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Railway retain women’s National Indoor Trophy crown

Women’s National Indoor Trophy final
Railway Union 7 (S Patton 2, L Lloyd 2, M Carey, O Fox, O Patton) Ards 3 (A Desneaux 2, A Benson)
Railway Union won the women’s National Indoor Trophy for the third successive edition as their international stars proved too hot to handle for Ards at Gormanston Park.

They were out of the blocks quickly with Orla Fox producing some very smart individual skills to go around two tackles, zig-zagging in before whipping her shot.

Ards forced a couple of good stops form Mary-Kate Tierney in the Railway goal soon after while Caroline Adams cleaned a Sarah Patton shot off the line in a lively, end-to-end spell.

Patton did double the lead in the second quarter, finishing off an excellent move via Fox and Kate McKenna and they held that 2-0 advantage into half-time with Jenny Long’s corner effort disallowed after a post-hooter discussion.

Ards fought back in the second half with Amy Benson surging through the middle to cut the gap in half. 

But some quickfire work from Railway soon had the game spinning their way. Michelle Carey’s driving run ended with her rounding the goalkeeper and popping in for 3-1. Next time, she laid off a pass to her right out of traffic to Lily Lloyd who scored.

Railway Union’s Michelle Carey on the attack. Picture: Max Fulham (click image for more from the day)

Holly Jenkinson set the fifth in motion, passing to Patton who squared to Lloyd to tap in her second. Andrea Desneaux pulled one back from a corner but both Orla and Sarah Patton scored for Railway to make it 7-2. 

Desneaux got another corner late on but Railway were well clear to continue their run as national champions.

Earlier in the day, Ards made it through to the final in dramatic style as they edged out Muckross 2-0 in a shoot-out after normal time had ended 3-3 with Desneaux grabbing a late equaliser.

Railway had a more comfortable passage to the final with a 10-3 win over Galway. Muckross took third place with a 7-4 win over Galway.

Ards: N McKnight, K Kimber, A Desneaux, N Grundie, A Benson, C Adams

Subs: E Robinson, B Kirk, F Brown

Railway Union: M-K Tierney, H Jenkinson, O Fox, O Patton, L Lloyd, S Patton

Subs: K McKenna, K Lloyd, M Carey A Long, J Long, H de Burgh White


Women’s National Indoor Trophy results

Semi-finals: Ards 3 (A Benson, K Kimber, A Desneaux) Muckross 3 (J Balcerzak 2, S Barnwell), Ards win shoot-out 2-0; Railway Union 10 (S Patton 3, L Lloyd 2, K Lloyd, H Jenkinson, H de Burgh Whyte, O Fox, K McKenna) Galway 3 (R Dillon, E Carey, A Manley)

Third place playoff: Muckross 7 (J Balcerzak 2, S Barnwell 2, E Kiely 2, C Montino Mena) Galway 4 (F Kelly 2, E Carey, A Manley)

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Pembroke in seventh heaven with key women’s EYHL victory

Women’s EY Hockey League – day 11 round-up

Catholic Institute 3 (R Upton, H Kelly, E Ryan) Old Alex 1 (D Duke)

Catholic Institute maintained their place in second with another significant win in their pursuit of an EY Champions Trophy place as they saw off Old Alex who started the day in third.

Alex did start in roaring fashion, forcing a goal line save from Roisin Upton while Deirdre Duke also drew a good stop from former Old Alex keeper Pamela Smithwick, keeping it 0-0 in Q1.

Q2 began with Upton going to the sin-bin on a green card but immediately on her return, she ran straight into the circle, met Naomi Carroll’s pass, stopped and slotted into the top left corner.

The Dubliners were level within two minutes with a quick free finding Duke in a good shooting position and she found the bottom corner. Parity, though, only lasted just over a minute as Hannah Kelly slapped in from the second phase of a corner to make it 2-1, a lead they held until half-time.

Eimear Ryan had to save another off the Insta line and a couple of Alex corners in another strong start to a period from the visitors but the Limerick side started to get more on the ball with Carroll to the fore. 

And the third goal arrived from an impressive move, Christine O’Shea finding Aoife Hickey who sent the ball square to Ryan who pulled on a first time rocket, 3-1. The visitors attacked in waves in the fourth quarter but that momentum was slowed when Lena Tice was shown a yellow card and Insta stayed clear for another important win.

Loreto 1 (S O’Brien) Pembroke 2 (A Naughton, L McGuire)

Pembroke overcame a tough hurdle to land their seventh win in succession in the women’s EY Hockey League to maintain their five-point lead at the top.

