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EYHL Men’s Weekend Round-Up, Oct 11th 2020

YMCA’s incredible start to the season continued apace as they held off Banbridge at Havelock Park to take a surprise share of top spot with Lisnagarvey after three rounds of the men’s EY Hockey League.

Pre-lockdown, they sat in the relegation playoff place before the season was voided but this year they look in no such danger as Ross Henderson, Grant Glutz and Peabo Lembethe helped them run up a 3-0 lead.

Bann did get back in the mix via Eugene Magee and Eddie Rowe but, like last week against UCD, YM’s penalty corner defence withstood a late barrage to record a big away win.

They sit on nine points now alongside Lisnagarvey who were much too strong for Corinthian who slumped to a third successive loss, falling 6-0. Troy Chambers was the star man, scoring twice and having a hand in a couple of the other goals.

Monkstown’s perfect record was broken by UCD in a 4-4 thriller at the Merrion Fleet Arena in a game where the lead changed hands four times. Town led 1-0 and 3-2 by half-time but also trailed 2-1 and 4-3 late in the game as they struggled to contain Mark Samuel’s roving efforts down the right. Davy Carson, however, popped up with the equaliser to share the spoils.

Pembroke landed their first points of the season with a 2-1 win in a bruising encounter against Glenanne at Serpentine Avenue. Shane O’Donoghue put the Glens in front but fellow Olympian Alan Sothern equalised before half-time and the winner arrived in the fourth quarter from Cian Murphy from Julian Dale’s assist.

Three Rock Rovers, meanwhile, were far too strong for Annadale, recording a 10-0 victory at Grange Road with Ben Johnson bringing his tally to six goals in three games to date.

Dale’s cause was not helped by injury to goalkeeper Sam Hamill at 6-0 with 22 minutes to go. With no recognised goalkeeper on the bench, they decided against padding up an outfielder with the additional complication of having to sanitise the full kit.

Men’s EYHL – day three results: Banbridge 2 (E Magee, E Rowe) YMCA 3 (G Glutz, R Henderson, P Lembethe); Lisnagarvey 6 (T Chambers 2, J Lynch, A Williamson, B Nelson, M Aughey) Corinthian 0; Monkstown 4 (D Carson 2, S Cole, R Nichols) UCD 4 (S Walker 2, G Sarratt, P Lynch); Pembroke 2 (A Sothern, C Murphy) Glenanne 1 (S O’Donoghue); Three Rock Rovers 10 (B Johnson 3, B Walker 2, L Adams, J Walker, H Morris, A Haughton, R Canning) Annadale 0

Saturday, October 17th: UCD v Three Rock Rovers, Belfield, 1pm; Monkstown v Banbridge, Merrion Fleet Arena, 2.15pm; Glenanne v Lisnagarvey, St Andrew’s, 3pm; Annadale v Corinthian, Lagan College, 3.30pm; YMCA v Pembroke, Wesley College, 4pm

Day three – extended reports

Pembroke 2 (A Sothern, C Murphy) Glenanne 1 (S O’Donoghue)

Pembroke came from a goal down to record their first win of the season from a bruising affair at Serpentine Avenue. Eric Foy was shown a yellow card just a couple of minutes in for swinging out at a Glens’ player off the ball following a tangle and the visitors went on to have the best of a tight first quarter but two corners pushed wide was the sum of the chances.

From corner three, however, Shane O’Donoghue found his bearings and planted a drag-flick in the bottom right corner for 1-0. Pembroke woke up from there and were the side the ascendancy; they saw Iain Walker punch away Alan Sothern’s drag and had another effort saved at the left post while Nick Burns reversed wide.

The goal was certainly coming and it arrived before half-time from a neat variation, the stopper sliding the ball left to open an angle for Sothern to flick home. Harry Spain kept it level with a save off the line on the half-time whistle from Glenanne’s fourth corner.

Pembroke continued in the ascendancy in the second half with Fionn O’Leary and Julian Dale going very close from big chances. They went in front early in the fourth quarter when Sothern picked up Foy’s long pass in the corner and cut inside to shoot. He took contact in that phase but the ball fell to Dale on the baseline who got the ball back to Cian Murphy to flick into an open goal.

Glenanne fought back, requiring Richard Sweetnam to put his body on the line to deny Richard Couse – taking a nasty blow to the hand into the bargain – and Mark Ingram pull out all the stops to keep out Couse and two more O’Donoghue corner attempts.

Monkstown 4 (D Carson 2, S Cole, R Nichols) UCD 4 (S Walker 2, G Sarratt, P Lynch)

Monkstown and UCD shared an eight-goal battle which saw the lead swap four times at the Merrion Fleet Arena. The tempo was set from the very outset with Peter Lynch’s spectacular volley fizzing wide with barely a couple of seconds on the clock. Monkstown had the lead in the second minute when Ryan Spencer’s shot hit Sam Walker’s foot on the line, Stephen Cole converting from the spot.

UCD quickly turned things around with Mark Samuel rampant down the right flank for the students and was the game’s most influential performer. He won a corner which Conor Empey slipped into the path of Walker who chipped over Dave Fitzgerald for 1-1.

Samuel was bundled over for a third UCD corner which Guy Sarratt skapped home at the second attempt from mid-circle. UCD were the side on top for most of the half and could have been further in front but for a huge Fitzgerald save from Ewan Ramsay but they found themselves trailing 3-2 at the big break.

First, Rory Nichols whipped in a high drag-flick and, within seconds, Davy Carson got his first of the day, guiding in a Keith Kenning push after a sustained wave of attacks.

It remained that way through the third quarter before UCD went back into the lead. First, from an unstopped corner, Town vacated the area in front of the goalkeeper where the ball was returned to the waiting Peter Lynch to bash in to control and bash in from close range.

Then Samuel ghosted around the back to the baseline and crossed for Walker to sweep in for 4-3. The lead did not last long, however, as Nichols got to the endline and picked out Carson to finish off.

Banbridge 2 (E Magee, E Rowe) YMCA 3 (G Glutz, R Henderson, P Lembethe)

YMCA continued their excellent run of form to start the men’s EY Hockey League and they now have almost as many wins as they managed in the whole of the 2019/20 campaign after just three weeks. It was built on a remarkable opening phase with Ross Henderson opening the scoring in the 12th minute, dragging the ball onto his reverse before slipping it through Luke Roleston.

Grant Glutz got his fourth of the season soon after when he powered home from mid circle and he played an instrumental in the third goal from a corner which Peabo Lembethe got a vital finish on.

Bann got a foothold in the game when Luke Witherow weaves his way to the backline and passed for Eugene Magee to score. The Co Down side held most of the play in the second half but found clear chances tough to come by.

They were right back in it, though, when Philip Brown went on a gallop before assisting Eddie Rowe to score his third goal in two games. Bann had four corners in the final quarter but YMCA’s defensive unit was immaculate once again to keep each of them out and preserve the points.

Lisnagarvey 6 (T Chambers 2, J Lynch, A Williamson, B Nelson, M Aughey) Corinthian 0

Lisnagarvey made it three wins from three with a comfortable win over Corinthian at Comber Road. The reds held them at bay until just before the end of the first quarter when great work from Daniel Nelson, driving into the circle, created the chance for Johnny Lynch to slot in.

