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EYHL2 playoff places to be finalised as groups come to a close

The men’s and women’s EY Hockey League playoff places will be finalised on Saturday with elements to be decided in each of the five different groups.

Men’s Pool 2 has just one game but looks like the one with the most intrigue. Last week, Harlequins, though, gave themselves a fighting chance in Group B thanks to a 2-1 win over Kilkeel with Harry O’Byrne and Andrew Dale getting the goals.

It puts them top of the three-team group by one point. Quins have finished their matches and so await Kilkeel and Clontarf’s result from next week with numerous permutations at play.

Kilkeel dropped to the foot of Group B as a result but there is only one point separating everyone. A draw would see both Kilkeel and the Bulls go through as would a win for either by a single goal due to the bonus point rule.

And so Quins are hopeful one side will run away with the contest at Kilkeel HS.

In Pool 1, Instonians put in a breathtaking performance to move ahead of Cork C of I in Group A as Mikie Watt and William Robinson scored twice each in a 6-2 success.

It lifted them into second place with a date against bottom side Rathgar to come to secure their place in the playoffs. A losing bonus point will be enough for them while a win and a favour could lift them into the semis.

Railway have the edge at the top of the group but face a C of I side in Garryduff whose promotion hopes are in the last chance saloon, hoping for a big win and then a shock from Rathgar.

Both Cookstown and Bandon will advance from Group 3 but in what order remains to be determined; the Co Tyrone club beat Portrane 4-0 to sit top on goal difference while Bandon defeated Mossley 3-2.

The two group leaders meet on Saturday to determine who will take first spot and a probable place in the promotion playoff semi-finals.

On the women’s side, Pool 1’s major issues look to be done and dusted thanks to Corinthian’s 3-2 comeback success over UCC. It assures them of second spot with the Cork side guaranteed third due to the losing bonus point with Trinity eliminated despite a 3-1 win over Galway.

The only change that can happen to the rankings this week is if Corinthian win big over Trinity and Ards lose by a heavy scoreline. In effect, there needs to be an 11-goal swing in the reds’ favour to take top spot and a semi-final berth. UCC will finish third and in the other quarter-final spot.

In Pool 2, Monkstown are assured of first but if they take the foot off the gas against Lurgan and drop their first points, it could open the door for the Ulster side to overhaul Cork C of I. The Garryduff side moved into playoff contention with a 3-2 away win over NUIG, leaping them above Lurgan – who lost 4-0 at home to Queens – into third place. C of I could land second and a home quarter-final if they win against Queen’s on Saturday thanks to last Saturday’s

EYHL Division 2
Saturday, March 26th
Men
Pool 1:
Cork C of I v Railway Union, Garryduff, 2pm; Rathgar v Instonians, The High School, 2.45pm
Pool 2: Kilkeel v Clontarf, Kilkeel HS, 2.30pm
Pool 3: Cookstown v Bandon, Steelweld Park, 2.30pm; Portrane v Mossley, Donabate LC, 2pm

Women
Pool 1:
Corinthian v Trinity, Whitechurch Park, 3.15pm; Galway v Ards, Dangan, 1pm
Pool 2: Cork C of I v Queens University, Garryduff, 12pm; Monkstown v Lurgan, Rathdown, 2.15pm

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Methody land Kate Russell title after thrilling Salerno finale

Methodist College Belfast won the Kate Russell All-Ireland Schoolgirls Championships for the second time as Jiwon Hong struck what proved to be the vital goal against Salerno at Dangan.

The tournament went down to the wire with Methody needing just a draw in the final game of the competition but a win for Galway hosts Salerno could have seen them nick the title.

And they put themselves in the frame as they led twice with Grace Walsh putting them 1-0 up only for Ruby Tindall to tie things up. Then a spectacular Anna Costello penalty corner early in the second half against had Salerno dreaming of bringing the title back to Connacht for just a third time in its 42 year history.

But Hong snagged the equaliser for Methody to make it 2-2 and they held on for that key result to stay clear in the round-robin table after two intense days.

Overnight, there was a three-way tie on four points with Holy Child Killiney with Crescent Comp and Kilkenny College looking to make a late charge.

It was the Limerick side who started off the day with Holly Doupe and Sarah Fitzgerald putting their first win on the board with a 2-0 success against the cats.

Game two was a thriller with both Salerno and Holy Child remaining unbeaten following a 2-2 draw.

Roisin Heaney finished off an outstanding goal, created by by Ailbhe Folan’s long run, and Folan also netted for the hosts with Olivia Napier and Alex Purcell getting the Killiney efforts.

That opened the door for Methody to jump into the lead when they won 2-0 against Kilkenny, Jen Lamont and Sophie Moffett on the mark.

Crescent guaranteed themselves a medal when Charlotte Horan’s penalty corner goal put them 1-0 to the good against Holy Child.

