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Railway end Insta winning streak as Pegs move back into fourth

Railway Union ended Catholic Institute’s long winning streak to provide a second big twist to the women’s EY Hockey League title race while giving their own EY Champions Trophy aspirations a massive boost.

Insta had the chance to move top for the first time if they could extend their run to seven wins and they started off well with Jenny Clein scoring from their first corner of the contest, coming just two minutes after she came off the bench.

But Railway were in bullish mood off the back of their strong draw against Pembroke on Saturday and they went level when Orla Fox dragged in a penalty corner.

Lily Lloyd made it 2-1 with a spectacular finish, shooting into the top corner on her reverse and they carried that momentum into the second half. Lloyd became the creator for the third goal when her lovely flat cross got the finish it deserved from Zara Delany at the back post.

Insta fought back and got one back in the 65th minute courtesy of Aebhfhinn Bourke but Railway held on for the points which lifts them up to fifth place.

For Institute, they now have an interesting proposition as they end the weekend in second place. Should they win their three remaining fixtures, they will be champions – it is a tough line-up, though, with away dates against Loreto and Belfast Harlequins along with a vital battle with Pembroke on March 19.

For Pembroke, should they also win their three remaining ties, too, they will be champs – in addition to Insta, they face Belfast Harlequins and Muckross.

In the other game on Sunday, Pegasus ended their run of three defeats – all without scoring – to pick an important win over Old Alex, 2-1 at the Dub.

The first half was tight with Hannah Craig’s two penalty corner hits the main chances, the latter almost redirected in by Ruth Maguire.

But they did get their goal, ending a run of 274 minutes without one, when Shirley McCay slapped a third corner into the path of Alex Speers and she broke the deadlock in Q3.

It stayed that way after some big scramble defence before Pegasus put themselves further in the clear when Lucy McKee battled through to pop in the second with 12 minutes to go.

Emma Russell got one back amid a melee in front of the Alex goal with two minutes to goal but the Ulster side won out. It sees them move back up the table into fourth place.

The next tie on the agenda is UCD’s meeting with Loreto on Thursday night at Beaufort – their third face-off within a month. Loreto won the league tie 4-1 while the students took the Jacqui Potter Cup semi-final result 3-1 last week.

Women’s EYHL Division 1
Sunday:
Railway Union 3 (O Fox, L Lloyd, Z Delany) Catholic Institute 2 (J Clein, A Bourke); Pegasus 2 (A Speers, L McKee) Old Alex 1 (E Russell)

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Lisnagarvey stay clear in men’s EYHL as Town, YM and TRR win

Men’s EY Hockey League – day 14 round-up
Monkstown 4 (D Carson 2, G Sarratt, J Duncan) Annadale 1 (M Robson)

A brilliant four-goal burst in the first quarter saw Monkstown ease to victory over Annadale at Rathdown, moving into a share of third place.

Davy Carson was at his effervescent best and he broke the deadlock a couple of minutes in when he peeled away to take in Guy Sarratt’s rocket of a pass in his stride. His control was followed by an outstanding reverse-stick to the top corner.

He was denied an instant second when he pumped into the goal but was deemed to have shielded in the build-up. It was 2-0, however, via a brilliant team goal when Lee Cole clipped a pass which Theo Kohlmann controlled well before passing on to Rhys Armah-Kwantreng who found Jeremy Duncan; he flicked in on the turn.

Duncan played a heavy role in goal three with some aerial juggling before hitting the post with Sarratt on hand to clean up the rebound. And their scoring was complete by the 15th minute when Kohlmann picked out Carson whose snap-shot on the turn made its way in.

Annadale steadied after the first break and had a couple of good chances through Michael Robson while Sam Hamill blocked a couple of chances with acrobatic saves.

Into the second half, Sarratt flicked a stroke wide moments before Dale got on the board from the spot, themselves, after David Tremlett was fouled; Michael Robson popped it in. Both sides had four more corners in the second half but none were converted.

Banbridge 2 (Ph Brown, C Rowe) Glenanne 2 (R Couse, S O’Donoghue)
Banbridge and Glenanne’s potential title chances were both setback as their draw – allied to wins to the sides around them – left them almost out of range.