From the restart, they almost instantly doubled the advantage when Harry Morris picked up the ball and strode forward and while the goalkeeper got a block, Troy Chambers pounced to lift the ball in. Andy Williamson dragged in the third from a corner for 3-0 after 25 minutes.

Ben Nelson’s sweet reverse-stick strike from James Corry’s assist started the second half scoring and it was 5-0 before the end of the third quarter courtesy of Matthew Aughey, finishing off from Chambers’ assist. Chambers then closed out the win with his second goal in the final quarter.

Three Rock Rovers 10 (B Johnson 3, B Walker 2, L Adams, J Walker, H Morris, A Haughton, R Canning) Annadale 0

Nine second half goals saw Three Rock Rovers race clear of Annadale to record their second win of the campaign with Ben Johnson’s hat trick making it six goals in three games. The first half saw plenty of pressure for Rovers but the only breakthrough came in the second quarter when Ross Canning’s through ball was touched in by Luke Adams.

But six goals in the third quarter saw the game quickly change complexion. Johnson’s corner started the run before Daragh Walsh set up Ben Walker for 3-0.

Johnson added the fourth with a backhand shot before completing his hat trick from a brilliant diving effort following Adams and Evan Jennings’ excellent approach work. James Walker’s wonder strike stretched the lead to six and Dale endured further pain when goalkeeper Sam Hamill was forced off injured with a hamstring problem.

With no recognised replacement on the bench, they considered putting an outfielder in the pads but decided against it with the requirement to sanitise the equipment. With no keeper in place, Harry Morris tapped in for 7-0 at the three quarter break and Ali Haughton, Ben Walker and a Ross Canning stroke completed the win.

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EYHL Women’s Weekend Round-Up, Oct 11th 2020

Railway Union continue to set the pace in the women’s EY Hockey League as they ground out the points 1-0 from their home date with reigning champions Pegasus at Park Avenue.

It means, with three wins, they now have as many as they managed in the whole of last season while Pegs returned to Belfast from Dublin with nothing to show for their efforts for a second successive week. Kate Lloyd provided the only goal, finishing off from Ailish Long’s baseline pull-back early in the second half to make the difference.

Limerick’s Catholic Institute are the other form side and they recorded the biggest win, 5-1, in the women’s EYHL since back in March 2019 when they swept aside Muckross at Rosbrien.

Naomi Carroll and Louise McCollum traded goals before Roisin Upton nailed a pair of set pieces while Rosie Pratt and Aoife Hickey put Insta on course for seven points out of nine and second spot.

Old Alex lost their perfect record at the hands of Dublin rivals Loreto 4-3. The Beaufort club were good value for the result as they swept into a 4-1 lead with defenders Hannah Matthews and Grace McLoughlin combining for their first three and Grace Donald got the all-important fourth.

Alex fought back brilliantly with Nikki Evans and Deirdre Duke among the goals but Loreto held on for their second win.

Pembroke got their first points of the campaign with a strong 3-0 win at UCD with Sophie Dix and Emily Beatty putting them 2-0 up and Tori Wensley added to that early in the second half.

Cork Harlequins did not travel to play Belfast Harlequins over Covid concerns in the weekend’s other tie on the schedule.

Women’s EYHL: Catholic Institute 5 (R Upton 2, A Hickey, R Pratt, N Carroll) Muckross 1 (L McCollum); Old Alex 3 (N Evans 2, D Duke) Loreto 4 (H Matthews 2, G McLoughlin, G Donald); Railway Union 1 (K Lloyd) Pegasus 0; UCD 0 Pembroke 3 (S Dix, E Beatty, T Wensley)

Off: Belfast Harlequins v Cork Harlequins

October 17th fixtures: Cork Harlequins v Railway Union, Farmers’ Cross, 1pm; Old Alex v Catholic Institute, Milltown, 1.30pm; Belfast Harlequins v Pegasus, Deramore Park, 2.30pm; Pembroke v Loreto, Serpentine Avenue, 2.30pm; UCD v Muckross, Belfield, 2.50pm

Day three extended reports
Railway Union 1 (K Lloyd) Pegasus 0

Kate Lloyd struck her third goal of the season to keep Railway Union’s excellent start to the season, meaning they now have as many weeks after three of this season as they did from the entirety of last term.

They shaded the first quarter in terms of possession and had the only corner saved by Megan Todd with chances at a premium. Sarah Hawkshaw almost unlocked the door for Lloyd and Martha McCready but their shots just went off course before Grace O’Flanagan – back into the side for this tie – was called on to make a couple of saves on the half-time hooter, notably from Shirley McCay at full stretch.

The goal came early in the second half with Ailish Long making a great dart to the back line and she found Lloyd waiting in the middle to push in.

Pegasus upped the ante with Emma Quinn drawing the best from O’Flanagan while Olivia Berry won a corner which McCay again fired in dangerously but was repelled. The pressure was relentless in the final quarter but Pegasus could not find a way through and so they ended their second successive trip to Dublin without a result as Railway march on.

Catholic Institute 5 (R Upton 2, A Hickey, R Pratt, N Carroll) Muckross 1 (L McCollum)

Catholic Institute recorded their largest winning scoreline in the women’s EY Hockey League in over 18 months to move into second place in the competition with seven points from nine thus far. It took them seven minutes to get off the mark with a long corner move worked into Naomi Carroll who turned and fired home from mid-circle.

Muckross got back on terms in the 21st minute when Emma Mathews’ sumptuous pass found Louise McCollum rushing on at pace and she entered the circle before finishing off a great goal. Roisin Upton made sure parity was short lived with a powerful hit from the top of the circle and then Rosie Pratt struck for 3-1 from the second phase of a corner on her backhand.

It was 4-1 eight minutes into the second half when Aoife Hickey finished off an overload down the right wing with Roisin Begley to the fore in its conception. Upton dragged in the fifth goal as the Limerick side continue their excellent start to the campaign.

UCD 0 Pembroke 3 (S Dix, E Beatty, T Wensley)

Pembroke produced an all-action performance to get their first win of the season as UCD’s tough start continues following a 3-0 home defeat. The visitors were good value for the result as they controlled long periods of the first half and should have been in front when Aisling Naughton drove through and slipped the ball past goalkeeper Clodagh Cassin to Ava Beatty but she could only slam the ball onto the post with her shot.

It was 1-0 when Gillian Pinder’s pin-point cross from the left baseline was met first time by Sophie Dix arriving at pace and it was another powerful ball into the mix that created goal number two. This time, Leah McGuire strode forward from the back and bashed into the circle where Emily Beatty met the ball perfectly for 2-0.

Pembroke had a couple more corner chances – one which was initially awarded as a stroke before being down-graded – but they had to wait until the second half for their third goal. Pinder’s first-up shot was well blocked by Cassin but Tori Wensley was there to poke home the rebound.

UCD improved after that but never looked like threatening a comeback with Emma Buckley very assured between the posts while Hannah McLoughlin’s pair of corner sweeps were both dealt with well.

Old Alex 3 (N Evans 2, D Duke) Loreto 4 (H Matthews 2, G McLoughlin, G Donald)

Defenders Hannah Matthews and Grace McLoughlin provided the set piece goals that laid the base for Loreto’s second win of the season against title hopefuls Old Alex. They built a healthy lead and looked in good shape until Alex stormed back in the last quarter but too late to take anything from the tie.