What shade everyone would get, though, was all to be decided in the final game where Methody added to their 2016 success in memorable fashion.

Kate Russell All-Ireland Schoolgirls Championships
Friday results:
Crescent Comp 2 (H Doupe, S Fitzgerald) Kilkenny College 0; Salerno 2 (R Heaney, A Folan) Holy Child Killiney 2 (O Napier, A Purcell); Kilkenny College 0 Methodist College Belfast 2 (J Lamont, S Moffett); Crescent Comp 1 (C Horan) Holy Child Killiney 0; Salerno 2 (G Walsh, A Costello) Methodist College Belfast 2 (J Hong, R Tindall)

Final Standings: 1. Methodist College Belfast 8pts (+3) 2. Salerno 6pts (+2) 3. Crescent Comp 6pts (0) 4. Holy Child Killiney 5pts (0) 5. Kilkenny College 1pt (-5)

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Garvey and Town showdown pivotal in men’s EYHL title race

On the penultimate match weekend of the men’s EY Hockey League regular season, Lisnagarvey can potentially win the title should they get the best of Monkstown and Three Rock falter against YMCA.

The former is the meeting between the two sides currently on the best runs with Garvey picking up 19 from the last available 21 points to set themselves clear at the top of the table.

Town, meanwhile, have won all of their league games in 2022, making it six in succession for Eddie O’Malley’s side. They have done so despite a number of absentees with David Nolan, Nick Dee and Jazze Henry missing last weekend’s 4-1 win over YMCA, opening up an opportunity for John O’Hara and Josh O’Neill to make their first team debuts.

They have been defensively tenacious with David Fitzgerald exceptional between the posts last weekend against YM who created a number of big chances that required his full attention.

The sides served up a thriller at Rathdown before Christmas with Town winning 4-3 but Garvey have not lost since hit steamroller mode, scoring 18 times in the last four games. Ben Nelson is in line for a return to action.

Rovers will be keenly interested in the outcome from this tie while hoping to fulfill their half of the title-chasing bargain when they go to YMCA in a repeat of St Patrick’s Day’s Mills Cup final.

For the Y, they have missed Matthew Walker at the base of their defence with his foot in a protective boot. Their main issue has been giving opponents a big start, going 3-0 inside 21 minutes in that cup finals and 2-0 behind against Town last Saturday inside four minutes.

Both times, they rattled their south Dublin rivals but only after they had a big deficit to make up.

At the bottom, there is lots to ponder once again. Perhaps the central tie in this regard is Annadale’s hosting of Pembroke. The Ulster side will go mathematically safe if they emulate their result at Serpentine Avenue before Christmas when they won out 4-0.

It would be quite a turnaround for Dale to do that. Between early February 2019 and late October 2021, they endured 30 winless EYHL games in succession through the pandemic years but that result allied to two successes against UCD has them on the verge of staying up.

Pembroke will benefit from the return of Julian Dale after suspension and their comeback point against Corinthian a week ago has kept them in touch with Dale and Corinthian.

For the reds, they were kicking themselves that they could not see home their lead against Pembroke with only 40 seconds remaining. They will be further stymied with Peter Caruth likely to miss this week’s tie with Glenanne at St Andrew’s.

Glenanne, meanwhile, have an exceptionally busy spell on their agenda. After this game against Corinthian, they host Lisnagarvey on Sunday in the Irish Senior Cup semi-final and then play Three Rock Rovers on March 30th in their refixed league game.

Saturday 26th March 2022
Men’s EYHL Division 1:
Annadale v Pembroke, Lagan College, 1pm; Glenanne v Corinthian, St. Andrews, 1.30pm; Lisnagarvey v Monkstown, Comber Road, 2pm; UCD v Banbridge, Belfield, 1pm; YMCA v Three Rock Rovers, Wesley College, 2.15pm

Sunday 27th March 2022
Men’s Irish Senior Cup, semi-finals:
Glenanne v Lisnagarvey, St Andrews, 1.30pm; Monkstown v Cookstown, Rathdown, 4pm

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Hockey Ireland welcomes Richard Fahey as interim CEO

Hockey Ireland is delighted to welcome Richard Fahey to the role of interim Chief Executive Officer for the organisation.

Richard will commence in the role from Monday 28th March, succeeding Jerome Pels who is moving from the role he has held since January 2017 to take up an equivalent position with England Boxing.

Richard has held several senior management posts within Irish sport over the past twenty years, most recently as Chief Executive of Tennis Ireland.

He was formerly Director of Club Licensing and Facility Development at the Football Association of Ireland, providing him with experience in both individual and team sport environments. Richard is also a board member at the Dublin City Sport and Wellbeing Partnership.

During his time with Tennis Ireland, tennis enjoyed a significant growth in participation as he drove improvements in governance, built relationships with clubs and helped develop new competitive opportunities for players.

