dave FItzgerald makes a key block. Pic: Adrian Boehm

UCD 2 (J Menelaou, S Byrne) Pembroke 3 (J Dale 2, G Chambers)
Pembroke picked up a vital 3-2 win over UCD in their tussle with UCD at the bottom of the table. They built a healthy 3-0 lead and while the Belfielders fought back with two goals in the last 10 minutes, the result gives Pembroke a six-point buffer between them and bottom place but they remain in the relegation places on goal difference.

The Ballsbridge club were in control in the first half with Matthew O’Brien Holohan needing to be sharp to deny Harry Spain’s drag-flick. The goalkeeper was unfortunate to be beaten from the third phase of one attack as he blocked Julian Dale’s deflection and a Cillian Hynes follow-up shot but Greg Chambers picked off the third attack.

Dale dragged in Pembroke’s third corner in the minutes before half-time for a deserved 2-0 lead. He drew a brilliant glove save from O’Brien Holohan who also denied Chambers a second with a low-down block.

The third came from a peach of a strike from Dale after Scott Sullivan’s show and go opened up the chance. UCD struggled to create much prior to that phase but they finished strong. Peter Lynch deflected a crash ball into the path of Jay Menelaou and the former Avoca man controlled it perfectly to evade the last defender and goalkeeper. Sam Byrne then batted in a corner rebound in the last minute but Pembroke had done enough and closed the gap significantly to the sides above them.

Annadale 2 (T Cross, A McAllister) Glenanne 3 (S O’Donoghue 3)
Shane O’Donoghue’s final second goal saw Glenanne return to the top of the table, completing his hat trick to make it 3-2 with the very last play of the contest.

Dale have proven a strong competitor this season and they had the half-time lead when Tim Cross banged in a straight hit from a penalty corner. O’Donoghue levelled from the penalty spot and his drag-flick made it 2-1 going into the final quarter.

Adam McAllister equalised with time running out but a last-ditch corner was nailed once more by O’Donoghue for a seventh win from the first half of the season.

Lisnagarvey 2 (B Nelson, O Kidd) Banbridge 2 (C Curry, L Rowe)
Lisnagarvey and Banbridge drew in a high octane, late afternoon tussle at Comber Road which sees Garvey drop to third place with Bann consolidate their fifth place a little bit more.

It was a tie brought forward by an hour to allow the game to go ahead as six Covid cases in the top umpire panel’s ranks along with an injury meant a number of hastily rearranged appointments. It is a testament to the ingenuity of the Irish Hockey Umpires Association to rejig their placments along with the agreement of the teams to allow the change at short notice to allow the game to go ahead.

On the field, Garvey went in front in the first quarter from the first clear-cut opportunity which fell the way of Ben Nelson. He spun well and found a perfect angle to shoot past Luke Roleston.

Banbridge, though, enjoyed a strong portion of the play of a tight first half to suggest they could cause problems after the break with Philip Brown a regular feature. Bann were level with six minutes remaining in the third quarter via Chris Curry and he went close to putting his side in front soon after.

The pendulum swung back the hosts way for a brief spell with Troy Chambers turning on the after-burners but Banbridge went in front on the counter as the action heated up, Louis Rowe scoring the breakaway goal.

Garvey pressed on and were back on terms at 2-2 with 10 minutes to go when Ollie Kidd fired across goal and his action took a defensive stick to rebound into the backboard. Daniel Nelson and Chambers went extremely close to winning it but they had to settle for a point which sees them drop two points behind new leaders Glenanne at the halfway stage.

YMCA 1 (G Glutz) Corinthian 0
YMCA picked up their first win since the opening day of the season as they won their derby date with Corinthian courtesy of Grant Glutz’s single goal. It lifts them to seventh place in the table and remain two points above the relegation places.

Early on, reds’ player-coach Peter Caruth went close to breaking the deadlock but his volley was sent over the clubhouse by goalkeeper Jakim Bernsden while his side also ran up a series of penalty corners but to no avail in the first half.

YM, meanwhile, started the second half on the up with Harry McCarthy setting up Glutz and he powered home an upright reverse-stick shot for what proved the only goal of the day.

Ross Henderson fizzed a reverse just over as the Y stepped things up significantly before Corinthian replied with a couple of big chances going incomplete. They won further corners in the closing quarter but they were repelled too and YM had a crucial three points to their name.