The Beaufort peppered the Alex goal in the first quarter with Carolyn Crampton making a string of saves while they also had a goal disallowed in favour of a corner before taking the lead with Matthews on the left behind-the-back switch to sweep in.

They looked more likely to score again but were undone by some quick-thinking by Jeamie Deacon whose free was perfectly worked to Nikki Evans on the right post to deflect in, 1-1.

But Matthews soon had Loreto back in front with a carbon-copy corner routine, a step-over switch and a powerful slap-shot. And while their numerous shots from play were repelled by Crampton, Loreto kept running up the corners to move 3-1 up in the second half with Grace McLoughlin this time going direct.

Grace Donald extended the lead to 4-1 when she finished off from open play following a swift attack down the right wing.

Alex got one back when Deirdre Duke brilliantly took down an overhead and rode a hefty tackle before driving on a smacking into the bottom corner. A volley of four corners for Alex were snuffed out but they got further back into the tie when Duke drove on again and while her shot was blocked, Evans snapped up the rebound with two minutes to go.

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EYHL Women’s Weekend Round-Up, October 4th 2020

Old Alex and Railway Union sit top of the women’s EY Hockey League table following their narrow wins on day two of the competition, both making it six points from six with 2-1 victories. 

For Alex, they impressed in a 2-1 success against Pembroke with Emma Russell and Emilie Ryan Doyle doing the damage. The latter scored with six minutes to go and while Sally Campbell got one back in the dying minutes, it was enough for the Milltown club to secure their second win. 

For Railway, they trailed to a goal from Muckross’s Sarah McAuley at half-time in their game at Grange Road but Sarah Hawkshaw continued her immaculate form to score the equaliser from a Martha McCready cross and then she set up the winner for Zara Delany. Hawkshaw has either scored assisted each of Railway’s goals this season. 

Loreto won the big battle with Pegasus in a meeting between the top two of the last two years, again via a 2-1 scoreline. The Beaufort club’s penalty corner efficiency was the key with clever moves leading to first half goals from Sarah Torrans and Siofra O’Brien. Ruth Maguire got one back from a penalty stroke with 14 minutes to go but they could not find an equaliser. 

Julia McCarthy’s debut goal for Cork Harlequins with five minutes left earned them a 1-1 draw against Catholic Institute in the Munster derby. Insta had led via Naomi Carroll’s goal in the first half but they were denied a second successive win by that late goal. 

UCD and Belfast Harlequins also drew 1-1, Rachel Kelly getting her first goal since joining UCD during the summer to cancel out Emma Uprichard’s strike for the Belfast side. 

 

Women’s EYHL Division 1 results: Cork Harlequins 1 (J McCarthy) Catholic Institute 1 (N Carroll); Loreto 2 (S Torrans, S O’Brien) Pegasus 1 (R Maguire); Muckross 1 (S McAuley) Railway Union 2 (S Hawkshaw, Z Delany); Pembroke 1 (S Campbell) Old Alex 2 (E Russell, E Ryan Doyle); UCD 1 (R Kelly) Belfast Harlequins 1 (E Uprichard) 

October 10th fixtures: Belfast Harlequins v Cork Harlequins, Deramore Park, 1pm; Catholic Institute v Muckross, Rosbrien, 1pm; Old Alex v Loreto, Milltown, 1.30pm; UCD v Pembroke, Belfield, 2.50pm; Railway Union v Pegasus, Park Avenue, 3pm 

 

Women’s EY Hockey League – day two extended reports 

Loreto 2 (S Torrans, S O’Brien) Pegasus 1 (R Maguire) 

Loreto’s penalty corner variations proved critical in their victory over Pegasus to get their first win of the competition, bouncing back from their opening day defeat to Railway Union at Beaufort. 

In an evenly contested battle, with defences largely on top, the set pieces were vital. Niamh McIvor’s powerful shot earned a corner for Pegasus early on but Loreto swarmed well to shut out Kerri McDonald’s angled effort. In reply, the Dubliners went in front from their second corner, switching right to Lisa Mulcahy who swept to the right post where Sarah Torrans was waiting to guide home. 

The next variation saw Hannah Matthews pick out Siofra O’Brien at the injector spot and she comfortably slotted home. Their captain Sarah Evans had to be carried off injured before half-time but they did look more likely to extend their lead with Yasmin Pratt cracking an effort into Megan Todd’s chest protection while Ali Meeke was also blocked by a combination of Todd and Shirley McCay’s instincts to cover. 

Pegs began to have more and more of the game as time wore on and they ramped up the tension when Ruth Maguire converted a penalty stroke with 14 minutes still to play. Try as they might, though, Loreto’s defence held up for what could be an important win over the perennial title rivals. 

 

Pembroke 1 (S Campbell) Old Alex 2 (E Russell, E Ryan Doyle) 

Old Alex made it two away wins from two to share the lead at this early stage of the campaign with goals from Emma Russell and Emilie Ryan Doyle putting them ahead of Pembroke at Serpentine Avenue.  

Nikki Evans almost drew first blood but her reverse was denied by international team mate Emma Buckley in the early exchanges while Buckley was also there to save a corner soon after. Another Alex effort then pinged the crossbar as the visitors enjoyed the best of the early exchanges. 

Pembroke replied in kind with a couple of corners in the second quarter but they could not make them count and so the half ended scoreless. The deadlock was broken, though, early in the second half when Russell latched onto a rebound early in the second half to add extra bite to the contest. 

Gillian Pinder drew a fine save from Carolyn Crampton to close out the third quarter as Pembroke pushed forward with gusto but found an unyielding defence in front of them. Emily Beatty was also kept out by Crampton before Alex made the key incision from a corner, Millie O’Donnell picking out Emilie Ryan Doyle who deflected in. 

That came with just six minutes to go; Pembroke pulled one back within 60 seconds courtesy of some fine stickwork from Sally Campbell and the hosts withdrew their goalkeeper for the final two minutes but Alex held on. 

 

Cork Harlequins 1 (J McCarthy) Catholic Institute 1 (N Carroll) 

Julia McCarthy’s debut goal gave Cork Harlequins a point from their opening tie of the women’s EY Hockey League season from a high tempo Munster derby. 

The Farmers’ Cross side did owe a lot to their fantastic goalkeeper Lorna Bateman who made several crucial saves but coach Darren Collins was left reasonably satisfied with the outcome after a summer in which the club saw a big turnover in personnel. 

We went into yesterday a bit concerned as we hadn’t been able to get enough practice matches beforehand,” he said after the tie. With eight out of a squad of 14 Under-18, having such a young team will take time to get used to the pace of EYHL hockey.  

“Institute had more chances than us and probably were unlucky not to take a few but I was delighted with the way our team fought back to level the match.” 

After a scoreless first quarter, Insta went in front before half-time straight from a Quins’ penalty corner, Aoife Hickey and Roise Pratt working the ball up the pitch to Naomi Carroll to finish off. 

From there, Bateman played a key role in keeping the gap at one goal while there were strong performances from Lauren Cripps, Cliodhna Sargent, Yvonne O’Byrne and Michelle Barry.  

