EYHL Men’s Round Up. 23rd Feb 2020

YMCA produced a cracking second half performance to move out of the relegation playoff spot as they beat fifth place UCD 4-0 on Saturday, boosting their chances of staying up.

After a scoreless first half, Ross Henderson netted either side of a Grant Glutz reverse-stick goal before Eric Prehn completed the rout.

The result lifted them above Pembroke who fell 3-2 to Glenanne on a tough day for the Serpentine Avenue club. The game was preceded by a minute’s silence for Ken Treacy who passed away on Thursday in Beaumont Hospital at the age of 37 – he was a member of Pembroke’s all-conquering teams of the 2000s.

On the field, the Glens built a 3-0 lead through Stephen Brownlow, Brad Venter and Stu Ronan before two late Alan Sothern goals cut the deficit.

Three Rock Rovers recorded four points from their two games over the weekend. On Saturday, they drew 2-2 with Banbridge in a game of contrasting halves – Rovers led 2-0 at the break through James Kyriakides and Mitch Darling but Bann stormed back through brothers Philip and Peter Brown for the draw.

On Sunday, Darling struck again with five minutes to go to win a nail-biter at Belfield 2-1 after Guy Sarratt and Ross Canning traded first half goals. The result has Rovers four points clear of UCD in fourth place in the chase for EY Champions Trophy spots.

Monkstown, meanwhile, fought back from a first minute concession to beat Corinthian 5-1 and cut the gap to Lisnagarvey to five points at the top. The reds went 1-0 up via Calum Adair but Rory Nichols and Davy Carson swapped the lead before the end of the first quarter and second half goals from Geoff Cole, Carson and Andrew Fogarty made the game safe.

Garvey and Annadale’s top versus bottom match was postponed until March 28.

Men’s EYHL Division 1 – day 11 results

Saturday: Glenanne 3 (S Brownlow, B Venter, S Ronan) Pembroke Wanderers 2 (A Sothern 2); Monkstown 5 (D Carson 2, R Nichols, G Cole, A Fogarty) Corinthian 1 (C Adair); Three Rock Rovers 2 (J Kyriakides, M Darling) Banbridge 2 (Philip Brown, Peter Brown); YMCA 4 (R Henderson 2, G Glutz, E Prehn) UCD 0

Sunday: UCD 1 (G Sarratt) Three Rock Rovers 2 (R Canning, M Darling)

Next week’s fixtures – Saturday, February 29: UCD v Glenanne, Belfield, 1pm; Corinthian v Three Rock Rovers, Whitechurch Park, 2pm; Banbridge v YMCA, Havelock Park, 2.45pm; Annadale v Pembroke, Strathearn, 4pm; Monkstown v Lisnagarvey, ALD Merrion Fleet Arena, 4.15pm

Men’s EYHL – Day 11 extended reports

Saturday

Glenanne 3 (S Brownlow, B Venter, S Ronan) Pembroke Wanderers 2 (A Sothern 2)

Glenanne picked up their first win since early October with a 3-2 success at St Andrew’s in a match preceded by a minute’s silence in honour of Ken Treacy, a stalwart of Pembroke’s golden generation of the 2000s.

Stephen Brownlow opened the scoring with a low drag-flick and it was 2-0 at half-time following a lovely interchange between Jonny McCormack and Brad Venter ended with the latter blasting a rising shot into the top right corner.

Another classy move down the right wing between McCormack and Brownlow ended with Stu Ronan flicking home amid the scattered Pembroke defence for 3-0 early in the second half.

Alan Sothern got one back with a brilliant first time backhand volley, keeping his eye on the ball after a few flailing sticks missed out on a bouncing ball. Sothern then added a drag-flick to cut the gap to 3-2 but they drop to ninth place in the table while the Glens move up to seventh overall.

YMCA 4 (R Henderson 2, G Glutz, E Prehn) UCD 0

YMCA’s stunning second half show saw them leap out of ninth place above Pembroke as Ross Henderson grabbed a double for the Ballinteer outfit. The first half was scoreless with the teams exchanging penalty corners but the goals started to flow in the second half with Henderson providing an immaculate finish for 1-0.