Richard Couse got the only goal of the first half but Bann turned things around in the second half with Philip Brown and Charlie Rowe both scoring. Shane O’Donoghue’s penalty stroke equalised at 2-2 before the end of Q3.

Glenanne are now four points of top spot while Banbridge are in fifth with six points to make up on Lisnagarvey and four to Three Rock in the second EY Champions Trophy place.

Banbridge’s Jonny McKee flicks past Glenanne goalkeeper David Lawless. Pic: Billy Pollock

Lisnagarvey 7 (A Edgar 2, D Nelson 2, M McKibbin, O Kidd, M Nelson) Pembroke 1 (J Dale)
Lisnagarvey put struggling Pembroke to the sword to maintain their slender two-point lead at the top of the men’s EY Hockey League, running up a comprehensive 7-1 win at Comber Road.

It also ended a remarkable series which saw the lead change hands in each of the last six rounds of fixtures as Garvey built on last week’s significant 3-2 success over Three Rock Rovers.

Garvey took a while to get up and running as a series of close changes went incomplete in the first quarter but they never really looked back after the in-form Ollie Kidd put them in front in the 20th minute.

A phenomenal Daniel Nelson doubled up before half-time and they soon raced away in the second half with the eldest Nelson brother getting his second. Andy Edgar made it a personal three goals in three games from the penalty spot and he duly added another via the same method for 5-0.

Matthew Nelson and Matthew McKibbin both chipped in before Julian Dale got a consolation goal for the Dubliners who remain in the relegation zone as a result.

Three Rock Rovers 3 (A Haughton 2, E Jennings) Corinthian 2 (I Stewart 2)
Three Rock Rovers nicked all the points from a feisty Dublin 16 derby, Evan Jennings scoring the crucial goal with nine minutes to go despite his side being down to nine players at the time.

Three Rock got off to a strong start with Ali Haughton scoring twice in the first 10 minutes; his first followed a right-wing attack that broke to him at the left post where he controlled and flicked in.

His second was an outrageous effort, a ball deflecting his way at pace and two feet off the ground; he swung on his backhand and caught it perfectly, leaving goalkeeper Simon Thornton standing.

Corinthian got back into the game from a smart quick free, Andrew Sutton finding Peter Caruth in the D and he laid off a pass to Ian Stewart for a simple finish.

Haughton went close to a hat trick from another volley, Thornton saving well. Ben Whelan did likewise at the far end with a brilliant stick stop early in the second half but Stewart did make it 2-2 with a virtuoso piece of work, catching a loose ball, beating a player and then chipping into the top corner.

Rovers went into foul trouble in the second half, picking up three yellows but still had slightly the better of the chances in the closing quarter. Jennings took the crucial one, cleaning up after Ross Canning’s shot was parried his way. The reds had a last second corner which Caruth slapped at goal but Harry McMahon guided it around the post to ensure a scrappy three points.

YMCA 3 (A Walker, G Glutz, A Meates) UCD 2 (S Byrne, K O’Dea)
YMCA took another big step toward both an EY Champions Trophy spot and confirmed safety in the EYHL for next season with their win over UCD.

The students did go in front early on when good pressure led to a goal from Sam Byrne, tapping in at the back post and they had a couple of corners to extend the lead in a lively opening spell, drawing good stops from Jakim Bernsden.

The Y, though, were also notching up the chances with Ben Campbell hitting the post in the first quarter before Adam Walker’s corner made it 1-1 from a corner flick. Grant Glutz added the next from a penalty stroke and they had a further effort ruled out just before half-time following a much more controlled spell.

Andrew Meates stretched the lead out to 3-1 in the 43rd minute from play despite UCD pressure until the very last minute when Kevin O’Dea scored a final hooter corner goal.

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Catholic Institute close the gap to Pembroke to two points

Day 14 match reports

Catholic Institute 1 (N Carroll) Pegasus 0 

Catholic Institute continued their winning streak with Naomi Carroll’s single goal making it six wins in succession, putting them within two points of leaders Pembroke, now with a game in hand. 

It was different from many of their recent swashbuckling wins as they had to withhold a second half onslaught as Pegasus threw everything forward but could not find the crucial touch.  