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Ards and Monkstown make big moves in women’s EYHL2

Ards saw off Trinity 4-0 in their final EYHL2 game of 2021 at Londonderry Park, making it 12 points from a possible 15 to head the Pool A table after week three of the competition. Frankie Brown opened the scoreline early on for Ards with youngster Erin McKinley making it 2-0 before the end of the first half.

Trinity looked stronger in the second half, finding some success with aerials from their defensive line and winning a series of short corners, but the Trinity strikers were unable to get anything past the Ards goalkeeper Naomi McKnight.

In the final quarter, after missing a stroke, Brown got her second of the game after showing off some nice 3D skills along the byline and managing to get the final touch on a rebound in front of goal.

The final Ards goal came from Ellen Robinson who deflected a shot from Ards midfielder Amy Benson, over the Trinity goalkeeper to make the score 4-0 in favour of the Oranges.

Elsewhere in the group, UCC landed an important 3-0 win over debutantes Galway in front of a healthy crowd at Dangan. Abi O’Mahony put the Cork side in front in the 20th minute from play before Emma O’Sullivan added another on the half-hour.

Caoimhe Perdue stretched out the lead to three to lift UCC to seven points and second spot going into the winter pause.

In Pool B, Monkstown are very much proving the team to beat as they came back from a goal down to beat Queen’s 4-1 at Rathdown with Anna O’Flanagan adding another double to her tally for the season with Emily Kealy in outstanding form.

After waves of Town attacks, they were caught cold when Alyssa Jebb intercepted a free in her own half and set Jessica McMaster off on a run. She fed the ball back to Jebb who had time to wind up a shot as the ball crossed the circle line and then smacked into the bottom corner.

Despite plenty of chaos in the Queen’s circle and a plethora of chances for Monkstown, it remained that way to half-time. Chloe Watkins then saw a corner chance tipped off the line while Rebecca Spence made an amazing block from Anna O’Flanagan.

Queen’s were denied a potential stroke for a back-stick at the far end and, within a minute, Town were level with an incredible goal when O’Flanagan put Emily Kealy through on the right. She flipped it onto her reverse and cracked home a tomahawk.

Claire O’Reilly batted in O’Flanagan’s looping shot for 2-1 as Monkstown finally made their pressure pay. Kealy had played an integreal role in that build-up and she did so again for 3-1 in the fourth quarter, dancing through a series of tackles before crossing for O’Flanagan a couple of feet out of goal to turn home.

O’Flanagan then poached another from close range as she showed the most determination to scramble home amid a pile-on on the Queen’s goal line. With five points for a win, the result has Monkstown 10 points clear of second placed Queen’s in the group.

Lurgan, meanwhile, are on two draws from two outings after they were held to a 0-0 draw by a stubborn NUIG who could not be broken down in the second half. It has them in third place on four points with Cork C of I and NUIG on two points.

Women’s EYHL Division 2
Pool 1:
Ards 4 (F Brown 2, E McKinley, E Robinson) Trinity 0; Galway 0 UCC 3 (A O’Mahony, E O’Sullivan, C Perdue)
Pool 2: Lurgan 0 NUIG 0; Monkstown 4 (A O’Flanagan 2, E Kealy, C O’Reilly) Queens University 1 (A Jebb)

Action from Galway versus UCC in the women’s EYHL2. Picture: Thomas Hughes

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Pembroke in seventh heaven as Belfast Quins land crucial victory

Women’s EY Hockey League round-up
Pembroke 7 (A Griffin 2, G Pinder, E Horan, R O’Brien, O Macken, C Moroney) Cork Harlequins 0

Pembroke will take a seven-point lead into the new year to put themselves very much in the driving seat for a maiden EY Hockey League title.

Gillian Pinder broke the deadlock in the 11th minute following a composed attack, Ellen Curran dodging into space and then picking a super pass to the high forward behind the last defender who a simple finish. Ciara Moroney made it 2-0 in the second quarter from Pinder’s assist, a smart backhand strike.

Cliodhna Sargent blocked a heavily deflected Orla Macken corner shot off the line but just before half-time, Ali Griffin thumped in from the right of the D from a long corner move.