Loreto had beaten Pembroke 6-1 in the Jacqui Potter Cup just a few weeks ago and they took confidence into the early stages with Hannah Matthews’ corner shot and Yasmin Pratt going close.

They took the lead when Siofra O’Brien burst through the centre of the circle and turned the ball home with an upright reverse-stick shot, Pembroke’s calls for an earlier foot falling on deaf ears.

In response, Pembroke earned four corners but could not find a way past Liz Murphy until the 30th minute. Tori Wensley had two bites from the right of the D, her first shot coming back her way and her second landing at Aisling Naughton on the back post for a simple finish.

Pembroke’s Aisling Naughton celebrates with Rachel O’Brien and Martha McCready. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Six minutes into the second half, Pembroke took the lead from another corner, Leah McGuire taking her time before smashing home as Loreto’s corner defence only went halfway to shut down the shot.  

Loreto fought back, creating a string of chances in the aftermath with Matthews slapping a shot inches wide; O’Brien took in a loose overhead on the edge of the circle but could not get a clean shot off while Lisa Mulcahy also went close.

Pembroke steadied, though, and they were the side who went closest to adding the scoring in the final quarter, Sinead Loughran inches from a spectacular third as she slid full length to deflect the ball onto the bar.

Railway Union 3 (S Rooney, S Hawkshaw, Z Delany) Cork Harlequins 0

Railway Union moved into the top four with a healthy win over Cork Harlequins at Park Avenue. They started well, dominating the first quarter and going two goals up. 

The first was a break instigated by Zara Delany who passed to Sarah Rooney – making her EYHL debut for Railway along with sister Hannah – who slotted home. The second came from a corner; Holly Jenkinson’s sweep was saved by Lorna Bateman in the Quins goal but Railway captain Sarah Hawkshaw made no mistake with the rebound. 

While the hosts dominated possession in the 2nd quarter they failed to finish the moves, with the Cork visitors defending well and making a few forays forward.

The third quarter continued in similar vein with Railway getting their third goal, Zara Delany poking the ball in after a good cross in by Hawkshaw. Bateman in the Quins goal made a number of good saves from sisters Kate and Lily Lloyd to keep the score at three. 

The final quarter was a more even affair with Cliodhna Sargeant and Yvonne O’Byrne pushing forward for Cork Harlequins while Beth-Anne O’Farrell and Ruby Walsh were showing good skills up front. However, neither team could find the net and the score remained 3-0.

Belfast Harlequins 0 Pegasus 3 (S McCay, A Speers, T Doherty)

Pegasus won the Ulster derby to kickstart their new year push for EY Hockey League laurels, getting the best of Belfast Harlequins 3-0 at a blustery Deramore Park. Shirley McCay and Alex Speers brought their wealth of experience to bear, netting their first two goals before Taite Doherty completed the scoring.

It was a really exciting encounter with end to end hockey although Harlequins will rue not having at least one goal from good pressure and two penalty corners in the first quarter.  The second quarter saw Pegasus pressurise more consistently which brought some great goalkeeping from Suzie Taylor and an eventual corner which led to a stroke from a foot on the goal line. McCay  powered the ball high just out of the keeper’s reach to leave Pegasus 1-0 up at half time.

Railway Union’s Kate Lloyd crosses. Pic: Max Fulham

It was more of the same in the second half with both teams hitting the attacking circle. Pegasus’ Alex Speers had a simple tap-in from some clever work along the back line by Lucy McKee. 

Quins had their chances to bring one back and set up an exciting finish and even after Pegasus found the net again through Taite Doherty, Harlequins forced a corner and some strong circle play but were ultimately frustrated not to convert from their chances. Therein lies the difference but definitely an entertaining game and a good example of top level hockey.

UCD 3 (K Egan 2, S McAuley) Muckross 1 (K Fitzgerald)

The league’s top scorers UCD came back from a goal down to defeat Muckross and move into the last of the playoff places after their 10th match of the season. Katie Fitzgerald put the visitors into the lead just before the end of the first quarter.

But Katherine Egan celebrated her international call up with an equaliser in the second quarter and it was 2-1 by half-time courtesy of Sarah McAuley. Egan settled the tie in the 50th minute with her second of the game.

Lisnagarvey move back to the top of men’s EYHL

Men’s EY Hockey League – day 11 round-up

Lisnagarvey 4 (M Nelson, O Kidd, A Williamson, J Lynch) Annadale 1 (R Davidson)

Lisnagarvey returned to the head of the men’s EY Hockey League, leaving just one point covering the top three in what is shaping up to be an epic second half of the season.