He has also played a key role in facilitating the development of tennis and football facilities at local and regional level across the country including the FAI National Training Centre at the National Sports Campus.

A key task for Richard will be to build on the work done to date by Jerome and all the team in Hockey Ireland and to bring a new perspective and experience to our sport as we continue our journey to deliver for our players, coaches, umpires, volunteers and clubs.

Richard said: “I am very much looking forward to commencing my role as interim Chief Executive Officer of Hockey Ireland and working closely with the staff, the Board and with everyone involved in Hockey on the island of Ireland to further develop this wonderful sport”.

Hockey Ireland chairman Trevor Watkins added: “Hockey Ireland are very pleased to welcome Richard to lead us in what is an exciting time for our sport. Richard’s skills and experience are a perfect fit for Hockey Ireland. The Board looks forward to working with Richard as we continue to implement our strategy and take advantage of the opportunities before us.”

The search for a permanent CEO will be advertised shortly on the Hockey Ireland and Sport Ireland website.

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Pembroke and Insta vye for a first women’s EYHL title

By Saturday evening, the women’s EY Hockey League will have a new champion with either Pembroke of Catholic Institute taking the laurels for the first time.

At different points in the season, Pembroke looked like they might have had it wrapped up at this stage but Insta gave them something to think about last Saturday with their 4-1 win at Rosbrien to send the title chase to a final day.

For Pembroke, they remain in the box seat with a two-point lead and a home date against ninth-placed Muckross. Last week, they had a half-dozen players unavailable with their backline completely rejigged in the absence of Leah McGuire, Isy Delamer, Amy-Kate Trevor and Hayley O’Donnell.

Last week was, incredibly, the first time Pembroke had conceded more than one goal in a game this term. With a more settled line-up, coach Gavin Groves will ease back into their rhythm once again to land the title for the first time.

For Insta, they are guaranteed their best ever finish in the EYHL simply by virtue of the fact this will be their first complete season in the top tier.

The influence of Olympians Róisín Upton and Naomi Carroll cannot be understated; they are both among the top three goalscorers in the league, offering threats from set pieces and play, respectively.

But focusing on that duo is just part of the story. The second goal in last Saturday’s 4-1 win over leaders Pembroke was a pitch-length, training ground move of smooth movement and team interplay.

Leah Clery’s tireless running up top, Laura Foley’s ability to ghost by players and the assurance of Christine O’Shea in defence are all pivotal.

If they win their lunchtime game at Belfast Harlequins (12.45pm, Deramore Park), Insta will have a – potentially temporary – one-point lead in the rankings.

Then, they will hope to be active Muckross supporters for an afternoon, wishing on the relegation-threatened side can deny Pembroke a victory (2.30pm, Serpentine Avenue).

They form exciting parts of a final day of the campaign with something on the line for nine of the ten teams due to the new playoff format. Muckross and Belfast Quins’ fate is also wrapped up in those ties with the Dubliners needing a win to have a chance to avoid the drop – by the time they hit the turf, they will know their equation and what is possible.

Pegasus are already assured of a playoff spot but they will be hoping to upgrade their guaranteed quarter-final spot to a semi; for this to happen, they need Insta to falter and then win over UCD.

The students, though, will know what they need in the last game of the season (starting at 2.50pm at Belfield) to get into the playoffs themselves.

Railway, seventh, can put fifth-placed Old Alex’s playoff hopes in jeopardy if they pick up a win at Milltown in a potential barnstormer. Loreto, meanwhile, will look to pin down a home quarter-final if they can lock down the points at home against Cork Harlequins.

Sunday, meanwhile, sees the women’s Irish Senior Cup semi-finals take place. Holders UCD are going for a fourth title in five editions of the competition but they need to be the first side this season to win at Rosbrien as they go to Catholic Institute – they did draw there on the opening day of the season, the one blemish to Insta’s home record.

Pembroke host Pegasus in a repeat of the 1975 final, the year the Dublin 4 side last won the title.

Saturday, March 26th
Women’s EYHL Division 1:
Belfast Harlequins v Catholic Institute, Deramore Park, 12.30pm; Cork Harlequins v Loreto, Farmers’ Cross, 12.45pm; Old Alex v Railway Union, Milltown, 1.30pm; Pembroke Wanderers v Muckross, Serpentine Avenue, 2.30pm; UCD v Pegasus, Belfield, 2.50pm

Sunday, March 27th
Women’s Irish Senior Cup, semi-finals:
Catholic Institute v UCD, Rosbrien, 1pm; Pembroke v Pegasus, Serpentine Avenue, 4pm

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Salerno, Holy Child and Methody lead way after day one

Hosts Salerno hold a narrow edge after day one of the Kate Russell All-Ireland Schoolgirls Championships in Dangan, leading the group on goal difference after a tightly fought series of fixtures.