They held on long enough and McCarthy took their chance when it arrived inside the last five minutes. There was still time for Bateman to make yet another key block to retain the point. 

 

Muckross 1 (S McAuley) Railway Union 2 (S Hawkshaw, Z Delany) 

Railway came back from a goal down to record their second 2-1 win of the season with Sarah Hawkshaw playing a crucial role once again. She has either assisted or scored each of their goals this season in a hugely impressive start to the campaign. 

In an end-to-end first half, the first quarter saw an exchange of corners but no goals. Muckross, though, took the lead in the second quarter when Anna O’Flanagan drew a penalty corner which Sarah McAuley swept in from the top. 

Railway got back on terms when Sarah Patton overlapped down the right and slipped a pass to Martha McCready who in turn picked out Hawkshaw who peeled around to the back post to tip in. 

Hawkshaw then turned over the ball and won a free which she took on herself, racing down the right and into the D before laying on for Zara Delany to sweep in first time with about 12 minutes to go. 

 

UCD 1 (R Kelly) Belfast Harlequins 1 (E Uprichard) 

UCD and Belfast Harlequins picked up their first point each of the season from a hard-fought contest at Belfield. Quins looked the more on form side in the first quarter KJ Marshall needing to be alert to deny Jenna Watt while Clodagh Cassin was the first goalkeeper called into action. 

They took the lead in the second quarter via Ulster underage interpro player Emma Uprichard for an important lead. The students grew into the contest with the pick of their play featuring Katherine Egan’s lovely cross-field pass to Sarah Young which ended up in a corner and an Egan shot that was repelled. 

The Belfast side – who were without injured international trio Megan Frazer, Lizzie Colvin and Serena Barr – had a couple of big corner chances to extend their lead in the second half. But UCD forced their way back into the reckoning with a dominant final quarter with the goal eventually arriving from Rachel Kelly in her college debut from a penalty corner won by Emma Young. 

Three more corners went the students way but they could not get by Suzanne Taylor from those chances and Harlequins held on for a point.  

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EYHL Weekend Round-Up, October 4th 2020

Monkstown, YMCA and Lisnagarvey kept their 100% records in tact with narrow victories on day two of the men’s EY Hockey League while Three Rock Rovers notched their first success of the campaign, too. 

For Monkstown, they have the edge on goal difference at this early stage thanks to Jeremy Duncan’s second goal in a week as they shaded Annadale 2-1. 

The sky-blues were in a real battle when James Clark cancelled out Andrew Fogarty’s opening goal at Lagan College before Duncan popped up with the winner in the fourth quarter. 

YM, meanwhile, withstood a late UCD onsalught but were good value for their 2-1 success at Belfield. It was built on a fine first half performance in which Ross Henderson and Ben Campbell put them two to the good. Guy Sarratt got one back but he could not capitalise on five penalty corners on the final hooter for a would-be equaliser. 

Garvey got the better of Pembroke with Andy Williamson’s heavily deflected shot the odd goal in five, 3-2, at Serpentine Avenue. Pembroke led via Nick Burns but Daniel Nelson and Troy Chambers swapped the lead by half-time. Alan Sothern equalised for 2-2 before Williamson’s crucial strike. 

Glenanne let a lead slip for the second time in a week in the closing minutes as Eddie Rowe scored twice from play for Banbridge to earn a 2-2 draw. 

Stephen Brownlow and Shane O’Donoghue both scored into the bottom left corner for a 2-0 lead the Glens held into the last six minutes before Rowe wrecked their hopes. 

Three Rock ran out 6-1 winners over Corinthian in the Marlay derby; it was tight at 1-0 at half-time from Evan Jennings’ goal and Rovers only led 2-1 at three quarter time. But a double from Ben Johnson and further goals from Ben Walker and Sam Grace made for a handy three points. 

 

Men’s EYHL results: Annadale 1 (J Clark) Monkstown 2 (A Fogarty, J Duncan); Corinthian 1 (D Howard) Three Rock Rovers 6 (B Johnson 2, E Jennings, R Canning, B Walker, S Grace); Glenanne 2 (S Brownlow, S O’Donoghue) Banbridge 2 (E Rowe 2); Pembroke 2 (N Burns, A Sothern) Lisnagarvey 3 (D Nelson, T Chambers, A Williamson); UCD 1 (G Sarratt) YMCA 2 (R Henderson, B Campbell) 

 

October 10th fixtures: Lisnagarvey v Corinthian, Comber Road, 2pm; Monkstown v UCD, Merrion Fleet Arena, 2.15pm; Pembroke v Glenanne, Serpentine Avenue, 2.30pm; Banbridge v YMCA, Havelock Park, 2.45pm; Three Rock Rovers v Annadale, Grange Road, 2.45pm 

 

Men’s EYHL – day two extended reports

Pembroke 2 (N Burns, A Sothern) Lisnagarvey 3 (D Nelson, T Chambers, A Williamson) 

Andy Williamson’s deflected corner earned Lisnagarvey the points as they won a wide-open contest with Pembroke at Serpentine Avenue. His side had the majority of the clear-cut chances but they found Mark Ingram in strong form throughout as he started off the game by brilliantly keeping out Troy Chambers while Richard Sweetnam to keep out a Daniel Nelson shot with the goal beckoning. 

Pembroke went in front, however, when Kirk Shimmins took a free quickly and whipped a reverse to the right post where Nick Burns turned in the chance. 

Garvey levelled with a cracking goal with Cole Chambers chasing after a long ball before the ball was worked into the cavalry with Daniel Nelson’s first touch lifting the ball over a defensive stick before pummeling in his chance.  

It was 2-1 at half-time when Garvey were quickest to clean up the ball off a sharp Ingram save with Troy Chambers scooping up the rebound chance. Into the second half and Ingram had to be at full stretch to keep out Mark McNellis but Pembroke – with Shimmins on his way to the sin bin – always have an ace up their sleeve in Alan Sothern and he got his customary goal when Rob McCollum picked him out at the front post from the left. 

Williamson, though, found what proved to be the winner a couple of minutes later with his heavily deflected drag-flick. The game stayed very much live in the final quarter with Ingram keeping Lorimer out while Troy Chambers was narrowly wide with another couple of chances. 

It left them open for a sucker-punch and it almost arrived a couple of times. From Pembroke’s only corner, James Milliken rebuffed Sothern and Harry Spain shots while McCollum’s fierce effort went over the bar. 

 

UCD 1 (G Sarratt) YMCA 2 (R Henderson, B Campbell) 

YMCA withstood five penalty corners on the final whistle to make it two wins from two in the men’s EY Hockey League and continue their excellent start to the campaign. They were good value for their 2-0 half-time lead after Ross Henderson scored at the right post in the first quarter and they were two up when Ben Campbell’s drag-flick had too much power for Stephen Dawson. 

They looked the more likely to score next for the remainder of the first half and had further chances in the third quarter before UCD fought back with Guy Sarratt flicking a corner high into the net past Cameron Larkin, stepping in at the start of this season for the injured Jakim Bernsden. 

It kept he game alive and when UCD won a corner on the whistle, it gave them a chance of nicking a point for the second week running but Larkin’s defensive unit – with Grant Glutz to the fore – secured the three points. 