Early on, Carroll’s reverse went close in the opening moments, going across the face of goal. Lucy McKee did likewise from a swift overload move down the right wing for Pegs 

The Ulster side did have the ball in the net from their second corner, albeit via Alex Speers’ foot from Shirley McCay’s slap.  

That was before the game’s defining moment when Hannah Kelly blocked a clearance in the Pegasus circle and retrieved the ball, pulling the ball back to Róisín Upton who found Carroll on the right post to pop in. 

Corner drags from Anna Horan and Upton were kept out in the third quarter while Kelly’s lengthy run almost created a second. But Pegasus were building pressure with Niamh McIvor denied by an excellent Pam Smithwick stop while the corner count built to five with the pick of the chances falling to McKee but it was skewed wide. 

Insta were almost able to breathe a bit easier when Pegs swapped out their goalkeeper for an extra outfielder but Carroll was unable to cash in on an opportunity. 

 

Pembroke 0 Railway Union 0 

Pembroke were left frustrated as the base of the post denied a final quarter penalty stroke as the table-toppers drew for the third time in four outings as they shared a scoreless draw with near neighbours Railway Union. 

Railway started the better and had good chances when Alex Gallagher found Sarah Patton but Emma Buckley saved her flick well. Eanna Horan went close with Pembroke’s big chance of the first quarter. 

The second quarter was tight with Pembroke starting it strong while Riona Norton produced an excellent double-save, denying Sinead Loughran’s shot on the spin and Aisling Naughton’s follow-up. 

In the second half, the main chances came from set pieces with two Pembroke corners drawing no real danger while Niamh Shaw’s slap was well blocked by Buckley. 

The big moment caem from Pembroke’s third corner when stopper Ellen Curran’s shot was deemed to be blocked by a foot in line with the goal. Pinder stepped up and sent Norton the wrong way but her stroke hit the post. 

In the closing phases, Shaw hit Railway’s third corner just wide, Pinder went close while Naughton’s through ball for Sally Campbell was dangerous but the following shot went wide. 

 

Old Alexandra 3 (N Sweeney, E Russell, A Russell) Muckross 2 (S Quill, J Balcerzak) 

Old Alex continued their good form as they made it 10 points from the last 12 available as three goals in the first 21 minutes put them on course for victory despite a big second half Muckross comeback. 

Alex built a 3-0 half-time lead as they took their chances well. The first came after Muckross never fully got set from a swift counter, set in motion by Lena Tice. Abbie Russell’s slap at goal was well blocked but Niamh Sweeney followed up with a piledriver for 1-0. 

It was 2-0 in Q2 from the first corner of the game; Mikayla Power had two shots, the latter of which bounced to Emma Russell to sweep in from the injector area. And it was three in the 21st minute when the ball broke to Abbie Russell on the back post and she unleashed a reverse-stick shot. 

Muckross were highly competitive, throughout the half, matching Alex’s corner count while a one-on-one chance showed their threat. 

And that threat materialised into goals in the second half as Sarah Quill pulled one back and then Julia Balcerzak’s direct penalty corner sweep cut the gap to the minimum. But Alex help for an important point which keeps them in the chase for a top two spot and direct qualification for the EY Champions Trophy semi-finals. 

Pembroke’s Gillian Pinder. Picture: Max Fulham

 

Belfast Harlequins 0 Loreto 2 (S Torrans, Y Pratt) 

Loreto made it three wins in a row to move up to fourth place in the table as they won at Deramore Park with a goal in each half of a tight-knit fixture. 

Chances were at a premium as Belfast Harlequins defended well while the visitors had more of the possession. The main chances came from corners with Loreto going in front in Q2 from their fourth one of the game, Hannah Matthews switching back to injector Sarah Torrans who swept in first time. 

Prior to that, goalkeeper Suzie Taylor – on her birthday – impressed with some solid blocks while Katie Larmour and Jan Kilpatrick’s driving runs were a feature for Quins. 

The second half was largely played between the 23-metre lines with Aoife Taaffe’s drag-flick the main opening for either side. 

The result was settled in the last five minute when Matthews’ long overhead set Loreto up with an overload on the right channel which was worked inside to Yasmin Pratt who dodged out of a tackle and then wedged the ball over the outrushing Taylor. 