Grant Glutz’s reverse made it two and they were flying high when Henderson got on the end of some great build-up play from Sam Hyland. Eric Prehn then defied gravity to score his first of the season from close to the baseline for the fourth in the closing minutes.

Monkstown 5 (D Carson 2, R Nichols, G Cole, A Fogarty) Corinthian 1 (C Adair)

Monkstown came back from a goal down to beat Corinthian 5-1 at the ALD Merrion Fleet Arena, cutting Lisnagarvey’s lead at the top back to five points, albeit with a game extra played.

Calum Adair netted for the reds in the first minute when Peter Caruth took a quick free which the teenager controlled before hitting home into the backboard. Town were level in the ninth minute thanks to a Rory Nichols drag-flick.

And it was 2-1 before the end of the first quarter with some pretty impressive skills and touches from Davy Carson put him in position to lob the ball over Charlie Henderson. The second quarter remained scoreless before Town ran riot in the second half. Ross Quirke was fed by Karl Lynch whose quick pass was lifted over a stick by Geoff Cole and then hit into the backboard.

Andrew Fogarty made it 4-1 in the 51st minute with a lovely spin and turn in front of goal and the scoring was complete with five minutes left when Keith Kenning took the ball down impressively and passed to Gareth Watkins. A lovely run down the right ended with a pass to a diving Quirke who crossed for Carson to finish with a clever touch.

Three Rock Rovers 2 (J Kyriakides, M Darling) Banbridge 2 (Philip Brown, Peter Brown)

Two wildly contrasting halves of hockey ended up with a probably deserved share of the spoils with both sides leaving Grange Road with a few regrets.

Just days after announcing his international retirement, Bann’s Eugene Magee said his side need to find the happy medium between structure and throwing caution to the wind after a timid first half saw them on the back foot.

“It is about that balance; we perhaps lacked the latter in the first half but gained a bit in the second half and had our chances to win the game but it wasn’t to be.”

Three Rock coach Elun Hack agreed to an extant: “Each team won one half and a draw is a fair reflection. Frustrating because the first half we were good at executing our game plan; we have identified areas we need to improve and the first half we were very good and difficult to break down.

“The second half we deviated from the game plan and paid the price. Banbridge are obviously a quality outfit so to go 2-0 up was a big positive but the draw is disappointing.”

Three Rock bossed the first half with Bann keeping out a couple of corners before James Kyriakides put the hosts on the board from a heavily deflected shot after Mitch Darling’s driving run spread the defence.

Darling then made it 2-0 with a solo second, taking a free quickly, going parallel to the circle before unleashing a backhand to the bottom corner.

Bann created next to nothing in that half but, with a much more aggressive press in the second half, they came to the party in a big way in the second half. Philip Brown slammed in a corner in the 39th minute from their first shot in earnest.

His chance to repeat the trick three minutes later was charged down brilliantly by Ben Walker, something which became a feature as the half went on with David Kane and Harry Morris also shutting out corners with the full face of their sticks.

The equaliser was not long in coming, though, as an overload down the right saw the ball worked into the centre to Peter Brown – who is enjoying life this term in the forward line – and he wriggled this way and that to evade Jody Hosking’s tackle and squeezed in a shot.

Bann were rampant and the third quarter time break was a relief for Rovers who steadied and they almost nicked in front when Walker deflected, first time, a long overhead just wide. Banbridge had a couple of corners but the defence was rigid and it stayed at 2-2.

Sunday: UCD 1 (G Sarratt) Three Rock Rovers 2 (R Canning, M Darling)

Three Rock Rovers came from a goal down to beat UCD and develop a four point gap between the sides in the chase for EY Champions Trophy places. The students went in front thanks to a Guy Sarratt drag-flick in the 25th minute but the lead only lasted a short while as Ross Canning got a running deflection from an excellent cross by David Kane.

That left it at 1-1 at half-time while the third quarter was largely spent swapping cards. Mitch Darling then cracked home his second of the weekend from the top of the circle to make it 2-1 with five minutes to go.

UCD had a couple of corners to make a difference but Ben Walker’s running number one and Conor Quinn in goal combined to keep them out. Conor Empey impressed for the students in an effective attacking role but Jody Hosking and James Kyriakides were solid in defensive roles for Rovers. It was UCD’s third successive defeat as they struggle to regain the momentum from the first half of the season.