Eanna Horan cracked in the fourth from a rebound in the third quarter and Rachel O’Brien got the next in the closing period from close range. Macken got her goal from Martha McCready’s cross following a smart run by O’Brien and the tally was complete when Griffin cleaned up a corner rebound.

Belfast Harlequins 2 Muckross 1
Belfast Harlequins edged clearer of the EYHYL relegation zone with this hard-fought win over fellow strugglers Muckross at a bitterly cold Deramore. The hosts were 2-0 up in the second half but the Dubliners set up a grandstand finish after pulling a goal back with 20 minutes to go.

The result ended a six-game losing streak for Quins and, more importantly, saw them open up a five-point gap over their opponents. The Ulster side have six points from 10 matches, Muckross have one as do basement side Cork Harlequins, with the bottom two having played a game less.

However, with several top-line players due to return after the Christmas break and that cushion, the south Belfast side will be confident of avoiding the drop. Irish international twins Beth and Serena Barr will be back in action after suffering cruciate ligament injuries while Julie Dennison is due to return after maternity leave.

In this season’s new signing, Jane Kirkpatrick, Harlequins have compensated for the loss of those key players and the newly-capped Irish international stole the show on Saturday.
Although a defender in name, the former Lisnagarvey and Ards player made a rich contribution all over the pitch.

She set up numerous attacks with her accurate passing causing Muckross problems at the back. Kirkpatrick had a shot blocked in the 25th minute which was the only real chance of a cagey first half.

Quins broke the deadlock three minutes after the break, Katherine Welshman firing home from a penalty corner. Five minutes later, it was 2-0, Jenna Watt scoring from a narrow angle after Kirkpatrick had seen her shot blocked.

In the 50th minute, Muckross pulled one back when Leila O’Byrne finished clinically from mid-circle. Play swung from end to end after that with Quins holding on for a crucial three points.

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Irish Under-21 women to contest Four Nations in Valencia

The Irish Under-21 women’s team will see action in December in the end with a quickly arranged Four Nations tournament getting under way in Valencia from Wednesday, December 8 to Sunday, December 12.

The side was initially due to take part in the now postponed Junior World Cup in South Africa. That event was put on hold on the eve of departure due to the discovery of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

While not the same level of glamour as the World Cup, this tournament will offer a top class development opportunity with Ireland set to face Spain, the Netherlands and England – all sides who were also due to be in Potchefstroom.

Coach David Passmore can call upon almost all of the World Cup panel with only one change. Ulster Elks’ Gemma Ferguson comes in for Ellie McLoughlin to allow the UCD goalkeeper to make a full recovery from injury.

“Obviously the Junior World Cup being put on hold was a massive disappointment for the players who had worked so hard and were looking forward to representing Ireland at such a prestigious event,” Passmore said.

“While this tournament will not replace the JWC, it does allow us a great opportunity to build on the hard work and development over the previous few months and test ourselves against some of the world’s best teams”

Ireland start their tournament next Wednesday against their Spanish hosts before meeting the Dutch a day later. On Saturday, December 11 they will meet England before playing in either the final or a third/fourth place playoff game.

Under-21 Four Nations (Valencia, Spain; December 8-12, 2021)

Holly Micklem (GK, Old Alex / Trinity College)
Gemma Ferguson (Ulster Elks / UUJ)
KJ Marshall (UCD / University College Dublin)
Caitlin Sherin (Loreto / Dublin City University) Co-Captain
Emma Paul (UCD / University College Dublin)
Sarah McAuley (UCD / University College Dublin)
Ellen Reid (Loughborough Students, Eng / University of Loughborough)
Caoimhe Perdue (UCC / University College Cork), Co-Captain
Anna Horan (Catholic Institute / Mary Immaculate College)
Siofra Murdoch (Harvard, USA / Harvard University)
Christina Hamill (Loreto / Technical University Dublin)
Amy Elliott (UCD / University College Dublin)
Lisa Mulcahy (Loreto / University College Dublin)
Sophia Cole (UCD / University College Dublin)
Charlotte Beggs (Ulster Elks / University of Ulster Jordanstown)
Siofra O’Brien (Loreto / Technical University Dublin)
Nadia Benallal (Beeston, Eng / Nottingham Trent University)
Rachel Kelly  (UCD / University College Dublin)
Yasmin Pratt (Loreto / IT Carlow)
Aoife Taaffe (Loreto / University College Dublin)