For Lisnagarvey, it was a sterner test than the final score suggests though they did have the best of the early exchanges with Matthew Nelson pouncing on a rebound after a right-wing cross bounced up invitingly and he bounced in a shot to take the lead.

James Lorimer hit the post via a crucial touch from Sam Hamill in the Dale goal but the visitors have impressed this term and, after steadying the ship in a quiet Q2, they were back on terms via Robbie Davidson early in the second half.

It owed a huge amount to Tim Cross’s tenacity and skill, haring down the left baseline and chipping the ball beyond a few tackles before squaring with Davidson getting enough power to shoot home.

Ollie Kidd, however, restored the advantage from an outstanding pitch-length move, started off from a free out and worked through three passes down the right sideline with the forward sliding in to touch in.

Hamill made a cracking save from Ben Nelson to keep Dale in touch but they could not make use of their only corner while Andy Williamson nailed his corner drag. And when Dale did not take two opportunities to clear, Jonny Lynch completed a strong win.

Banbridge (D Finlay, S Farson) Three Rock Rovers (B Johnson 2)

In the late game, Banbridge led twice but were unable to shake off a Rovers side who were reduced to nine players on occasion but rallied with two fine Ben Johnson goals.

David Finlay slapped in a first minute goal for the hosts for a dream start but Rovers were back on terms via Johnson after an initial save from Luke Roleston.

A corner on the half-time whistle, though, ended with Sam Farson restoring the advantage. Q3 saw both sides endure multiple sin-binnings before the game was ultimately settled when Johnson got a diving touch to Jody Hosking’s powerful ball across goal.

Bann could not take advantage of a corner in the last few minutes, meaning they have been pegged back by Monkstown into a share of fourth spot, seven points off leaders Garvey.

YMCA 1 (S Ruttle) Glenanne 4 (S Boucher 2, S O’Donoghue, P Byrne)

Understrength Glenanne got over a potential banana-skin as they got the best of YMCA to move into a share of second place with four second half goals at Wesley College.

They were without Ian Marron, Rowland Rixon-Fuller, Jason Rogan and captain Brad Venter but two late goals gave the final score a bit of gloss after a close-run battle between the two Leinster rivals.

The Glens had the best of the first quarter with YM absorbing a lot of pressure with Sam Hyland and Jakim Bernsden on corner defence keeping out the pressure. YM were much better in Q2, forcing a string of corners of their own which David Lawless did well to keep out, leaving it scoreless at the interval.

The Glens, though, made their move in the third quarter with Shannon Boucher opening the scoring in the 38th minute and Shane O’Donoghue doubled up from the penalty spot.

A cracking piece of work from Scott Ruttle got YM back into the tie with 10 minutes to go but Glenanne made sure of the points when Boucher got his second with four minutes left. In the final minute, Paul Byrne – in a rare first team appearance – snagged the fourth.

UCD 1 (S Byrne) Corinthian 2 (P Caruth 2)

Corinthian picked up their first win since early October to move four points clear of the relegation places thanks to a double from Peter Caruth. He fired them into the lead in the first quarter from a penalty corner and put a bit of extra daylight between the sides in the third quarter.

Sam Byrne pulled one back for the students in the closing quarter but the reds held on for a precious victory.

Monkstown 4 (M Gibbons 2, G Sarratt, D Carson) Pembroke 1 (J Dale)

Monkstown started the new year with a strong win over Pembroke, coming back from an early concession to strengthen their playoff chances.

For Pembroke, it leaves them in the relegation places and needing to get something from their upcoming games, facing four sides in the top half in their next four games.

The visitors did go in front in the first few minutes with a powerful drag-flick from Julian Dale as Pembroke got off to a good start. Town, though, soon began to create chances with Guy Sarratt hitting the post and Davy Carson and Mark Gibbons both had openings kept out by goalkeeper Ilko Dartsch.

The sky blues were level when Lee Cole – who was excellent in defence – powered into the centre, allowing the ball to pop invitingly for Gibbons to flick in. He got another moments later when Keith Kenning crossed from the right flank and the striker was in the right place to guide in from close range.

Pembroke did carry a threat through the second and third quarter with Dave Fitzgerald making big saves from Dale’s drag and twice from Isaac Johnson. But the game went out of sight when Sarratt dragged in the third and Carson got a deserved goal for a lively performance, latching onto a ball from Sam Hohn.