Men’s EYHL Weekend Round-Up 16 February 2020

Lisnagarvey’s lead at the top of the men’s EY Hockey League stretched out to eight points after their comfortable 5-2 win over Pembroke and Banbridge’s 4-3 success over Monkstown.

For Garvey, Andy Williamson’s hat trick of penalty corner goals made the difference as he put them on the board early in the game. Johnny Lynch added to that before Alan Sothern – who ended the game with 10 goals in four games – got one back but two more from Williamson and one from Daniel Nelson put them out of sight.

That put their lead at eight points on Saturday evening and Monkstown were unable to make any inroads on Sunday as Banbridge’s great start proved just about enough for victory.

They built a 3-1 lead in the first quarter with Philip Brown flicking in two corners to add to Josh Moffett’s goal inside the first 30 seconds.

Owen Magee banged in another for a 4-1 lead with 10 minutes to go before Geoff Cole and Rory Nichols set the nerves jangling but Bann held on for a fifth win in a row.

Corinthian were the other side to register a win as Ian Stewart, Glennn Holmes and Andrew Sutton scored in a 3-1 win at bottom side Annadale.

That success puts them within two points of the top four thanks to seven points from the nine available thus far in 2020.

Glenanne’s date with YMCA was abandoned in the third quarter due to a waterlogged pitch with the score locked at 0-0.

In EYHL2, Cork C of I were moments away from earning a guaranteed semi-final spot with two games to go but had to settle for a 2-2 draw at Railway Union. They remain top of the group with Inst moving into second place courtesy of an 8-1 win over Avoca.

In Pool B, Clontarf jumped up into top spot with a 5-0 win over previous leaders Cork Harlequins. Quins remain in second, though, due to Cookstown’s 5-3 loss to Kilkeel.

Weekend results
EYHL Division 1: Annadale 1 (W Aston) Corinthian 3 (I Stewart, G Holmes, A Sutton); Pembroke 2 (A Sothern 2) Lisnagarvey 5 (A Williamson 3, D Nelson, J Lynch); Banbridge 4 (B McCandless 2, J Moffett, O Magee) Monkstown 3 (G Watkins, G Cole, R Nichols); Glenanne v YMCA – match abandoned at 0-0 in third quarter

EYHL Division 2 – Pool A: Instonians 8 (S Kelso 2, S Hamill, M Watt, Brown, C Kirk, W Robinson, B Palmer) Avoca 1 (H Fowler-Hudson); Railway Union 2 (M McKenzie, M Fulham) Cork C of I 2 (J Jermyn 2)

Pool B: Clontarf 5 (D Keuter 2, J Edmonds, K Mullins, K Murray) Cork Harlequins 0; Kilkeel 5 (D Finlay, E Agnew, J Finlay, M Henning, D Rae) Cookstown 3 (S Smith, S McCabe, R Miller)

Next week’s men’s EYHL fixtures

Saturday, February 22nd: Glenanne v Pembroke, St Andrew’s, 2.45pm; Monkstown v Corinthian, ALD Merrion Fleet Arena, 2.30pm; Three Rock Rovers v Banbridge, Grange Road, 1.30pm; YMCA v UCD, Wesley College, 2.15pm

Sunday, February 23: UCD v Three Rock Rovers, Belfield, 1.30pm

Men’s EY Hockey League – day 10 extended reports

Saturday: Pembroke 2 (A Sothern 2) Lisnagarvey 5 (A Williamson 3, D Nelson, J Lynch)

Lisnagarvey ended the weekend eight points clear as Andy Williamson’s hat trick helped them to a 5-2 win over Pembroke at Serpentine Avenue. They raced into an early 2-0 lead with Williamson’s drag-flick soon followed up by Johnny Lynch’s great solo run from halfway, riding a few tackles before finishing off.

Pembroke were in the ascendancy after that but could not make any inroads when Garvey were reduced to 10 men for 10 minutes before the game settled into a midfield battle leading up to half-time.