 

UCD 4 (M Carey, R Kelly, K Egan, H McLoughlin) Cork Harlequins 1 (A Power) 

UCD moved back into the top six as they came back from a goal down to defeat Cork Harlequins 4-1 at Belfield.  

The students got off to a slow start as Quins made the early moves. In the ninth minute, Michelle Barry set UCD back-pedaling with a direct run before laying off for Aine Power who shot early on her backhand and it made it into the goal from the left of the D. 

A corner shot from Cliodhna Sargent caused some ping-pong panic in the home circle soon after before UCD began to find their flow. Katherine Egan was a pivotal figure and she created the first with a sharp turn and backhand cross which made its way to Michelle Carey to tip in at the left post. 

That made it 1-1 at half-time as the Cork side were able to keep out three corners but they could not keep out another powerful Egan reverse in Q3 to put the hosts ahead for the first time. 

While they had the majority of the pressure, the game was only fully killed off in the closing quarter. Carey created the third goal with some beautiful 3D skills from a sideline ball close to the baseline which was eventually worked to Rachel Kelly for a simple finish.  

Sargent departed in the last few minutes with a nasty injury and Hannah McLoughlin closed out the scoring on the final hooter with a corner drag-flick. 

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EYHL’s big decisions coming into focus on all fronts

A bumper 12 EY Hockey League top tier games and four vital EYHL2 fixtures makes for another exciting weekend as the formal prizes come ever closer into view.

After six rounds of hot potato, Lisnagarvey will hope to be the first side since November to hold onto the leadership of the men’s EY Hockey League.

Their win last Saturday over Three Rock Rovers provided a significant statement of intent and the expectation, on paper, is they would back it up against ninth placed Pembroke at home.

But the Dublin 4 side have already beaten third placed Glenanne in 2022 while Alan Sothern has come back after injury to score six times in two games.

It is their travails at the far end that has left them vulnerable, conceding on average almost four a game. Garvey were shy the services of international star Ben Nelson last week but his older brothers Matthew and Daniel bring further firepower while Ollie Kidd is maturing at serious pace.

Three Rock host Corinthian in the Marlay derby with the former dropping back off first last week after some rejigging of their forward line-up.

Corinthian have had a bit of a mixed bag of late as coach Brinsley Powell settles into the role full-time having arrived in Ireland in January. They drew with a remarkable late salvo against Garvey before losing 6-1 at home to Monkstown

Glenanne, level with Three Rock, have a real test when they go to Banbridge who – like Monkstown – are making a strong charge for the top spots.

The Glens are another who have suffered with players away while Bann host this one off the back of eight games unbeaten while Louis Rowe looking like a prodigious talent in their forward line. The last loss, though, was against Glenanne in October.

At the bottom, there is a mathematical equation that could see UCD relegated by Saturday evening if everything conspires against them. Their only point to date came against YMCA and they will need to outdo that performance on Saturday at Wesley to keep hopes of a miraculous comeback alive.

For the Y, though, another victory would all but assure them safety, leaving Corinthian, Pembroke and Annadale in the scrap to avoid relegation.

Monkstown are up against Annadale – the Ulster side produced an incredible comeback in their first meeting this season having trailed 3-0 to tie 3-3. Town have started 2022 well, winning three in a row, scoring 14 times in the process.

On the women’s side, it is a massive weekend with seven EYHL fixtures potentially set to have a big impact on the destination of the league title and the playoff places.

In some ways, Railway Union could be the swing-vote. They face the two main challengers, Pembroke on Saturday and then second placed Catholic Institute on Sunday.

For the Park Avenue outfit, it has been a hectic recent schedule with European indoors followed by a large tranche of their players being involved in the indoor series between Ireland and South Africa.

Pembroke re-established a four-point lead last Sunday with a narrow 2-1 success at Cork Harlequins, breaking a run of two successive draws that had seen their lead cut back briefly to the minimum.

Insta have been on a stunning run, scoring 27 times in five successive wins but this weekend is probably their biggest test. Saturday sees them welcome Pegasus – fourth place after back-to-back defeats – before that Railway tie in Dublin at 5pm on Sunday evening.