“To keep out five corners on the hooter with Guy Sarratt flicking, to keep it at 2-1, the guys showed a lot of effort,” said YM coach Jason Klinkradt.  

“The guys pride them on their hard work in defence before attack. It was Grant’s turn this week. I am maybe a little disappointed we didn’t put the game to rest a little earlier with the chances that came along but that chances are coming is the important thing. 

“We kept everyone over the summer. It’s a tight-knit group and that’s important in these pandemic times to keep everyone going. Very early days, though. 

His counterpart Michael Styles was disappointed with how his side played, saying: “YM were very good, hungry and played a high tempo and we didn’t match them. At 2-0, we got a kick and started playing and took a few risks.  

We need to start games better and perform throughout and not wait for a kick-start. At 2-1, our performance improved. Regardless of the corners at the end, we have to look at the whole game. 

  

Annadale 1 (J Clark) Monkstown 2 (A Fogarty, J Duncan) 

Annadale came close to grabbing a point at Lagan College as they almost gave ambitious Monkstown a shock but Jeremy Duncan’s late goal ultimately proved decisive for the Dubliners. 

Andrew Fogarty put Town in front in the first half when he knocked in a rebound but Dale fought back strongly, particularly in the third quarter, with James Clark hitting the crossbar while Adam McAllister shone once again. They got their reward following a corner melee which saw Dave Fitzgerald saved twice before the ball was switched back to injector Clark who got down low to push home. 

The sky-blues, however, responded in kind and got their winner when they unpicked a packed circle to find Duncan alone and able to slot home his second goal in two games since joining the club. 

 

Glenanne 2 (S Brownlow, S O’Donoghue) Banbridge 2 (E Rowe 2) 

Eddie Rowe’s double in the last six minutes earned Banbridge a share of the spoils as Glenanne were left to rue a second draw of the campaign from a winning position in the last ten minutes. 

Banbridge came within inches of a first goal in the first minute when Josh Moffett’s batted shot hit the post but they fell behind the seventh minute when Richard Couse won a corner. Stephen Brownlow produced a low push down the stick side to put the St Andrew’s hosts in front. 

The next Glens corner was charged down a minute later while Luke Roleston saved well from Gary Shaw. They continued to be on top in the second quarter and doubled their lead from their third corner, Shane O’Donoghue finding the same spot with his drag-flick. 

Bann, though, started to find plenty of joy in their press and ran up five corners in the second quarter with Iain Walker keeping out Eugene Magee, Owen Magee and Philip Brown. 

In the second half, Glenanne looked the more likely to extend their lead with Jason Rogan twice drawing strong saves from Roleston. On the the three quarter time hooter, Bann had a deflected effort chalked off for interference of the first runner, leaving it 2-0. 

But the pressure was incessant in the final quarter with Bann penning Glenanne back throughout. Rowe got the first goal back with a brilliant catch from Walker’s high booted clearance, controlling and then volleying back with interest with six minutes to go. 

And the teenager repeated the trick two minutes later with a near post touch from a ball in from the left to complete the comeback. Brownlow almost nicked the full points in the dying seconds but his reverse under pressure was bundled wide and the draw remained. 

 

Corinthian 1 (D Howard) Three Rock Rovers 6 (B Johnson 2, E Jennings, R Canning, B Walker, S Grace) 

Three Rock Rovers raced clear of their Dublin 16 rivals at Whitechurch Park in the final quarter after an initially tight contest.  

Following a minute’s silence for former Irish international RD Mellon, Rovers had the better of the early exchanges with Charlie Henderson twice keeping out Peter Blakeney while Conor Quinn did well at the far end to block a couple of corners on the quarter-time whistle. 

The visitors went in front on the half hour when Jody Hosking’s long ball from a free out found its way to Ben Walker behind the last defender and he slipped to Evan Jennings. The young striker slipped the ball home on his reverse.  

Ross Canning’s sharp finish made it 2-0 early in the second half as Harry Morris’s miscued shot popped up nicely and he slashed in with a one-handed effort. Davy Howard got one back from a corner in the 40th minute to keep the contest alive into the final quarter. 

But Rovers’ connections came together to devastating effect. They scored direct from the restart with Walker getting on the end of the move, whipping home a reverse from the top of the circle. Their press put Corinthian in a muddle soon after with possession robbed on the 23, leading to Ben Johnson firing home another backhand shot. 

The Waterford man hit the post from a corner before the set-piece was reset; at the second time of asking, his heavily deflected drag sent Henderson the wrong way and nestled in the backboard. Sam Grace finished off the scoring with his first goal for the club from play, Daragh Walsh’s slipped pass allowing him to trap and bang. 

“It must be a while!” Grace said when asked about a rare field-goal. “Right place, right time I guess – just had an idea where the goal was and pulled on it. I was keeping an eye on what the forwards were doing during the week. 

He feels his side are in a good place now for the season ahead with Walsh a big plus: “We knew Corinthians would be hard to break down and they have a fierce fight in them. We did think when we got the third that we would kick on. Daragh does make a big difference and adds a serious amount of quality. It’s great to have him back.  

 

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Men’s EYHL Round Up, Weekend 27th September

Lisnagarvey, YMCA and Monkstown all got off to winning starts in the men’s EY Hockey League while UCD and Glenanne shared the spoils as the elite competition returned to action with a bang.

Garvey looked in great shape to win the title last season before lockdown scuppered their chances but they made an impressive start when striking late to defeat reigning EY Champions Trophy holders Three Rock Rovers 4-2 at Comber Road.

The Ulster side led twice via goals from Ben Nelson – making it five goals in three games in September – but Ben Johnson and Peter Blakeney fought back both times for 2-2 going into the final quarter. James Lorimer, however, struck two corners for the victory.

Monkstown put on a great show both on the pitch and online as they live-streamed their 6-0 win over Corinthian with a four-camera and commentator set-up at the Merrion Fleet Arena.

It took just four minutes for Jeremy Duncan to open his account for the club from a penalty corner rebound while two Lee Cole drag-flicks and a Ryan Spencer strike put them 4-0 up at half-time. Further goals from Max Guilfoyle and Stephen Cole completed their victory.

Grant Glutz overcame an early penalty stroke miss to bag a hat trick for YMCA as they beat Annadale 3-0 at Wesley. The powerful striker applied a spin-flick to break the deadlock in the first half before killing off the game with a pair of rockets in the final quarter.

UCD, meanwhile, snatched a point late on against Glenanne with Guy Sarratt coming up trumps. He exchanged goals with Shannon Boucher to make it 1-1 at half-time before player-coach Shane O’Donoghue edged the Glens in front in the second half. Sarratt, though, created and scored the vital corner for a 2-2 result.

Banbridge against Pembroke was called off on Saturday morning due to a positive Covid-19 case in the Pembroke camp. Following the advice of the HSE, the club were advised not to travel.