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EYHL returns as playoff chase heats in earnest

The EY Hockey League returns on Saturday, kickstarting the final chase for places at the EY Champions Trophy which will take place at Banbridge in April.

Pembroke’s women and Three Rock Rovers in the men’s competition had the edge over the Christmas break but it is all to play for as the games come thick and fast in the coming weeks.

In the women’s league, Pembroke have been the season’s sensation, building a five-point lead. The Ballsbridge club have never reached the playoffs before but they look the clear favourites now to land the regular season title and take one of the EY Champions Trophy semi-final spots on offer.

Coach Gavin Groves has been growing his panel year on year and the latest additions have been hugely influential. Irish international Ellen Curran has added an extra level of dynamism to the midfield since her move from UCD while Isy Delamer’s arrival from Trinity complements their defensive options.

At the back, they have been outstanding with goalkeeper Emma Buckley conceding just five times in 10 outings while Leah McGuire, MIllie O’Donnell and Amy-Kate Trevor have ensured no side has an easy ride against them,

Further up the field, the gameplan is all about pace with Sinead Loughran, Aisling Naughton and Sinead Loughran scaring the life out of their opponents with Orla Macken pulling the strings. Gillian Pinder oozes class in a well-rounded team and their run of six successive wins has seen them emerge from the pack.

Their first assignment sees them face a Loreto side who they beat well in the EYHL earlier this season but, in Leinster’s Jacqui Potter Cup, turned the tables in January with a 6-1 success.

For Loreto, four of their panel have been called into the Irish setup and it shows they will be more than dangerous in the second half of the season with a number of established stars back in the fold.

Catholic Institute jumped into second place in the table in January when they won well against Railway Union in a back match and if they can match that when they face third place Old Alex, they will put themselves in prime position for a playoff run.

Alex have endured a number of injuries and absences but still find themselves in the top three with Deirdre Duke, Lena Tice and Nikki Evans having limited availability initially but should play a fuller role in the new year. Goalkeeper Holly Micklem has impressed to get a call into Sean Dancer’s national panel.

Alex are level on 18 points with Pegasus – the Champions Trophy holders – who were the pace-setters until that Pembroke setback but look like they will still have plenty of say in the season’s shake-up with Shirley McCay and Alex Speers being huge influences.

They will be favourites when they meet eighth placed Belfast Harlequins although the Deramore Park club are significantly bolstered by the return of Katie Larmour to the club following the completion of her spell at Rutgers University. On the downside, up and coming player Imogen Graham is out for the timebeing following a knee injury.

There looks to be a major scrap for the top six places which will bring a playoff spot in the new format this term. Loreto overcame a mixed start to rise to fifth, level with Railway Union. 

UCD are just outside the playoff places in seventh after a tough run of form without the injured Olympian Hannah McLoughlin who remains the competition’s top scorer despite missing the last few rounds. She has been back in the fold in the Leinster cup and will be a key figure against Muckross on Saturday. 

Railway Union, meanwhile, welcome Cork Harlequins who have seen Cliodhna Sargent come back into their panel to try and help them rise off the foot of the table.

TRR’s Ben Johnson shoots under pressure from Banbridge’s Sam Farson. Pic: Max Fulham

The men’s competition has already been a rollercoaster with the lead changing hands on an almost weekly basis in the past month with Glenanne, Lisnagarvey and Three Rock all taking turns at the top.

After 10 rounds, the three sides are covered by just two points with Rovers something of a surprise package despite winning the last three EY Champions Trophy crowns.

That is because many of their stars are now playing professionally in Europe with a new breed making their mark. They go to Banbridge with former captain Harry Morris available having only played once before Christmas due to a work break in the US but Ali Empey has moved the other way across the Atlantic for an Erasmus stint.

For Bann, Peter Brown returns from injury having missed November and December with Josh Moffett also available after hamstring problems.

Ulster U-18 players Tommy Dobson and Matthew Stevenson moved to Bann from Portadown just before Christmas and will push hard for EYHL squad places.

Elsewhere, it is derby days all round. Lisnagarvey meet Annadale at Comber Road. For Garvey, they had their own run of six wins in succession which saw them hit top spot before falling 4-3 to Monkstown and drawing 2-2 with Banbridge slowed their progress.

Ben Nelson has been the fulcrum of their attack from play while James Lorimer’s corner expertise has been a vital feature. James Milliken has excelled between the posts.

Annadale are seventh following a productive first half of the season. They landed their first win in several years in the top tier when they beat UCD 4-0 and backed that up with a 4-0 victory against Pembroke. 