Third place Old Alex have a busy weekend, too, starting off against Muckross on Saturday before going north to Pegasus on Sunday. The MIlltown club have lost just once in their last nine games to stay very much in the frame in case of slips from the sides above them.

There remains a serious battle between Loreto (fifth), Railway (sixth) and UCD (seventh) to secure the quarter-final playoff places. For Loreto, they are up against Belfast Harlequins while UCD host Cork Harlequins needing results to stay in contention for a top six finish.

In EYHL2 Group 2, Monkstown became the first side mathematically guaranteed a playoff place last week when they ran up an 8-1 win at Garryduff against Cork C of I with Anna O’Flanagan scoring a hat trick.

Should they win at home against NUIG, the likelihood is they will add the automatic semi-final berth in the playoffs with a couple of games still to play.

Ards’ Zara Malseed lines up a shot against Corinthian. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Lurgan against C of I looks to be the key game in the playoff chase as third place faces fourth, the former leading the latter by two points.

In Group 1, Ards are on the brink of formalising some sort of a promotion playoff spot thanks to their 3-1 win over Corinthian last Saturday with Amy Benson netting twice and Ellen Robinson getting in on the act.

That gives them a five-point lead in Group 1 over the reds and they will be going all out now to top the table and go straight into the semi-final spots. They face third placed UCC who want to put some more distance between themselves and Trinity.

Corinthian will be hoping Ards slip in their closing games to open the door but they need to win their remaining ties, starting with away to Galway this weekend.

Elsewhere, the Irish Hockey Trophy sees Ashton make the long trip to Raphoe in their refixed semi-final.

Saturday 5th March 2022
Men
EYHL Division 1:
Banbridge v Glenanne, Havelock Park, 2.45pm; Lisnagarvey v Pembroke, Comber Road, 2pm; Monkstown v Annadale, Rathdown, 4pm; Three Rock Rovers v Corinthian, Grange Road, 12.30pm; YMCA v UCD, Wesley College, 4.45pm

Women
EYHL Division 1:
Belfast Harlequins v Loreto, Deramore Park, 2.30pm; Catholic Institute v Pegasus, Rosbrien, 1.30pm; Old Alexandra v Muckross, Milltown, 1.30pm; Pembroke Wanderers v Railway Union, Serpentine Avenue, 2.30pm; UCD v Cork Harlequins, Belfield, 1pm

EYHL Division 2 – Pool 1: Ards v UCC, Londonderry Park, 2.30pm; Galway v Corinthian, Dangan, 1pm
Pool 2: Lurgan v Cork C of I, Lurgan JHS, 1pm; Monkstown v NUIG, Rathdown, 2.10pm

Irish Hockey Trophy, semi-final: Raphoe v Ashton, Royal and Prior, 1pm

Sunday 6th March 2022
Women
EYHL Division 1:
Pegasus v Old Alex, Malone Playing Fields, 1pm; Railway Union v Catholic Institute, Park Avenue, 5pm

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Dancer names training panel of 25 as World Cup schedule confirmed

Hockey Ireland senior women’s coach Sean Dancer has named a training panel of 25 players ahead of a busy 2022 which includes July’s World Cup and August’s EuroHockey Championship qualifiers.

This latest squad announcement was confirmed in the week the World Cup schedule and ticket details went on sale. Ireland will open their campaign against the world number one Dutch side in Amsterdam’s Wagener Stadium on Saturday, July 2nd before facing Chile on Tuesday, July 5th and Germany on Wednesday, July 6th. Irish fans are encouraged to buy their tickets in the South Stand (High – Section F) to form a strong supporter’s block.

As for the Irish panel, it will feature 13 Olympians and 17 players who helped Ireland qualify for the World Cup last October in Pisa with Katie Mullan continuing her role as captain of the Green Army.

At the other end of the spectrum, uncapped players Holly Micklem, Caoimhe Perdue, Charlotte Beggs, Síofra O’Brien, Ellie McLoughlin, Katherine Egan and Katie-Jane Marshall all have their chance to shine in the coming months.

This selection follows a highly productive training camp in Antibes where Ireland won 3-0 and 4-0 against the French hosts in uncapped fixtures which gave coach Dancer plenty of food for thought.