 

Men’s EY Hockey League – week one results: Lisnagarvey 4 (B Nelson 2, J Lorimer 2) Three Rock Rovers 2 (B Johnson, P Blakeney); Monkstown 6 (L Cole 2, J Duncan, R Spencer, M Guilfoyle, S Cole) Corinthian 0; UCD 2 (G Sarratt 2) Glenanne 2 (S Boucher, S O’Donoghue); YMCA 3 (G Glutz 3) Annadale 0; Banbridge v Pembroke – off

 

October 3rd fixtures:  Annadale v Monkstown, Strathearn, time TBC; UCD v YMCA, Belfield, 1pm; Glenanne v Banbridge, St Andrew’s, 1.30pm; Pembroke v Lisnagarvey, Serpentine Avenue, 2pm; Corinthian v Three Rock Rovers, Whitechurch Park, 5pm

 

Men’s EY Hockey League – day one extended reports 

Lisnagarvey 4 (B Nelson 2, J Lorimer 2) Three Rock Rovers 2 (B Johnson, P Blakeney) 

Two late James Lorimer penalty corners earned Lisnagarvey a big home win over Three Rock Rovers at Comber Road as their unbeaten run on the national stage was put under huge pressure. Ben Nelson twice gave them a lead before Ben Johnson and Peter Blakeney got it level going into the final stages but Garvey took their chances to start off the campaign with three points.

Nelson continued his goal-a-game September when he finished off from a baseline pull-back after a swift move down the right channel. Johnson equalised with a penalty corner drag-flick but Nelson restored the lead in the third quarter when he took a free in the 23m zone himself and broke through a couple of tackles before sliding in a shot on his reverse.

Ben Walker’s incisive run created the equaliser when he slipped the ball left to Peter Blakeney who swept first-time from the left of the circle to wrong-foot James Milliken. Rovers then had a couple of huge chances to go in front but Milliken denied Ross Canning brilliantly while a corner switch was also repelled.

Garvey held their nerve to provide a double-strike late in the game for a second successive week, backing up last weekend’s Irish Senior Cup success.

 

YMCA 3 (G Glutz 3) Annadale 0 

Grant Glutz scored an opening day hat trick as YMCA recorded a big win over Annadale in a tussle between the sides that finished ninth and tenth last season. He had the chance to open the scoring just a couple of minutes when his drag-flick hit a body on the line; his stroke effort, however, was nonchalent in the extreme and the goalkeeper got down to save with his stick.

Dale had a couple of corners come to nought with Adam McAllister looking dangerous and Jakim Bernsden alert to a bouncing shot. Glutz broke the deadlock before the end of the first quarter from a corner second phase, a spin-flick after Ben Campbell’s initial shot bounced away.

Another Campbell ricocheted off the bar in the second quarter to leave the game at the minimum and it stayed that way through the third quarter despite a quarter of YM corners.

Ben O’Grady had to back-pedal to save a looper off the goal line before Andrew Meates contrived to put a huge chance wide after a smart move.

But the game was settled with the second in the final quarter when Glutz latched onto a loose ball 30 metres out. He had plenty to do still but weaved in between four defenders and struck open an openhand shot from the top D for 2-0. And the third arrived soon after when Dale got in a muddle in their own circle and the ball bounced to Glutz to hit in first time.

 

Monkstown 6 (L Cole 2, J Duncan, R Spencer, M Guilfoyle, S Cole) Corinthian 0 

Monkstown eased to a comfortable victory over Corinthian, scarcely looking back from the moment Jeremy Duncan broke the deadlock in the fourth minute from a penalty corner. It was the perfect start to life in sky-blue for the Irish international in his first match back in Ireland for three years.

David Cole’s raking passes from centre-back through the middle were wreaking havoc and twice Town found themselves close to picking off the reds from such moves. The second came from an intercept which ended up with Duncan winning a corner that Lee Cole – another Irish star back from Belgium – whipped home.

Lee Cole’s brilliant first time pass from the right sideline at halfway created the third, Ryan Spencer again in behind the defence where he had time to slap past Charlie Henderson. Cole went high with his next corner shot for a 4-0 lead at half-time.

The reds came more into the tie in the second half but – after Duncan had one disallowed – they dropped further behind when another long ball was first timed by Nick Dee into the circle. Max Guilfoyle chipped the ball out of traffic and then fired home on his backhand. Stephen Cole completed the scoring eight minutes from the end via a stroke.

 

UCD 2 (G Sarratt 2) Glenanne 2 (S Boucher, S O’Donoghue) 

Honours even from a scrappy battle at Belfield with UCD and Glenanne sharing four goals. The returning Stephen Dawson made two excellent saves early on to keep out Shane O’Donoghue from open play and then to deny Richard Couse.

Shannon Boucher did put the Glens in front when he wrong-footed the goalkeeper to score form a corner in the second quarter but that was countered by Guy Sarratt firing past Iain Walker right on the half-time whistle.

Player-coach O’Donoghue did get his goal with a gliding run through the defence and then a flick which went high into the net. But the defining moment came four minutes from the end when a Glens’ free deep in UCD territory was overturned for dissent.

Sarratt went on a mazy run which ended in a corner which the captain buried into the same spot as his first strike to make it 2-2.

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Women’s EYHL & EYHL2 Round Up, Weekend 27th of September

Catholic Institute and Railway Union produced a couple of sensational performances to land wins over sides who were in the top four of the women’s EY Hockey League before it succumbed to lockdown last term.

For Insta, their 2-0 success at Rosbrien was a first against UCD in a very long time as they scored two well-worked goals in the last 12 minutes. Aoife Hickey got the first following Ciara Moloney’s excellent break from left back opened the door for a nice spin and shot; Laura Foley then closed out the win after a smart give-and-go move down the right channel.

Railway were in the relegation playoff place before last season was halted with Loreto top of the table but that counted for little when the Sandymount side won 2-1 at Beaufort with Kate Lloyd getting both her side’s goals.

Sarah Hawkshaw was the creator both times, the first from a driving run through the middle, teeing up Lloyd to take it on her preferred backhand side. The other was a great pick-up on the baseline, giving Lloyd the chance to slap in first time. Hannah Matthews got a late one back from a penalty corner.

Old Alex got an almighty scare at Belfast Harlequins but ultimately held on for a 3-2 win at Deramore Park. Aine Connery and Sarah Robinson made it 2-0 at half-time before Nikki Evans stretched the lead to three. Natalie Barr and Julie Allison, however, set nerves jangling with a couple of goals to cut the gap significantly.

Pegasus bounced back from their Irish Senior Cup final loss last weekend with a stylish 2-0 win over Pembroke. Youngsters Niamh McIvor and Olivia Berry put them two to the good by half-time and that is how it stayed.

 

Women’s  EYHL Division 1 – day one results: Belfast Harlequins 2 (N Barr, J Allison) Old Alexandra 3 (A Connery, S Robinson, N Evans); Catholic Institute 2 (A Hickey, L Foley) UCD 0; Loreto 1 (H Matthews) Railway Union 2 (K Lloyd 2); Pegasus 2 (N McIvor, O Berry) Pembroke 0; Muckross v Cork Harlequins – off

EYHL Division 2 – Pool A: Ards 3 (Z Malseed, K McKenna, A Benson) Corinthian 0; Trinity v UCC – off

Pool B: Queen’s 3 (J McMaster, R Quinn, A Jebb) NUIG 1 (M Corcoran); Monkstown v Cork C of I – off

 

October 3 fixtures: Cork Harlequins v Catholic Institute, Farmers’ Cross, 1pm; Muckross v Railway Union, Grange Road, 1pm; Loreto v Pegasus, Beaufort, 2.45pm; UCD v Belfast Harlequins, Belfield, 2.50pm; Pembroke v Old Alex, Serpentine Avenue, 4pm

 

Women’s EYHL Division One – day one reports 

Loreto 1 (H Matthews) Railway Union 2 (K Lloyd 2) 

Kate Lloyd’s double saw Railway Union stun Loreto as they raided Beaufort to win 2-1. Before lockdown, Railway sat in the relegation playoff place while Loreto were on top of the table but the Sandymount side appear refreshed with a new coach and some new players helping them get off to a flying start.