The Salthill side got off to a dream start when Sinead Burke scored just a couple of minutes into the tournament against Kilkenny College but the sides ultimately shared a 1-1 draw with Julie Greene equalising.

Salerno later backed that up with a 2-0 win against reigning champions Crescent College Comprehensive thanks to goals from Ciara Dunne and Ailbhe Folan.

It puts them on four points, the same tally as both Methodist College Belfast and newcomers Holy Child Killiney who drew 0-0 in their opening game. Both followed up with 1-0 wins, Methody defeating Crescent 1-0 courtesy of a Sasha Tindall goal while Killiney got their first win against Kilkenny on the same scoreline.

Day two opens up in Galway with Crescent against Kilkenny before a potentialy defining game between Salerno and Holy Child at 11am.

Kate Russell All-Ireland Schoolgirls Championships (all at Dangan, Galway)
Thursday results:
Salerno 1 (S Burke) Kilkenny College 1 (J Greene); Methodist College Belfast 0 Holy Child Killiney 0; Crescent Comp 0 Salerno 2 (C Dunne, A Folan); Kilkenny College 0 Holy Child Killiney 1 (L Schwer); Crescent Comp 0 Methodist College 1 (S Tindall)

Friday fixtures: Crescent Comp v Kilkenny College, 9.30am; Salerno v Holy Child Killiney, 11am; Kilkenny College v Methodist College, 12.30pm; Holy Child Killiney v Crescent Comp, 2pm; Methodist College v Salerno, 3.30pm

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Galway awaits for the 2022 Kate Russell All-Ireland Schoolgirl Championship

After two years hiatus, the Kate Russell All-Ireland Championship returns with the five regional champions battling it out in the 41st edition of the marquee competition at NUIG’s Dangan on Thursday and Friday. 

It features three previous winners of the title with 2019 champs and holder Crescent Comprehensive; 2018 victors Kilkenny College and 2016’s Methodist College Belfast all tasting success in recent times. 

At the other end of the spectrum, Leinster’s Holy Child Killiney are a newcomer to this stage having won their provincial final for the first time after 75 years of hockey in the school while host school Salerno are looking to have the trophy in Connacht for the first time since 2009. 

The action gets underway on Thursday morning at 9am with five matches running through the day and five more on Friday with the winner decided on a round-robin group basis. 

Find out more about the sides here: 

Crescent Comprehensive (Munster champions) 

The reigning champions by virtue of their 2019 success, Crescent have enjoyed a super season to daye. They had a 100% record in the North Munster league and eagerly await the league semi-final in Limerick where they face Mount Mercy.  

This league form provided momentum to overcome Munster contenders Scoil Mhuire in the quarter final of the cup 5-2. In the semi-final, Crescent overcame a dogged Ursuline Thurles side 3-1 before needing a near faultless performance in the final to overcome Mount Mercy 2-0.  

Munster champions Crescent

Goals have been shared throughout the forward line between Amy Connolly, Seodhna Dervan and captain Holly Doupe with Sarah Fitzgerald, Aoibheann Collins and Jodie Keane leading the charge from both midfield and defence. 

Squad: 1. Trixie Pearce GK 2. Ingrid Cussen 3. Jodie Keane 4. Maria Campbell 5. Amy Connolly 6. Aoibheann Collins 7. Bronagh Byrne 8. Holly Doupe C 9. Jane Moore 10. Eimear Cowhey 11. Sarah Fitzgerald 13. Charlotte Horan 14. Seodhna Dervan 15. Ciara Brennan 16. Ali Clein 17. Hannah O’Byrne 20. Anna Campbell 22. Faye Luby GK (12. Róisín O’Brien – travelling reserve) 

Coach: Cathal Duggan, Assistant Coach: Gary Kirby, Manager: Miriam O’Callaghan. Other: Sean O’Callaghan 

 

Holy Child Killiney (Leinster champions) 

The school won their first ever Leinster Senior Cup title earlier this year, edging out Newbridge College in the final to make them the one newcomer this week to the top table in the Kate Russell Championship. The group has been incredibly committed and has a unique team spirit that been a significant factor in the team’s successes so far.  

This was backed up by winning the Claudia Tierney following a second-place finish in league group having lost out to eventual winners Wesley 1-0. Captain Alex Purcell has provided a constant threat in midfield while twins Sophie and Katie Meir play pivotal roles. The team has kept seven clean sheets in all competitions with Emma McCann, Millie Jerman and goalkeeper Cathy Green providing great stability at the back.  