 

Match schedule (all at Valencia, Spain; times local)
Wednesday, December 8: Netherlands v England, 4pm; Spain v Ireland, 6pm
Thursday, December 9: Netherlands v Ireland, 4pm; Spain v England, 6pm
Saturday, December 11: England v Ireland, 11am; Spain v Netherlands, 1pm
Sunday, December 12: Classification matches

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Men’s EYHL reaches halfway stage with big encounters – weekend preview

The men’s EY Hockey league reaches the halfway stage this weekend with any one of Three Rock Rovers, Glenanne and Lisnagarvey in the mix to be Christmas number one while there is also a huge showdown at the bottom between UCD and Pembroke.

Rovers currently lead the way with 19 points but face Monkstown who have knocked both the Glens (1-0) and Garvey (4-3) off top spot in the past month with impressive wins in south Dublin.

The Grange Road side have been in flying form, scoring at least four goals in each of their last six games – and 30 times in the league in total – to show their attacking intent with Ali Empey, Evan Jennings and Ben Johnson filling their boots.

For Town, their strength has been in defence, conceding just 12 in eight games with Lee Cole marshalling the defence while goalkeeper Dave Fitzgerald’s return to action has been a big boon.

Taking a keen interest on those proceedings will be Lisnagarvey who play in the Ulster classico against Banbridge under Saturday night lights with a 6pm start at Comber Road as they anticipate a healthy crowd.

Garvey’s six game winning streak in the league came to an end last time out when they were undone by Monkstown 4-3 and they will be keen to get back on the horse.

Bann, for their part, are on a three-game streak of their own which has helped them rise to fifth place after a slow start.

Glenanne, meanwhile, have a tricky trip to Annadale who have been one of the break-out stars of the season to date, landing their first top flight wins for a number of years to look reasonably comfortable in mid-table and challenging for a playoff place.

The Glens are boosted by the return of Rowland Rixon-Fuller after eight weeks on the sidelines but Shannon Boucher has been missing in recent times. David Lawless has recorded back-to-back clean sheets with Shane O’Donoghue providing the winning goal in a pair of 1-0 wins.

At the bottom, meanwhile, tenth hosts ninth at Belfield with UCD up against Pembroke in a vital tie to their respective chances to avoid the automatic relegation place.

The students have just one point on the board and a loss would cut them at least five points adrift going into the winter break. Win, however, and they would draw level with Pembroke. Both sides have conceded 33 times this term, averaging over four per game.

Just above them, eighth placed YMCA are up against seventh ranked Corinthian with both sides needing to get a boost away from the relegation places. Neither side have won in the EYHL since the early days of October so this will be vital for their respective ambitions.

Both did reach the Mills Cup semi-finals in recent times, though, with Corinthian winning a cracker 8-5 against Railway Union while YM beat Glenanne.

Muckross and Cork Harlequins are both looking to land a key result on Saturday. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Elsewhere, there is a full boat of the men’s EYHL2 fixtures with the Pool A clash between Cork C of I and Instonians a tasty looking one. Both sides won on their opening day of action and Inst have been able to call on Mikie Watt and Mark Gleghorne this season to good effect.

Railway Union will hope to reprise their 5-1 Leinster league win when they face Rathgar for the second time this season in the group’s other game.

In-form Kilkeel make their tournament bow in Pool B when they host Cork Harlequins. The Mourne men beat Inst last time out and also drew with Cookstown to show their strength. Both clubs are aiming to be the first time to win in this three-team group after Quins tied with Clontarf two weeks ago.

In Pool C, Bandon will look to build on an opening day win when they host Mossley while Cookstown will be confident of a second successive success in Dublin when they go to Portrane, seven days on from eliminating Pembroke from the Irish Senior Cup.

In the women’s EY Hockey League, it’s a slightly shorter line-up with only two games on the agenda with games initially postponed due to the Junior World Cup in South Africa, an event now on the backburner. Pembroke can extend their lead to seven points if they see off bottom side Cork Harlequins.

Belfast Harlequins and Muckross, meanwhile, face a huge encounter at Deramore Park. The hosts have the edge on three points with the Dubliners on just one but they have proven robust in defence via Aoife Glennon and Caroline Mathews and this could be a huge part of the contest.

At the far end has been the problem with just three goals in eight matches while Quins have seven, suggesting this could be a tight, low-scoring match-up.