Railway started with intent, winning a corner and then seeing a Sarah Hawkshaw skip across goal just beyond Kate McKenna; Hawkshaw was also set through after a Loreto corner mishap but struck wide.

Loreto had two big chances, too, but they fell behind when Hawkshaw burst forward from midfield and delivered the ball to Lloyd in the circle. She switched to her preferred backhand side and rocketed in the first goal.

Ali Meeke’s sharp volley from a Siofra O’Brien snap-shot looped just over, keeping it at 1-0 at the break. Railway moved further in front in the third quarter with Hawkshaw again the instigator with a great pick-up to a bouncing ball on the baseline and she fed Lloyd to slap in at the near post.

Railway’s defence was solid and unyielding for much of the second half but Loreto did make for a spicy finish when a corner switch fell to Hannah Matthews who swept in from the left-top of the D. They tried the same corner again in the last three minutes but it only found a foot this time and the follow-up corner was crowded out and cleared.

 

Belfast Harlequins 2 (N Barr, J Dennison) Old Alexandra 3 (A Connery, S Robinson, N Evans) 

Old Alex were given a huge scare by Belfast Harlequins but ultimately got all three points from their trip to Deramore Park, winning 3-2. It was the Dubliners’ more clinical touch in front of goal that proved decisive as it was their hosts who had the bulk of the chances in an entertaining contest.

The Belfast side had four decent opportunities to score through Jenna Watt (twice) Emma Uprichard and Julie Dennison in the opening 10 minutes.

But Alex punished their wastefulness six minutes into the second quarter when Aine Connery met a right wing cross and her first time shot trickled over the line after striking both posts.

The Leinster side doubled their lead from the penalty spot through Sarah Robinson on the stroke of half-time. And it was three in the second half when Nikki Evans finished off an incisive counter-attack in which fellow international Deirdre Duke had been instrumental.

Natalie Barr pulled one back from a narrow angle in the 47th minute and 10 minutes later Dennison reduced the deficit to 3-2 with a carbon copy.

Quins pummelled the Alex circle in the dying minutes but were unable to find the equaliser their spirited display perhaps merited.

Quins coach Phil Mills said: “I thought we played very well against an Alex side that will do well this season in my view but, unfortunately, we just couldn’t make the most of our chances.”

“But we will take a lot of positives out of the game and look forward to playing UCD in Dublin on Saturday.”

 

Catholic Institute 2 (A Hickey, L Foley) UCD 0 

Aoife Hickey and Laura Foley netted a goal each in the closing 12 minutes to earn Catholic Institute a huge win over UCD to start their season in cracking fashion against the recently crowned Irish Senior Cup winners.

“Really pleased to get three points against a fit talented young team,” said coach Dave Passmore. “While UCD created more of the chances in the third period, our increased depth and improved fitness stood to us and we managed the game well in the closing phases which was something we struggled with in the early stages last season.”

Passmore was able to hand club debuts to ex-international goalkeeper Pam Smithwick and American duo Allison Smith and Kelsey Farkas and they had the edge in the early stages before UCD came into a bit more. They handed debuts to Eva Lavelle, Sophia Cole and Rachel Kelly and they began to get a greater hold on the tie with Michelle Carey and Hannah McLoughlin winning corners but to no avail.

The breakthrough came when Ciara Moloney surged forward from left back and fed into the centre of the D; Aoife Hickey’s clever run and first touch took her into space on the right and she struck with her second touch for 1-0.

And, in the final minutes, they clinched the game following some excellent approach work with Laura Foley’s give and go offering her the chance to slot home.

Pegasus 2 (N McIvor, O Berry) Pembroke 0 

Youngsters Niamh McIvor and Olivia Berry struck the Pegasus goals as they put last week’s Irish Senior Cup final defeat behind them to start the EY Hockey League campaign on a winning note.

They controlled the pace of the game and, from their first short corner, converted a Shirley McCay strike with a deflection from Niamh McIvor, 1-0 after five minutes. Berry got the second in the second quarter following another sweet move in which Lucy McKee passed to McIvor down the right side and she crossed immediately for Berry to score on the volley.

The second half saw plenty of circle entries and a number of short corners but without conversion. Pembroke chased the game and worked hard until the end but it was Pegasus who secured the three points.

 

EYHL Division 2 round-up 

Ards made a big statement on the opening day of EYHL Division 2 when they got the better of Corinthian 3-0. The reds had won all seven of their games before last season was called to a halt but they have started this season on the back foot.

Zara Malseed gave the Ulster side the lead in the eighth minute and they held that through to half-time with Naomi McKnight making some key saves. Katie McKenna’s goal five minutes into the second half was a key one and Ards were out of sight when Amy Benson scored from a penalty corner soon after.

In Pool B, Queen’s left it late before accounting for NUIG 3-1. Maebh Corcoran had the Galway side 1-0 up at half-time and it was all to play for at the three-quarter time break after Jessica McMaster levelled things up. Rebecca Quinn and Alyssa Jebb completed the comeback in the closing minutes.

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EY Hockey League Returns

EY Hockey League, Ireland’s Highest Level of Domestic Hockey Competition, to Return this Weekend.

22/09/2020

The first round of the EY Hockey League (EYHL) gets underway this weekend on the 26th of September. After a sudden end to last year’s league due to COVID-19 causing the 2019/20 season to be declared null and void, the all-island EYHL will see Ireland’s top ten male and top ten female clubs battle it out to become league champions over 18 weeks of exciting, fast-paced hockey.

The Women’s EYHL2 will also commence this weekend, with the Men’s EYHL2 preparing to take to the pitch on the 10th of October, with each of the EYHL2 teams vying for promotion to the EYHL for the following season. The 2020/21 season will see an additional three teams added to the Men’s EYHL2 for this season only; one team from each of the three Provincial Branches that compete in the Men’s EYHL2: Munster, Leinster, and Ulster.

The EYHL and EYHL2 showcase some of Ireland’s top players and is seen as an integral part of Hockey Ireland’s athlete development, the EYHL provides an opportunity to further develop high performance players for the challenge of international hockey. The winners of both the Men’s and Women’s EYHL will earn themselves a spot in the Euro Hockey Club Trophy. The top four teams in the EYHL will battle it out to win the EY Champions Trophy over an exciting weekend to close off the league season. The winners of the EY Champions Trophy will claim the much coveted prize of a place in the Euro Hockey League for the following season.