Squad: 1 Cathy Green (Gk) 2 Katie Meir 3 Rachel Jackson 4 Jessica O’donovan 5 Emma Mccann 6 Alex Purcell (C) 7 Sophie Meir (Vc) 8 Jenny Baily 9 Sarah Mcfarland 10 Isabelle Napier 11 Lucy Schwer 12 Millie Jerman 13 Heather Miles 14 Aliya Davis 15 Olivia Napier 16 Sive Mcloughlin 17 Hannah Murphy 25 Hannah Gerlitz (Gk) 

Head coach: Simon Lowry; assistant coach: Jess McGrane; goalkeeping coach: David Fitzgerald 

Holy Child Killiney. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Jesus & Mary Secondary School, Salerno (Connacht champions) 

Salerno has a proud history of competing in the Kate Russell tournament as Connacht champions, representing Connacht this year having done so in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018 and would have done so in 2020.  

The Leaving Certs in our current senior squad were part of the Under-15 squad who competed in the inaugural June Smith All Irelands in Kilkenny in 2018, finishing third in that tournament. 

They swept to the Palmer Cup this year with a 5-0 final win over Colaiste Iognaid in the final in early March. Among their line-up are captain Leah Ruane, Ailis McDonnell, Grace Walsh, Anna Costello and Isabelle Howard who all represented Connacht in the Under-18 interprovincial tournament this season while Ailbhe Folan has scored in EYHL2 this term. 

Squad: 1. Grace Kavanagh (GK) 2. Ava McGauran 3. Ailbhe Folan (Vice Captain) 4. Joanne O’Flaherty 5. Anna Costello 6. Emma Dillon 7. Ailis McDonnell 8. Leah Ruane (Captain) 9. Sinead Burke 10.Ciara Dunne 11.Amy Keenan 12.Isabelle Howard 13.Sophie Beatty 14.Laoise Medley 15.Roisin Heaney 16.Grace Walsh 17.Lauren O’Flaherty 18.Ella Harte (GK)  

Reserves: • Aoife Summerville • Maeve Moran • Aoibhin Deasy • Anna Harty (injured)  

Coach: Gerry Heaney Assistant Coach/Team Manager: Katie Osborne 

 

Kilkenny College (South East champions) 

Kilkenny College are looking to win their third Kate Russell Championship having landed the trophy in 1994 and 2018. They qualified for the finals stage with a 2-1 victory over city rivals Loreto Kilkenny in the South East final. 

Vicky Ronaldsson is the side’s top goalscorer, working well in tandem with Julie Greene up front. Handcock sisters Amy and Zoe are crucial in midfield along with other South Leinster players including Ava Chamney (captain), Emma Simmons, Sarah Wiilson and Holly Hutchinson in the backs. 

Many of the side play with either the rapidly rising Kilkenny Hockey Club or Naas Hockey Club. 

Squad: 1 Sarah Valentine (Gk) 3 Zoe Handcock 4 Megan Sherwood 5 Sarah Wilson 6 Vicky Ronaldson 7 Holly Hutchinson Vc 8 Ava Chamney C 9 Jill Stephens 11 Lily Grace 12 Amy Handcock 13 Emily Brain 14 Julie Greene Vc 15 Lilly Cooke 16 Emma Simmons 17 Tara Obyrne 18 Molly Mcloughlin Gk 19 Erika Lowe 20 Lucy Pringle 

Coach: Ross Harding; assistant coach: Richard Willis; manager: Lesley Threlfall 

Kilkenny College

 

Methodist College Belfast (Ulster champions) 

Methodist College Belfast, affectionately known as Methody, is enjoying a big sporting year as they won their second girls Ulster Senior Cup title along with the boys senior rugby cup.  

A number of players have achieved representative honours at Ulster and Irish Level; Ella Armstrong, Anna Pim and Enya Darby (Ulster U18) and Erin Pim (Ulster U16) while the multi-talented Amy Hunter hit the world record books in 2021 at just 16 years old as cricket’s youngest international centurion. She scored the winning goal in the Ulster final from a corner variation in their 1-0 victory over Royal School Armagh. 

Their squad has also shown their incredible heart for hockey throughout the season as well as their heart for giving, contributing to various charity projects (such as Charlene’s Project) and supporting an initiative created by co-Captain Anna Pim (At the Heart of the Game).  

Squad: 1. Enya Darby (GK) 2. Amy Hunter 3. Sophie Moffett 4. Adriana Cutrona 5. Ella Armstrong (Co-Captain) 6. Sarah Johnston 7. Anna Pim (Co-Captain) 8. Katy Doherty 9. Jiwon Hong 10. Sasha Tindall 11.Ruby Tindall 12.Zara Bolan 13.Erin Pim 14.Jen Lamont 15.Holly Moffett 16.Emma Campton 17.Rebecca Glass (GK) 

Coach: Fiona McIlwaine; Assistant Coach: Lynne McCluggage; Team Manager: Sarah McGrath

Methodist College Belfast

 

 

Kate Russell All-Ireland Schoolgirls Championships 2022 (all at NUIG Sports Grounds Dangan) 