EYHL2 has its third round of action with some early contenders beginning to mark themselves out. In Pool A, Ards have a five-point lead already and if they can get one over Trinity, they will have a healthy buffer going into the winter break.

Both Galway – in their first game of the campaign – and UCC will be going for the first win when they face off at Dangan on Saturday to build their playoff hopes.

Likewise, in Pool B, Lurgan and NUIG are looking to get a first W on the board. The big guns in this group already look set to be Monkstown and Queen’s and both put their 100% records on the line when they meet at Rathdown.

Sunday has a big interpro tie on the agenda with Leinster meeting Ulster in the Under-21 championship. It is Leinster’s first outing of the season while Ulster are hoping to bounce back after a 3-0 loss to Munster on day one.

Saturday 4th December 2021
Men
EYHL Division 1:
Annadale v Glenanne, Lagan College, 2.30pm; Lisnagarvey v Banbridge, Comber Road, 6pm; Three Rock Rovers v Monkstown, Grange Road, 1pm; UCD v Pembroke Wanderers, Belfield, 2pm; YMCA v Corinthian, Wesley College, 3.50pm

EYHL Division 2
Pool A:
Cork C of I v Instonians, Garryduff, 1pm; Railway Union v Rathgar, Railway Union HC, 1pm
Pool B: Kilkeel v Cork Harlequins, Kilkeel HS, 2.30pm
Pool C: Bandon v Mossley, Bandon GS, 2pm; Portrane v Cookstown, Donabate Leisure Centre, 2pm

Women
EYHL Division 1:
Belfast Harlequins v Muckross, Belfast Harlequins HC, 2.30pm; Pembroke Wanderers v Cork Harlequins, Serpentine Avenue, 2.30pm
EYHL Division 2
Pool 1:
Ards v Trinity, Londonderry Park, 2.30pm; Galway v UCC, Dangan, 1pm
Pool 2: Lurgan v NUIG, Lurgan JHS, 1pm; Monkstown v Queens University, Rathdown, 2.15pm

Sunday 5th December 2021
Men
Under 21 Inter Provincials:
Leinster v Ulster, Comber Road, 2pm

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The EHF Club of the Year 2021 Nominations

Its that time of the year again when nominations for the EHF Club of the Year 2021 are open and we are looking for clubs to represent us. If you would like to nominate a club please complete the online form HERE . Closing date for nominations is 12 noon on Wednesday 8th December. If you are successful in being nominated for the Club of the Year you will need to supply three images representing your club project.

 

 

In 2019 Hockey Ireland were delighted to congratulate Loreto and Ballymoney on their awards for club of the year.

EHF Small Club of the Year: Ballymoney Hockey Club

Established: 1984

Nation: Ireland

Project: Increasing opportunities for boys’ hockey at U11 and U13

Working across several primary schools to activate a better gender balance for junior sections. Volunteers from the club have been on leadership and coaching courses to be able to give the boys the most positive start in their hockey careers. They have had help from local schools and clubs, and families and friends of our ladies’ sections. They receive sponsorships from star fuels and Bob and Bert’s coffee shop as well as running fundraisers, including a mini and junior fun day, bag packing, table and fireside quizzes and bag packing.

Laura Walters, Funding Officer from Ballymoney said on hearing that Ballymoney HC has been awarded the accolade of Small Club of the Year 2019.

“We at Ballymoney Hockey club are absolutely delighted to have been named the European (small) club of the year 2019. Over the past few years we have attempted to restructure and redevelop our club. It has taken a lot of hard work, organisation and dedication and this award is a testament to that. We are the first club in Ulster to have been awarded such a prestigious title and we hope we can go on to promote and develop our club further.”

 

When it came to the Large Club of the Year the EHF was spoiled for choice and when the Assessments were done, both Loreto HC and The Club an der Alster had equal points, Peter chuckled “As there was no chance of a shoot-out in the event of a draw, the committee agreed that the clubs would share the title of EHF Large Club of the Year 2019. Both projects are indeed Equally Amazing.”