Alan Sothern halved the deficit early in the second half but Daniel Nelson’s rocket to the roof of the goal put Garvey back in the clear and a second Williamson corner made it 4-1. He completed his treble in the final quarter where Sothern also netted what was his 10th goal in four games but it proved to no avail.

Annadale 1 (W Aston) Corinthian 3 (I Stewart, G Holmes, A Sutton)

Corinthian closed the gap to the top four playoff places with a comfortable win at Strathearn over bottom side Annadale as their good run of form continues, making it seven points out of nine in 2020.

Ian Stewart put them in front after just three minutes before Glenn Holmes rolled back the years for 2-0 at the end of the first half. Andrew Sutton fired in a cracking third and while Will Aston nicked one back on three-quarter time, the Whitechurch reds were well on course to their fourth win of the season.

Glenanne v YMCA – match abandoned at 0-0 in third quarter

Glenanne and YMCA’s tie at St Andrew’s was abandoned with the score at 0-0 in the third quarter due a water-logged pitch. A new date for the refixed game which will be played in its entirety will now be sought.

Sunday: Banbridge 4 (B McCandless 2, J Moffett, O Magee) Monkstown 3 (G Watkins, G Cole, R Nichols)

Banbridge made it fives on the bounce – scoring 31 goals in the process – with a 4-3 win over second-plaved Monkstown, surviving a late fright after they had built an imposing lead.

Josh Moffett made it 1-0 after just 30 seconds before Philip Brown pushed in a penalty corner for 2-0. Town had already threatened with Luke Roleston making a series of key saves before the Dubliners got one back from a mistake in defence, Gareth Watkins the recipient for 2-1 in the 14th minute.

But another Brown corner goal extended the lead again to 3-1 which they held through to half-time and throughout the third quarter. Owen Magee seemingly made the game safe when he drilled into the bottom corner with 10 minutes left but corner goals from Geoff Cole and Rory Nichols trimmed the gap to 4-3 with time running out. Bann held on and their winning streak remains in tact as they sit in third place on their own now.

EYHL Division 2 round-up

Cork C of I were within moments of copper-fastening a semi-final date only for Michael Fulham’s late goal to earn Railway Union a 2-2 draw in Pool A of the men’s EYHL Division 2.

John Jermyn’s pair of penalty corners had C of I on course for a fourth successive win in the group but Fulham popped up with a corner goal in the last two minutes to level the game. It leaves C of I needing a draw from either of their final two games but they could still qualify without that should other results pan out in their favour.

Elsewhere, Instonians eased by the challenge of Avoca with seven different scorers on the list against Avoca 8-1 at Shaw’s Bridge. Inst move into second place on their own, three points back from C of I but two clear of Railway. Avoca are eliminated as a result.

In Pool B, Clontarf are now in pole position after they jumped from third to first place in the group with a 5-0 win over Cork Harlequins. Jordan Edmonds set them on their way when he turned over the ball, dribbled to the edge of the D and unleashed a powerful shot for 1-0.

A Davyn Keuter drag-flick and a Kevin Mullins reverse made it 3-0 before half-time in the midst of some torrential rain which necessitated an extended half-time break with excess water cleared by volunteers at Mount Temple.

Keuter got the fourth goal before Kevin Murray finished off a lovely attacking move along the baseline. The bulls go up to 11 points, one ahead of Harlequins who remain in the playoff spots after Kilkeel got a surprise win against Cookstown 5-3.

The two Ulster sides are now on seven points with a gap to try and close.

Women’s EYHL & EYHL2 Round-Up 16 February 2020

All five of the women’s EY Hockey League Division 1 ties defied the weather to serve up a series of close-run battles with Pegasus moving back out on their own at the top of the table.

They backed up their midweek 2-1 win over Belfast Harlequins to beat Railway Union on the same scoreline at Queen’s with Lucy McKee scoring on the double.

She gave her side the lead before Kate Lloyd equalised in cracking style but McKee provided the defining moment in the second half.

Loreto, meanwhile, were held to a 1-1 draw by Pembroke at Beaufort despite Nicci Daly making a scoring-return to the side. She cancelled out fellow international Gillian Pinder’s goal as they end the week two points off Pegasus but with a game in hand.