Thursday 24th March 

9.30am Salerno V Kilkenny College 

11am Methodist College Belfast V Holy Child Killiney  

12.30pm Crescent Comprehensive V Salerno  

2pm Holy Child Killiney V Kilkenny College  

3.30pm Crescent Comprehensive College V Methodist College Belfast  

Friday 25th March 

9.30am Crescent Comprehensive College V Kilkenny College  

11am Salerno V Holy Child Killiney  

12.30pm Kilkenny College V Methodist College Belfast  

2pm Holy Child Killiney V Crescent Comprehensive College  

3.30pm Methodist College Belfast V Salerno  

** Each match is 50 minutes in total (4 quarters of 12.5 mins with 2 mins break at quarters and 5 mins at half time) 

Ireland Under-18 boys squad for Easter series in Lilleshall

 

Irish Under-18 boys head coach Simon Lowry has named a panel of 21 to travel to Lilleshall from 15th to 18th April where they will compete against The Netherlands, Belgium and England in a five-nations tournament in which Germany are also taking part.

The side will subsequently host Scotland for three games from July 1 to 3 in UUJ.  In mid-July, they will play in an international tournament in Germany against the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, England and Spain.

Fixture schedule (all at Lilleshall, England)
Friday, April 15th: Ireland v Netherlands, 1pm
Saturday, April 16th: Ireland v Belgium, 1pm
Monday, April 18th: Ireland v England, 2.15pm
Squad:
Player Province Club School
Allen Lyons Ulster Annadale
RBAI
Ben Pasley Leinster Three Rock Rovers
The High School
Ben Pollock Ulster Banbridge
Banbridge Academy
Charlie Rowe Ulster Banbridge
Banbridge Academy
Cian Dorgan Munster Cork C of I Ashton
Conor Matthews Ulster Annadale Sullivan Upper
Conor Murphy (GK) Leinster Avoca Newpark
Harry Dagg Leinster Avoca Temple Carrig
James Clark Ulster Annadale
Methodist College Belfast
Josh Gill Leinster Three Rock Rovers Wesley College
Louis Rowe * Ulster Banbridge
Banbridge Academy
Mackenzie Connor Ulster Lisnagarvey
Friends’ School Lisburn
Mark Cuddy Ulster Cookstown
Cookstown High School
Matthew McKee Ulster Banbridge
Banbridge Academy
Matthew Stevenson Ulster Banbridge
Banbridge Academy
Patrick McElhinney Ulster Annadale
Methodist College Belfast
Rhys Armah-Kwantreng Leinster Monkstown
St Andrew’s College
Sam Hickmott Leinster Monkstown
St Andrew’s College
Scott Hosick (GK) Ulster Lisnagarvey
Friends’ School Lisburn
Tiarnan Gaffney Munster Catholic Institute Villiers School
Tommy Dobson Ulster Banbridge
Banbridge Academy
* Subject to recovery from injury

Management Team:
Head Coach – Simon Lowry
Assistant Coach – Adam Pritchard
Manager – Ruth McDonagh
Physio – Hugh Byrne
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Pembroke’s late equaliser against Corinthian keeps men’s EYHL relegation battle live

Men’s EYHL – day 16 round-up

Pembroke 2 (I Johnson, M Duggan) Corinthian 2 (M Neill, P Caruth)

Mark Duggan’s last minute equaliser gave Pembroke denied Corinthian a vital victory in the battle to avoid relegation as he struck a cracking reverse-stick shot to make it 2-2 at Serpentine Avenue.

It keeps Pembroke in ninth place but, vitally, they remain in touch with Corinthian, trailing the reds and safety by two points with two rounds of matches still to play.

Pembroke made most of the first half play but left huge holes at the back twice to be caught on the counter. In the early stages, former Pembroke man Simon Thornton did well to keep out Cian Murphy despite getting into a little tangle and he also got a solid boot to Philip Forster’s shot.

The reds, however, took the lead when Chad Futcher launched a big overhead from the edge of his own circle which Max Neill picked up on the opposing D. He rounded Ilko Dartsch down the right to slip the ball home from a tight angle.

It was 2-0 when Caruth was set free in acres of space inside his own half and he was able to find Brinsley Powell overlapping on the baseline. He looked to be impeded but a good advantage allowed the ball to be shovelled into Caruth’s path to finish off.

Pembroke closed out the half with two more chances as Isaac Johnson and a Sothern drag were both turned away by Thornton.

Caruth cleared the bar from a tight angle in the second half before Pembroke started to piled on the pressure. A big block from Ben Murphy kept out a corner as the reds soaked up a huge amount of pressure in Q3 but the lead was cut in half in the fourth quarter when Ronan Flannery powered down the baseline and his cross was finished off first time by Johnson.