Large Club of the Year: Loreto Hockey Club

Established: 1926

Nation: Ireland

Project: Hockey Mums

The idea was that the club offered coaching for Mums, some who had never played hockey before and others who had not played since school, all were keen to play and learn more about the game. This commenced with 40 parents and has grown each year. This year there were over 85 parents taking part. There were three levels: beginners, intermediate and advanced. Parents were taught hockey rules, skills and fitness. After the eight weeks the parents were split into mixed teams and a blitz style tournament & BBQ was held. This final event has proved extremely popular in the community with children, Dads, teachers and local parish workers all in attendance, over 300 people attended this year.

On hearing of the win Wendy Byrne, President of Loreto HC said “ Loreto Hockey Club is delighted, honoured and very proud to be awarded the EHF Club of the Year award for large clubs. The award allowed us to highlight our clubs strong voluntary contributions, its inclusive nature and its warm welcoming atmosphere. Receiving this award caps off a great year for us, having just installed our first ever water-based pitch making our pitch and clubhouse a top-class facility. Thank you to all our members who create wonderful memories season after season. We couldn’t be happier.”

 

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Irish Under-21 men named for Euro indoor debut

Ireland’s Under-21 men’s indoor side will make their international debut next week when they take on the EuroHockey Championship II in Paredes, Portugal from December 10th to 12th.

They will compete in a seven-team round-robin tournament with Croatia, Ukraine, Belarus, Denmark, Wales and hosts Portugal with two potential promotion places on offer.

It is part of Ireland’s continued return to international indoor action following the senior men and women coming back in late 2019 with the men and women coming on stream this winter.

For coach Kenny Carroll and his support team of Ross Willis, Neil Mackay and Huw Rees, it has been a tricky preparation period with indoor sports only getting the government green light to return in the autumn after the guts of 18 months.

Nonetheless, Carroll – who has lots of European club experience with Railway Union – is thrilled at the prospect of entering this new realm.

“The European Under-21 men’s indoor championships have been held since 1982 and this is the first time Ireland has entered it,” the head coach said.

“It goes without saying that preparation has been challenging but that is what International sport is all about, and the teams and players who adapt and learn the quickest do well.

“We have a good mix of players with different skills and experiences up to now in the squad which is important for Indoor hockey. There are a lot of talented and exciting young hockey players across Ireland and the players selected have an opportunity to see how high a level of performance we can reach together at a competitive European Championship.

“I would like to commend all players involved since the start of the programme on their commitment so far. The six other competing nations will all provide a very stern test, something which we are all really looking forward to.”

The side is captained by Ben O’Grady who brings big physical strength, a powerful ball carry and good communication to the defensive line.

He will be supported on the leadership front by Cookstown’s Jack Haycock who has helped his club reach the final four of the Irish Senior Cup. He has trained with the Ulster-based Irish regional training squad and will likely be the deepest player and distributor.

Outfield, Ben Ryder and Craig Mackay were all part of the Irish Under-19 boys outdoor side that impressed during their summer four nations tournament.

Ollie Kidd – a nephew of ex-international Peter Richardson – is another who has been training with the senior Irish setup and his excellent stickwork allows his to be a key player in the middle of the dice.

Jamie Orr will become North Down’s first current player to line out for Ireland since Peter McKibbin for the Irish Under-16s; an intelligent performer, he is likely to be primarily deployed up front.

Harry McCarthy is another exciting prospect, quick on the ball and excellent in one-on-one elimination spaces. He was an All-Ireland schools and Irish Hockey Trophy winner during his Newtown/Waterford days before moving up to Dublin with YMCA.

Pembroke’s Traolach Butler brings an explosivity to the side and was recently part of the TU Dublin team that won the Mauritius Cup for the first time.

Attack-minded Jake Pillow will make his first appearance in green having played for Leinster underage outdoor teams. He is one of three Railway Union players along with ex-St Kilian’s Deutsche Schule students Louis Murphy and Eoin Brennan.

Murphy is a specialist in the turnover while Brennan is very mobile in goal. He has a very different style to the other netminder, ex-Kilkenny man Ian O’Keeffe who is now plying his trade with HC Oranje-Rood in the Netherlands. He brings a big presence to the circle.

They get their campaign underway on Friday, December 10 with games against Croatia and Ukraine before meeting Belarus and Portugal a day later. Games five and six are on December 12th against Denmark and Wales.