Michael and Callum Robson’s return from Germany and Tim Cross’s move from the Dutch Hoofdklasse where he played with Tilburg has been crucial for them. Twice this campaign, they have managed to come back from three goals down to secure points.

Glenanne had made the early running with five successive wins to start the season with ace marksman Shane O’Donoghue leading the way. He has 15 goals to his name already.

They face a tricky tie against YMCA who knocked them out of the Leinster Senior Mills Cup and are buoyed by African Cup of Nations winner Paebo Lembethe in their line-up.

YMCA are just inside the playoff places thanks to an amazing closing salvo to the pre-Christmas schedule. They came back from 2-0 down to beat Pembroke 3-2 for a second successive win.

Monkstown, in fifth, are something of an enigma. Their performances have managed to knock Three Rock, Glenanne and Lisnagarvey off top at different stages of the campaign, picking up seven points out of nine against the top three.

But they have only picked up nine points from their other 21 available to stymie a push for the very top of the table. Their next assignment is against a Pembroke side who sit in ninth place and in the relegation places, one point below Corinthian.

The reds, meanwhile, are in eighth place and while they were disappointed to draw 4-4 last week against Annadale from a 4-1 lead, it did end a run of five defeats in a row. 

They face bottom side UCD who have just one point so far. It has been a steep learning curve for them following a late turnover of players during the summer and while they have been competitive, they only have a draw with YMCA on their record while the departure of Sam Walker on Erasmus also makes things tricky. Kevin O’Dea, though, has been a star man for the Belfielders.

Elsewhere, Sunday sees four more inteprovincial matches going to Grange Road with Munster facing Ulster and Leinster playing Leinster South in both Under-16 and 18 girls competitions.

NUIG meet Avoca in the women’s Irish Hockey Trophy, a tie postponed from before Christmas.


Saturday 5th February 2022


EYHL Division 1: Banbridge v Three Rock Rovers, Havelock Park, 4.15pm; Lisnagarvey v Annadale, Comber Road, 3pm; Monkstown v Pembroke Wanderers, Rathdown, 2.15pm; UCD v Corinthian, Belfield, 2.50pm; YMCA v Glenanne, Wesley College, 2.15pm


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

Irish Hockey Trophy: NUIG v Avoca, Dangan, 1.50pm

Sunday 6th February 2022


Irish Under 16/18/21 Inter Provincials 

U16 Interpros: Munster v Ulster, Grange Road, 2.45pm; Leinster v Leinster South, Grange Road, 5pm

U18 Interpros: Munster v Ulster, Grange Road, 4.45pm; Leinster v Leinster South, Grange Road, 3pm

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Jerome Pels to step down as Hockey Ireland CEO

Jerome Pels has taken the decision to step down as Chief Executive Officer of Hockey Ireland to pursue a new job opportunity.

It follows five years in the role, joining the governing body in January 2017 with the sport enjoying significant growth and development both on and off the pitch.

During his tenure, Hockey Ireland enjoyed historic moments when the women’s senior team enjoyed success with World Cup silver. Olympic qualification was achieved in groundbreaking fashion with Donnybrook hosting 13,000 fans while the development of a new training base at Abbotstown, in conjunction with support from Sport Ireland, have significantly raised standards.

It has led to increased sponsorship and greater levels of supports for the game with the installation of a full-time coach education manager and more regional development officers as well as the return of a High Performance Director.

The introduction of a new membership system will also provide a more secure financial model for the sport to pursue its goals and support the game at club, school and international level.

“Whilst I am excited by the challenges that lie ahead at my new role as CEO for another NGB in England, it is with a heavy heart that I am leaving Hockey Ireland,” Pels said of his decision to stand down.

“I would like to thank my staff, the board and the Hockey Ireland community for the support over the last five years. It has been a privilege to have been part of the successes of Hockey Ireland and the significant growth in the sport. I also thank Sport Ireland and Sport NI for helping make the sport make meaningful progress in Ireland.

“I feel, having established a strong organisational structure at Hockey Ireland with a clear strategy agreed, the organisation is in a good shape and ready for a bright future.”

Paying tribute to Pels, Hockey Ireland chairman Trevor Watkins added: “During a period of significant change, opportunity and potential pitfalls, Jerome has been a calm and steady influence on Hockey Ireland and helped navigate the sport to a number of significant milestones.