And Pembroke laid an even bigger siege to the Corinthian circle which was eventually breach with about 45 seconds left on the counter. It came again down the right wing with Alex Burns finding Duggan peeling away from goal where he unleashed a rocket of a strike to earn the point.

Monkstown 4 (G Sarratt 2, L Cole, M Gibbons) YMCA 1 (R Henderson)

Monkstown made it six wins in succession to move up to second place in the table as a pair of Guy Sarratt saw them pull away from YMCA at Rathdown in the third quarter.

Town had a corner within the first 20 seconds when Davy Carson was felled wife on the right; Lee Cole ripped the ball into the net for a lead they never relinquished. It was 2-0 in the fifth minute when Lee Cole’s long overhead found Jeremy Duncan who laid off to Geoff Cole on the outside. His cross was pin-point and Mark Gibbons was able to guide into the net.

YM were back in the contest in the 10th minute when Sam Hyland danced through a couple of tackles before reversing from the left baseline to Ross Henderson to touch in, 2-1.

From there, the Y had the vast majority of the play but could not take advantage with five corners drawing no score while Grant Glutz’s reverse was well saved by David Fitzgerald.

The goalkeeper also produced a wonderful block from Harry McCarthy’s deflection; Fionn Marriott’s direct running also created three glorious chances with Keith Kenning clearing off the line.

But things unravelled in the third quarter as Guy Sarratt scored from a penalty corner to make it 3-1. Sam Hyland took a 10-minute yellow for a physical foul on Duncan and the Ben O’Grady followed him off. Down to nine, Town took advantage with Sarratt scoring another corner goal. Jakim Bernsden made an outstanding save from Davy Carson to keep it at 4-1 as Monkstown closed out the result with relative ease despite their serious discomfort in the middle phases of the game.

Banbridge 1 (Peter Brown) Annadale 0

Peter Brown got the only goal of the game in the Ulster derby as Banbridge beat Annadale to stay in the hunt for an EY Champions Trophy semi-final ticket.

It came in the second quarter with Peter Brown doing all the work, tackling a defender on the 23-metre line where he whipped the ball onto his reverse and shot home.

Both sides endured a number of cards in the second half but, otherwise, it was a match very low on chances with no penalty corners for either side and precious few sights of goal.

For Bann, they are in fourth place and two points off second spot with two matches to go while Annadale are three points above the relegation zone but can attain safety if they get

UCD 0 Lisnagarvey 4 (M Nelson 2, D Nelson, O Kidd)

Lisnagarvey extended their lead in the men’s EY Hockey League to four points, as they eased to a 4-0 win over already relegated UCD. For Garvey, they led from the seventh minute when Matthew Nelson nailed a reverse-stick shot for the only goal of the first half.

He turned provider for Daniel just after the break who slipped him the ball which was duly dispatched to the roof of the goal. Matthew provided  wondrous third, driving into the circle and shooting low into the bottom corner before Kidd continued his excellent scoring form to complete the win.

Three Rock Rovers v Glenanne – postponed

High winds mean the watering system at Grange Road was unable to reach all parts of the water-based turf with areas deemed dangerous for play and thus the tie was postponed.

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Women’s EYHL title race goes down to final day as Insta beat Pembroke

Women’s EY Hockey League – day 17 round-up
Catholic Institute 4 (L Foley 2, R Upton, H Kelly) Pembroke 1 (G Pinder)

Catholic Institute ensured the women’s EYHL title chase will go down to the wire as the Limerick beat the league leaders with something to spare, cutting the gap to two points with one game to go.

It was their eighth successive home league win and completes an unbeaten home campaign, picking up 25 out of 27 points on offer. For Pembroke, they came into the tie needing a draw or better to win the title for the first time but they struggled without the services of Sinead Loughran, Emily Beatty, Isy Delamer, Amy-Kate Trevor, Hayley O’Donnell and Leah McGuire with their backline overhauled.

They fell behind in the eighth minute when Naomi Carroll slipped a lovely through ball to Laura Foley and her intended cross took a big deflection in off the shoe of a back-pedaling defender.

Hannah Kelly made it 2-0 following an exquisite move down the left wing with Leah Clery picking out the pass and the Kilkenny woman slammed home a backhand shot for 2-0.

Pembroke, though, fought back well before the end of the first half with Gillian Pinder and Orla Macken to the fore with Ellen Curran twisting and turning in midfield. From a series of penalty corners, Pinder flicked in from close range to cut the gap to 2-1.

And they carried that momentum into the early stages of the second half where they held a good volume of possession. Insta, though, always had a greater cohesion and were able to work the ball out of tight spots in neat style and they put daylight back between the sides from a penalty corner. Roisin Upton got the goal, picking up a rebound from a penalty corner from mid-circle.

Foley then crowned the win when she won the breaking ball from a long Upton pass forward and while she had options left and right, she took on the shot herself and picked out the bottom corner.