EuroHockey U21 Men Indoor Championship II, Parades, Portugal , December 10-12 2021

  1. Ben O’Grady (Captain, YMCA)
  2. Jack Haycock (vice-captain, Cookstown)
  3. Traoloch Butler (Pembroke Wanderers)
  4. Ollie Kidd (Lisnagarvey)
  5. Craig Mackay (Corinthian)
  6. Harry McCarthy (YMCA)
  7. Louis Murphy (Railway Union)
  8. Jamie Orr (North Down)
  9. Jake Pillow (Railway Union)
  10. Ben Ryder (Three Rock Rovers)
  11. Eoin Brennan  (Goalkeeper, Railway Union)
  12. Ian O’Keeffe (GK, HC Oranje Rood (NED))

Manager: Neil Mackay
Head Coach: Kenny Carroll
Coach / Analyst: Ross Willis
Physio: Huw Rees

Fixture schedule (all times local)
Friday 10th December: Ireland v Croatia: 12.15pm; Ireland v Ukraine: 5pm
Saturday 11th December: Ireland v Belarus : 12.30pm; Ireland v Portugal : 6.30pm
Sunday 12th December: Ireland v Denmark : 8.45am; Ireland v Wales : 2pm

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Cookstown stun Pembroke as Monkstown and Glenanne advance in ISC

Cookstown continued their hex over Pembroke as they knocked out the Dubliners in the Irish Senior Cup for the second successive campaign, emulating their success in the 2019/20 campaign.

Seventeen-year-old Max Anderson was the hero for the Ulster Premier side, scoring the clinching shoot-out in sudden death after a rollercoaster normal time ended 2-2.

The Co Tyrone side got off to a dream start with two goals in the first seven minutes with captain Paul Thompson driving down the right, finding Ryan Millar on the 90-angle and he calmly found the back of the net.

An electric run from Stuart Smyth set up the second, the midfielder getting into the circle before firing a shot at goal which Scott McCabe got the final touch to.

EYHL side Pembroke bounced back from the rough start and started to find some rhythm with key man Julian Dale causing all manner of problems, winning several penalty corners.

Millar’s running lines, however, kept the two-goal lead in place until half-time before Pembroke’s comeback started in earnest in the second half.

Harry Spain did eventually get on the board from a corner drag-flick and it was 2-2 when Greg Chambers cleaned up a fourth quarter rebound from another set piece.

That set up a shoot-out where Pembroke scored their first three efforts to lead 3-1 but Cookstown held their nerve to level at 3-3 at the end of the regulation series of five. In the first round of sudden death, Anderson slotted home before Dale could not make it by Josh McCabe and sent Cookstown through to the final four.

Reds captain Thompson said of the win: “The result keeps up our unbeaten record this season and naturally we are delighted to have got through, especially against an EYHL side.

“We got off to a flying start and then defended well before they got back into it with those two goals in the second-half.

Pembroke’s Andy Colton tackled by Mark Crooks. Picture: Adrian Boehm

“The quality of goals in the shootout was high although our keeper Josh McCabe pulled off a couple of good saves.

“Max then kept a cool head to score the winner and that was remarkable as he’s just 17 but he’s just one of several promising youngsters in the squad.

“Our biggest goal this season is to get promoted back into the EYHL but to have a good cup run is great as well.”

Munster Division One side Cork C of I pushed EYHL-high flyers Glenanne all the way but ultimately fell 1-0 in the Irish Senior Cup quarter-finals at St Andrew’s.
In the end, just Shane O’Donoghue’s first half penalty corner stood between the sides as the Garryduff side pushed hard in the second half but could not nab the equaliser.

Monkstown eased into the final four as four first half goals put them on their way to a 4-1 win over YMCA at Rathdown. David Nolan broke the deadlock in the first quarter before a couple of Rory Nichols strikes and one from Guy Sarratt put them well clear. Grant Glutz got the consolation goal for YM.

The much-anticipated clash between Three Rock Rovers and Lisnagarvey fell foul of a frozen pitch at Grange Road.

Men’s Irish Senior Cup, quarter-finals: Glenanne 1 (S O’Donoghue) Cork C of I 0; Monkstown 4 (R Nichols 2, D Nolan, G Sarratt) YMCA 1 (G Glutz); Pembroke 2 (H Spain, G Chambers) Cookstown 2 (R Millar, S McCabe), Cookstown win shoot-out 4-3
Postponed: Three Rock Rovers v Lisnagarvey