“Hockey is undergoing a really exciting time and he has been at the helm during a time when the sport made big inroads into the Irish public conscience and we look forward to building on those solid foundations with ambition and optimism.”


Players invited for February 13th Irish Under-16 girls assessment

The following players have been invited to the next Irish Under-16 girls assessment on February 13. The team manager will be in contact with players in due course with further details about the assessment.

1 Aliya Davis LEINSTER
3 Anna Campbell MUNSTER
4 Annie Cunningham ULSTER
5 Aoife O’Meara LEINSTER
6 Charlie Bowman ULSTER
7 Chloe Patton ULSTER
8 Emilie O’Brien LEINSTER
10 Grainne Molloy LEINSTER SOUTH
11 Isobel Field LEINSTER
12 Katie Herron ULSTER
13 Kia McCartney ULSTER
14 Lola Henderson ULSTER
15 Lucy McGoldrick LEINSTER
16 Maebh McLoughlin CONNAUGHT
17 Milla Fulton LEINSTER
18 Millie Jerman LEINSTER
19 Orla Young Hughes LEINSTER
20 Rachel Lennon ULSTER
21 Rebekah Lennon ULSTER
22 Roisin Heaney CONNAUGHT
23 Roisin O’Brien MUNSTER
24 Sarah Byrne LEINSTER
25 Scarlett Taylor ULSTER
26 Sophie English LEINSTER
27 Robin Caren MUNSTER
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National Indoor champions to be crowned on Sunday

The National Indoor Trophy champions will be decided on Sunday evening with four men’s and four women’s clubs vying for glory at Gormanston Park

The series starts on Sunday morning with the men’s semi-finals between Three Rock Rovers against Cookstown at 9.45am with Banbridge up against Railway Union at 10.45am. The winners will advance to the final at 3.45pm with the third place playoff on at 2pm.

The women’s semis follow on court with Muckross up against Ards (11.45am) and Railway facing Galway (12.45pm) with the prize a 5pm final with the third place match at 2.45pm.

For the men’s competition, Three Rock and Banbridge qualified as the Leinster and Ulster champions, respectively, with their opponents reaching the final four as runners-up.

Rovers were 8-3 victors over Railway Union having won all their group phases and advanced to the Leinster final with an 8-2 success over Monkstown.

In the final, it was a tight affair in the first half with Railway keeping pace in the first half with the tie 3-3 before netting five goals in succession with a hat trick from Jody Hosking.

They also feature Irish international Ross Canning while with Club an der Alster outfielder Jonas Althusmann an influential guest star.

For Railway, Stephen O’Keeffe is the outstanding Irish goalkeeper in this format, starring in the series against Scotland after Christmas while they have a wealth of experience to call on from Kenny Carroll, Brendan Parsons and Rob Abbott.

In Ulster, Banbridge took their regional crown last Sunday, winning three out of their four games in a three-team group and drawing the other against runners-up Cookstown in their final game.

The Bann line-up features outdoor international Jonny McKee who may have picked up a few tips during his time in Germany with Luke Roleston donning the pads, Sam Farson, Luke Witherow and Andrew Tinney helping power their success last weekend.

Cookstown were second in Ulster and bring with them two newly capped Irish internationals to their line-up, Jack Haycock and Mark Crooks, who will be looking to bring that know-how to bear. Their guest stars are Daniel Nelson and David Rae.

In the women’s competition, Galway were the first side to qualify for the finals weekend when they prevailed in the Tighe Cup in Connacht, winning the final five-team tournament.

Crucially, they prevailed in the final against Greenfields with Fiona Kelly’s hat trick underpinning a 5-3 success, allowing captain Elaine Carey to lift the cup. They are now looking to win the national title for the second time in their history having succeeded in 2008.

Their opponents at the reigning champions Railway who won in 2019 and 2020 and have backed that up with a Leinster victory last weekend with a dramatic 6-5 win over Muckross.

Hannah de Burgh Whyte was the game-breaker, scoring a corner in the last two minutes, crowning a big closing salvo after Muckross had led 5-4. Holly Jenkinson captains the side with fellow indoor internationals Sarah and Orla Patton and Lily Lloyd giving them plenty of options.

Muckross have internationals of their own with Irish stars Sophie Barnwell and Becky McMullen joined by Julia Balcerzak who played for Poland against Ireland in January. 

Ards – national champions from 2012 to 2018 – won the Ulster title from a three-team competition. On the opening day, they ran up 15 goals in wins over Queen’s and Coleraine and followed up last weekend with a 4-4 draw against Queen’s before getting the best of Coleraine 7-2 in the repeat fixtures.