Frank O’Keeffe, Managing Partner for EY Ireland, said: “We are proud to continue our support all of the amazing men and women in this incredible sport, and we look forward to celebrating their continued success this year in both the EYHL and EYHL2. The great contribution that hockey makes to our lives became even more apparent this year. We all felt the acute loss of our favourite sport at the height of the pandemic, but it is fantastic to see that spirits remain high as we embark on a new season and we are all very excited at what this year’s league will bring.”

Graham Reid, Partner, Head of Markets, EY Ireland, commented: “The all-island sport provides men and women the opportunity to build high performance teams, and develop and enhance their skills, as they compete at such a high level throughout the year. When it comes to leadership, dedication and developing winning strategies, there is a great deal to learn from such high calibre athletes.” 

Jerome Pels, CEO of Hockey Ireland, said “It is fantastic to see the return of the EYHL and EYHL2 after the unfortunate sudden end to last season. Hockey Ireland is really looking forward to some top-class matches taking place again weekly all around the island. The EYHL and EYHL2 are the pinnacle of the domestic hockey scene here in Ireland and we’re very grateful to have the continued support of EY throughout the season. 

EY’s support is invaluable to us in assisting with the organisation and promotion of the EY Hockey League, its high quality of matches, and ensuring clubs across the island are able to compete at the highest levels.”

Statement Re Appeals from Munster, Avoca & Cork Harlequins EYHL2

Hockey Ireland statement regarding the Munster Hockey Branch, Avoca Hockey Club & Cork Harlequins Hockey Club Appeals

 

2 September 2020

On 5th August 2020, the Board of Hockey Ireland resolved not to allow any additional teams, over and above the agreed provincial nominations, into next year’s Men’s EYHL2 League. Munster Hockey Branch, Avoca Hockey Club, and Cork Harlequins Hockey Club subsequently appealed this decision, pursuant to Hockey Ireland’s bye-laws. The three appeals were held separately on Wednesday 26th August. The Avoca Hockey Club appeal was rejected, and the Munster Hockey Branch appeal was partly upheld. The Cork Harlequins Hockey Club appeal was upheld and the Appeal Panel ruling requires Hockey Ireland to make the necessary arrangements to permit their participation in the coming season’s EYHL2 League.

Hockey Ireland accepts the decision of all three Appeal Panel rulings and has reviewed the 5th August decision with regard to the inclusion of additional teams, over and above those allowed for under the current agreement between the provinces. In line with the Appeal Panel’s decision, Hockey Ireland will allow the inclusion of three additional teams in next season’s Men’s EYHL2 League, one team for each of the three Provincial Branches that compete in the Men’s EYHL2 League: Munster; Leinster; and Ulster. The inclusion of extra teams is on a one year only basis and refers to the coming season only. Additional teams are to be selected on a merit basis in line with the current nomination process as outlined in the Hockey Ireland Competition Rules.

Hockey Ireland believes that this meets the requirement of the Appeal Panel, provides equity and balance across the respective three provinces and, in using a merit-based approach, provides clarity and a rationale to clubs as to how teams were selected.

Hockey Ireland would like to thank the Appeal Panel in dealing with these difficult issues and for providing clarity for the next season.

EYHL2 Statement Appeal v2.5.pdf

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Hockey Ireland Statement Regarding Decision from Sports Dispute Solutions Ireland

Hockey Ireland Statement Regarding Decision from Sports Dispute Solutions Ireland on the EuroHockey League and Club Championship Positions 2020/21.

21 August 2020

On the 9th of April 2020, the 2019/2020 EYHL season was declared null and void by the Hockey Ireland Board due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

This was based on the recommendation of a Competitions Working Group that included the Hockey Ireland Competitions Committee and representation from each of the four provinces. This group, after extensive consultation and consideration, presented a series of recommendations to the Hockey Ireland Board regarding all hockey competitions on the island of Ireland. The Competitions Committee also recommended the representatives for the 2020/2021 European Hockey competitions – the EuroHockey League and EuroHockey Club Championship. It was recommended that the four teams selected to represent Ireland in 2019/2020 season should remain the representatives for 2020/2021.

This recommendation was reviewed and subsequently approved by the Hockey Ireland Board at a meeting on 5th May, resolving that the four clubs representing Ireland in the European Hockey competitions in 2021 would remain the same as the previous year, in the same positions.

This Board decision was appealed by Lisnagarvey Hockey Club under the Hockey Ireland Bye Laws. An independent Appeal Panel met on Monday 29th June and ruled that the appeal should be upheld. This panel determined that Lisnagarvey Hockey Club should be awarded first place in the nomination for European Competitions for the 2020/2021 season, making them the representative for Ireland in the EuroHockey League.

With regard to the decision of the Appeal Panel, it was Hockey Ireland’s position that the Panel focussed on Lisnagarvey Hockey Club’s appeal without any, or insufficient, regard to the consequences of such a change to the broader Hockey Ireland decision. Upon receipt of the Appeal Panel decision, Hockey Ireland considered all available options open to it and decided to refer the Appeal Panel’s decision to Sport Dispute Solutions Ireland as allowed for within the Hockey Ireland Bye Laws.  Sport Dispute Solutions Ireland is an independent specialised dispute resolution service for Irish Sport.

As Hockey Ireland’s designate appeal body, a request to Sport Dispute Solutions Ireland for mediation/arbitration is the final solution to an appeal when all processes within Hockey Ireland have been exhausted.

Hockey Ireland has fully engaged with the Sport Dispute Solutions Ireland arbitration process and would like to thank the SDSI for providing the final conclusion for a very difficult matter.

The arbitration hearing took place on 13th August 2020 and we have now been informed that the Sole Arbitrator upholds the appeal of the Hockey Ireland Board. Consequently, the decision of the Hockey Ireland Board of 5th  May 2020, so far as it relates to the Men’s EFH Club Competition 2020/21 selection is reinstated.

A full reasoned decision has been communicated to all the clubs involved. In summary, in the Sole Arbitrators view, the Board decision was made “without any procedural infirmity, in the absence of which, there was no basis for the Hockey Ireland Appeal Panel to overturn the decision of the Hockey Ireland Board”.  The Arbitrator further stated that there is a reasonable argument to be made that an alternative decision or conclusion could have been reached by the Board, but that is entirely subjective.  It was clearly open to the Board to make the decision it did.

Reinstating the 5th May Board decision means that the following club will represent Ireland at the EuroHockey League for the 2020/21 season:

  • Pegasus Hockey Club Women will retain their position as the representative in the Euro Hockey League;
  • Three Rock Rovers Hockey Club Men retain their position as the representative for the Euro Hockey League;
  • Loreto Hockey Club Women retain their position as the representative for the EuroHockey Club Trophy;
  • Lisnagarvey Hockey Club’s Men retain their position for the EuroHockey Club Trophy.

The Board of Hockey Ireland fully empathise with all clubs across all our leagues and provinces that have been impacted by decisions forced upon us by COVID-19 similar to many other sports. We have endeavoured to do the right thing in the interests of our clubs and players and we regret any upset felt by the clubs.

We would also like to put on record our sincere thanks to the Appeal Panel for the time and effort they committed to this process and in general to all the club officials and volunteers who have committed endless hours dealing with the fall out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finally, we would just like to thank all those hockey players and officials working in the front line and remind everyone to stay safe in these ongoing difficult times.

SDSI Decision Statement.pdf