Ireland’s women’s World Cup schedule

“Our recent trip to France provided an excellent opportunity to see how our wider squad performed,” he said of this latest selection. “Some stand-out performances from Charlotte, Caoimhe, Holly and Síofra has allowed them to gain inclusion into the national group for our next period of training and competition.

“This is a really exciting year ahead with lots of different challenges. The talent coming through is really strong and the program we have in place with the support of Sport Ireland and Sport NI, along with our sponsors SoftCo, Park Developments and Saba, puts us in a great place to flourish.”

The squad also includes Barr twins Bethany and Serena who are both on the recovery trail having both sustained ACL knee injuries in 2021. Their return to full involvement will be monitored over the coming months.

This selection round, unfortunately, has come too soon for Zoe Wilson who continues to work her way back from a knee injury. Chloe Watkins and Anna O’Flanagan are also unavailable for the summer’s activities.

From this panel of 25, a squad will next be selected for a series at Bisham Abbey against Great Britain which runs from Sunday, March 13 to Friday, March 18. A further camp will be held in the Netherlands from Sunday, March 27 to Friday, April 1.

Ireland’s World Cup opposition were confirmed last Thursday with the Green Army set to face the world number one side the Netherlands, Germany and Chile in Amsterdam.

Reflecting on that line-up, Dancer added: “Holland and Germany are two of the strongest teams in world hockey, what a great chance to test ourselves at a major event! Chile performed well at the recent Pan Am’s and deserved their place. They will have nothing to lose, and we will certainly not be taking them lightly.”

Ireland senior women’s panel for spring 2022 (club/caps)
Ayeisha McFerran (GK, SV Kampong, 113 )
Róisín Upton (Catholic Institute, 89)
Lena Tice (Old Alex, 122)
Katie Mullan (Captain, Ballymoney, 206)
Sarah Hawkshaw (Railway Union, 46)
Deirdre Duke (Old Alex, 154)
Naomi Carroll (Catholic Institute, 121)
Elizabeth Murphy (GK, Loreto, 13)
Hannah McLoughlin (UCD, 26)
Sarah McAuley (UCD, 9)
Michelle Carey (UCD, 10)
Sarah Torrans (Loreto, 33)
Zara Malseed (Ards, 7)
Holly Micklem (GK, Old Alex, 0)
Caoimhe Perdue (UCC, 0)
Charlotte Beggs (Ulster Elks, 0)
Síofra O’Brien (Loreto, 0)
Ellie McLoughlin (GK, UCD, 0)
Erin Getty (Queen’s, 11)
Jane Kilpatrick (Belfast Harlequins, 1)
Katherine Egan (UCD, 0)
Beth Barr (Belfast Harlequins, 20)
Serena Barr (Belfast Harlequins, 10)
Katie-Jane Marshall (UCD, 0)
Niamh Carey (UCD, 3)

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Fingal Hockey Development Officer Vacancy

Hockey Ireland (in partnership with Fingal CoCo and Leinster Hockey) is seeking to employ a Development Officer within the Fingal County Council catchment area . The aim of the Fingal Hockey Development Officer (FHDO) is to grow participation of hockey in the Fingal administrative area by facilitating the promotion of sustainable participation opportunities within clubs and schools.  

The objectives of the role are: 

  • To support clubs in the region to become stronger and more sustainable   
  • To facilitate training of volunteers, coaches and umpires   
  • To grow participation through recruitment and retention initiatives 
  • Growing Hockey through community and school engagement 

For more information see Job Description here: 

To apply please send your CV to sue.haslam@hockey.ieClosing date is 18th March 2022.

Upcoming Fundamentals of Umpiring Module 1 Q&A session – 10th March

The First Fundamentals of Umpiring Module 1 Q&A session of 2022 is coming up.

International Umpire Ellie Duffy will be taking the online Q&A session on the 10th March at 7.30pm

To take part in this online Q&A session you must have fully completed your Fundamentals of Umpiring Module 1 through our eLearning Hub https://hockeyirelandhub.ie/

You also need to take part in a Q&A session to complete the practical module 2 session.

To book onto this online Q&A session please email linda.monaghan@hockey.ie