Andrea Desneaux weighed in with eight goals with Frankie Brown nabbing seven across that series.

The semi-finals and finals will be streamed live on the Hockey Ireland Youtube channel.


National Indoor Trophy – Sunday 6th February 2022 (all at Gormanston Park)

Men’s semi-finals: Three Rock Rovers v Cookstown, 9.45am; Banbridge v Railway Union, 10.45am

3rd place playoff: 2pm

Final: 3.45pm


Women’s semi-finals: Muckross v Ards, 11.45am; Railway Union v Galway, 12.45pm

3rd place playoff: 2.45pm

Final: 5pm


Irish senior women’s squad seek assistant coach

Hockey Ireland is seeking to appoint a full-time Senior Women’s Team Assistant Coach, to help lead the team towards achieving its strategic objectives, namely to compete at the Olympics, World Championships and European Championships. 

About Hockey Ireland 

Hockey Ireland is the National Governing Body for the sport of field hockey in Ireland. Governing the 32 counties of Ireland, the Association is responsible for the management and overall development of all areas of the sport. 

Role Summary 

  • Reporting to the Senior Women’s Head Coach, the Senior Women’s Assistant Coach will be responsible for providing world-class coaching support to the Senior Women’s team 
  • This role also involves working collaboratively and innovatively with the wider Senior Women’s management team 
  • The Senior Women’s Assistant Coach will also be required at times to work alongside the National Development Head Coach to assist in the development of these players towards Senior representation 

Key responsibilities 

  • Identify, develop and manage the current group of identified players in the Senior Women’s training squad 
  • Assist with coaching of the Senior Women’s team using modern coaching techniques, tactics and trends 
  • Monitor and evaluate player performance for team selection using relevant data 
  • Deliver and support with the delivery of regional sessions – as designated by the Head Coach 
  • Assist with the development of a group of identified players in the National Development squad (U23 downwards) 
  • Communicate effectively with staff, players and relevant stakeholders 
  • Develop and maintain strong working relationships with the Hockey Ireland Junior Age Grade National Coaches as designated 

The required candidate 

The successful candidate will be an experienced, driven, detail-focused and disciplined self-starter who is committed to bringing team success to the Senior Women’s team and developing the best of Ireland’s elite hockey talent 

Experience and credentials: 

The experiences and credentials below are a guide and are not intended to be inclusive or exhaustive and may be amended over time due to the changing needs of the organisation: 

  • Proven record of success in domestic or international hockey 
  • Experience in planning, organising and implementing a comprehensive domestic or provincial coaching programme 
  • Ability to apply the principles of coaching, sport science, medicine and technology within a high performance programme 
  • Efficient and organised, with exceptional interpersonal, oral and written communication skills 
  • Level 3 and/or FIH coaching qualifications or equivalent (or working towards them) 
  • Proven methodologies in the development of elite talent and performance  
  • Understanding of sports science principles in modern day athlete development  
  • Exceptional people skills, with an emphasis on the management of player and coach personnel  
  • A competent knowledge of the latest coaching software systems 
  • Excellent organisational and communication skills  
  • A full driving licence 
  • Capacity to travel domestically and overseas for extended periods 


The contract role will commence in March 2022 and is through to the end of the Paris cycle of 2024 (with annual performance reviews throughout) 

Reporting to: 

The process of reporting will be as determined by the Performance Director and the Senior Women’s Head Coach 

Remuneration Package 

This is a full-time position and will be remunerated in line with the successful applicants’ skills and experiences.  Relevant expenses will be covered by the programme.  It is conditional that the successful applicant must be able to live and work in Ireland. 

 Vacancy Schedule: 

Closing date for applications:  20th February 2022 (5pm) 
Expected Interviews:  24th and 25th February 2022 
Expected appointment:  Early March 2022 

 Applications should be sent to Adam Grainger, Performance Director, Hockey Ireland  adam.grainger@hockey.ie 


Dancer names fresh-faced panel for French training camp

The Irish women’s side will travel to France next week for a five-day camp, the first away trip of an exciting 2022 with a number of new faces getting a chance to impress.

The panel features 12 of the squad that qualified for this summer’s World Cup along with seven uncapped players who have been selected following recent high-octane sessions at the Sport Ireland campus in Abbotstown.

The new faces are: goalkeeper Holly Micklem (Old Alex), Eva Lavelle (UCD), Christina Hamill (Loreto), Siofra O’Brien (Loreto) and Katherine Egan (UCD). Charlotte Beggs (Ulster Elks) is another uncapped player who was part of the panel in Pisa while Caoimhe Perdue (UCC) lined out in uncapped matches for the senior panel in 2021 against Great Britain.