Insta now face eighth-placed Belfast Harlequins away while Pembroke go to Muckross on the last day of the season to determine the title.

Belfast Harlequins 1 (N Lyttle) Railway Union 4 (E Smyth 2, A Long, Z Delany)
Railway Union kept up their pursuit of an EY Champions Trophy quarter-final spot as three second half goals at Deramore Park saw them win 4-1 on a sunny springtime day.

Railway took a fourth minute lead when Sarah Hawkshaw peeled left around the edge of the D from a long corner move and picked out a perfect line to Emma Smyth to bat in her first of the day.

Quins recovered from their slow start to test Riona Norton down low almost immediately off the back of a Katie Larmour run while Emma Uprichard was also crowded out. They were back on terms when Jenna Watt’s surge down the right earned a corner which Natalie Lyttle powered home for 1-1.

It remained that way through the second quarter with Railway having the edge in play, winning a couple of corners while Zara Delany had a reverse cleared away off the line.

Quins looked dangerous on the counter in Q3 with Suzanne Taylor making an excellent block off Lily Lloyd while Rachel Johnston produced a knee-grazing sliding block to save brilliantly.

Railway retook the lead through Smyth on her reverse after a couple of strong tackles in the D opened up the chance and she found space well to chip in.

Although Quins battled hard to find the equaliser, Railway found some rhythm in their passing and moving and the key third goal was a beauty, Hawkshaw feeding Orla Patton’s whose first time touch against the grain invited Ailish Long to strike first time in the 57th minute for 3-1.

With five minutes to go, Delany added the fourth, a corner move back to the injector. Railway remain in seventh place going into their final game against Old Alex where a win would see them secure a quarter-final spot.

For Harlequins, they stay two points above the relegation line but need a win next week against Catholic Institute to be sure of staying above Muckross.

Muckross 0 Loreto 2 (C Hamill, H Matthews)
Loreto all-but assured themselves a place in the EY Champions Trophy quarter-finals with a hard-won three points at Grange Road against Muckross with Christina Hamill and Hannah Matthews getting the goals in the second half.

The first half was one of few chances with both defences holding up well. Yasmin Pratt twisted and turned before testing Aoife Glennon while two Loreto corners were snuffed out, Jane O’Brien charging down the second one which almost led to a big chance at the far end.

Christina Hamill celebrates her goal for Loreto. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Twice, Loreto had to clear their lines in front of Lizzie Murphy while Siofra O’Brien’s reverse went inches wide to close out the half.

The goal, though, did not take long to arrive after the big break as a corner move initially broke down but the fell to the right where Hamill was on hand to crack home from the right of the D.

The second also came from a corner, a scrappy affair as the injection was a little off course but, after a few bites of the cherry, Matthews slammed in the chance.

Muckross replied with a corner chance which Julia Balcerzak fired at goal but Murphy did well to palm away. That was as close as they came to getting one back as Loreto defended their 23-metre zone well for the remainder of the contest to secure a precious three points.

UCD 2 (S McAuley, K Egan) Old Alex 0
UCD beat Old Alex for the second time in three days, backing up their Jacqui Potter Cup final success with an important league win which keeps them in the top six and an EY Champions Trophy berth.

UCD raced out of the blocks with Holly Micklem forced to make three big stops, the first from point-blank range from Katherine Egan on the volley, next from Michelle Carey and then from Egan again on the reverse.

Next she blocked Rachel Kelly sliding out after Carey’s driving run. Alex’s best chances came from a pair of corners but Ellie McLoughlin did well to block both. It was UCD who were largely on top, camping in Alex territory for much of the second quarter but to no avail on the scoreboard.

The deadlock was broken in the third quarter when Sarah McAuley – one of a string of players returning from international duty – picked out the unguarded bottom right of the backboard from her side’s third set piece.

Alex – who were without Deirdre Duke and Nikki Evans – came on strong in the closing quarter with Jess McGirr a powerful presence; she drew a low block from McLoughlin while there were a number of other scrambles that were repelled.

UCD’s clincher, however, came with six minutes to go when Egan claimed a touch on a long ball into the middle by Katie-Jane Marshall. It was initially given as a free out but a consultation saw the goal awarded.

Pegasus 11 (A Speers 4, N McIvor 3, L McKee 2, L Paul, E Armstrong) Cork Harlequins 0
Pegasus ran up a facile 11-0 win over already relegated Cork Harlequins to stay very much in the hunt for an automatic EY Champions Trophy semi-final spot.

The game was as good as done by the fifth minute with Alex Speers netting the first two of her four goals on the day either side of a Niamh McIvor effort.

Speers had her hat trick by the 10th minute and it was up to 7-0 by half-time of a hugely one-sided affair as McIvor also landed a treble. That win keeps them two points off second placed Catholic Institute as they look to try and secure a bypass through the first round of the playoffs for the big prize.