The side will travel to France on Monday and return on Friday, February 11th where they will take part in three uncapped games against France as part of the camp.

“This France series is the beginning of a new cycle with key events like the World Cup, the FIH Nations Cup and qualification for Paris 2024 all not that far away,” head coach Dancer said.

“I am excited to see how the wider squad of Irish athletes compete under the pressure of competition. We have included a good balance of experience and inexperienced players for our friendlies verse France.”

The 2022 National squad will be finalised towards the end of February with Niamh Carey and Ellen Curran unavailable for the time-being. The remaining players from the World Cup qualifiers continue to be available for selection for the year ahead.

Ireland will find out their World Cup group on February 17th following the completion this week of the qualification process in Pan-America, Africa and Asia while New Zealand and Australia were confirmed as Oceania’s representatives.

The World Cup will be split across Spain and the Netherlands and take place from July 1st to 17th. It will be followed by the European Championship qualifiers in Dublin from August 17th to 21st in a four-team competition also featuring Poland, the Czech Republic and Turkey.

And the year will be rounded out by the FIH Nations Cup in Valencia from December 10th to 17th in a high quality tournament which is listed as a potential qualifier for the FIH Pro League.

*The Irish senior women’s team is sponsored by SoftCo, Park Developments and Saba and supported by Sport Ireland and Sport NI.

Ireland women’s squad for French camp, February 6th-11th (club/caps)
Elizabeth Murphy (Loreto, 13)
Holly Micklem (Old Alex, 0)
Lena Tice (Old Alex, 122)
Hannah McLoughlin (UCD, 26)
Sarah McAuley (UCD, 9)
Erin Getty (Queen’s, 11)
Jane Kilpatrick (Belfast Harlequins, 1)
Caoimhe Perdue (UCC, 0)
Sarah Hawkshaw (Railway Union, 46)
Charlotte Beggs (Ulster Elks, 0)
Katie Mullan (Ballymoney, 206)
Eva Lavelle (UCD, 0)
Christina Hamill (Loreto, 0)
Sarah Torrans (Loreto, 33)
Zara Malseed (Ards, 7)
Siofra O’Brien (Loreto, 0)
Naomi Carroll (Catholic Institute, 121)
Katherine Egan (UCD, 0)


Leinster win boys triple header in Interpro series

Leinster’s male teams did a triple at Grange Road over Munster in the latest round of interprovincial fixtures in this year’s new-format.

At Under-16 level, Leinster held on for a 3-2 win having earlier led 3-0. Oscar Pasley nudged in from close range after Liam Richardson’s initial shot was half-stopped.

Harry St Leger slapped in from the second phase of a corner and the third came when Peter Montgomery’s upright reverse was turned in by Zach Silverman.

Munster fought back in the closing stages with captain Rob Olden and Sean Curtin firing home corners in the last 11 minutes and put the pressure on but could not find an equaliser.

At Under-18 level, Leinster were 4-1 winners. Sam Maxwell slid home on the backhand from Mark Smyth’s baseline run and pull-back; Smyth produced a brilliant finish for the second and Conor Walsh made it 3-0 with a touch to Andrew Crowe’s shot at goal having been fed by Rex Dunlop.

Ed Collins for Leinster and Harry Jackson for Munster traded further goals as Leinster won well.

The Under-21 tie, meanwhile, was settled in dramatic style by Isaac Johnson who got a crucial touch from Harry Lynch’s corner sweep in the closing seconds.

It earned a 2-1 win for the blues after they had trailed. Jack O’Meara’s corner in the first half put the southern province ahead and they held that advantage until the last 15 minutes. Lynch was the catalyst for the comeback, dragging in the leveller before assisting the winner.

Ulster and Munster’s next Under-21 fixture was initially due to played next Sunday but will be played alongside the Under-18 and 16 games between the provinces on February 27.

Men’s Interprovincial Championship
Leinster 3 (O Pasley, H St Leger, Z Silverman) Munster 2 (R Olden, S Curtin)
Under-18: Leinster 4 (S Maxwell, E Collins, M Smyth, C Walsh) Munster 1 (H Jackson)
Under-21: Leinster 2 (H Lynch, I Johnson) Munster 1 (J O’Meara)

Sunday, February 6 fixture
Under-21: Ulster v Munster, Grange Road, 3pm