Old Alex’s winning streak continued as they showed a clinical edge to beat Belfast Harlequins 2-1. They were two goals up via Millie O’Donnell and Jeamie Deacon before Linzi Hamilton scored on the final hooter to reduce the gap but not change the outcome. They are three points off the lead but also have a game in hand.

Munster sides Catholic Institute and Cork Harlequins both recorded big wins in Dublin as they raided Muckross and UCD, respectively.

After a scoreless first half, Insta went 1-0 up via Laura Foley only for Sarah McAuley to level matters but Naomi Carroll just got enough on her shot to make it 2-1, lifting them up to eighth place.

Yvonne O’Byrne got the only goal at Belfield for Cork Harlequins with a penalty corner deflection in the second quarter for a 1-0 win over UCD who enjoyed plenty of the play but did not have the killer touch.

In EYHL Division 2, Corinthian became the first side to qualify for the semi-finals with their sixth successive win – a 5-1 defeat of NUIG – putting them in the clear. Chasers Lurgan and Trinity drew 1-1, leaving them both 10 points back; the latter have the advantage of an extra game still to play. Both games in Pool B were cancelled due to the weather.

EYHL Division 1: Belfast Harlequins 1 (L Hamilton) Old Alexandra 2 (M O’Donnell, J Deacon); Loreto 1 (N Daly) Pembroke 1 (G Pinder); Muckross 1 (S McAuley) Catholic Institute 2 (L Foley, N Carroll); Pegasus 2 (L McKee 2) Railway Union 1 (K Lloyd); UCD 0 Cork Harlequins 1 (Y O’Byrne)

EYHL Division 2 – Pool A: Corinthian 5 (A Kinlan, N Torrans, J Douglas, J McGrane, N Walsh) NUIG 1 (S Minihan); Lurgan 1 (J Morrow) Trinity 1 (A Long)

Pool B: UCC v Ards; Greenfields v Monkstown – both postponed due to Storm Dennis

Next week’s fixtures – Saturday, February 22: Catholic Institute v Pegasus, Rosbrien, 1pm; Cork Harlequins v Belfast Harlequins, Farmers’ Cross, 1.05pm; Old Alex v Muckross, Milltown, 1.30pm; Pembroke v Railway Union, Serpentine Avenue, 2.30pm; UCD v Loreto, Belfield, 2.50pm

Women’s EYHL Division 1 – extended reports

Belfast Harlequins 1 (L Hamilton) Old Alexandra 2 (M O’Donnell, J Deacon)

At Deramore, Harlequins had the bulk of the possession and scoring chances but Old Alex showed the more clinical touch in front of goal.

Almost immediately after Serena Barr had a ‘goal’ disallowed from a penalty corner, Alex went ahead in the 17th minute when Millie O’Donnell fired home another set-piece with a direct shot.

Four minutes from half-time, the Dublin side made it 2-0, Jamie Deacon deflecting a cross from Pia Diepman high into the net for a brilliant goal. The second-half belonged to Harlequins and Jenna Watt, Barr and Claire Weir all had efforts saved by Alex keeper Carolyn Crampton in the early stages.

Quins then missed a glorious opportunity to reduce the arrears as they failed to convert a two-on-one breakaway, Watt’s shot being stopped by Crampton in the 55th minute and Weir’s follow-up suffering a similar fate.

Two minutes later, Watt’s frustration was clear to see when the Alex keeper raced off her line to deny her again from a penalty corner switch back to the injector. Irish international Nikki Evans fired wide on her backhand three minutes later following a lovely counter attack after being set up by Deirdre Duke and Isabella Dunlop.

Quins finally got on the scoresheet with the last play of the game when Lizzie Colvin’s shot took a Linzi Hamilton deflection at a set-piece but it was too little, too late.

UCD 0 Cork Harlequins 1 (Y O’Byrne)

Yvonne O’Byrne’s single goal from a penalty corner deflection saw Cork Harlequins grab their second win of 2020 as they defended superbly to keep UCD scoreless at Belfield.

They managed to stay level in the first quarter as Niamh Carey, Abbie Russell and Lena Tice all went close but it was the visitors who took the initiative in the second quarter. And when the students’ corner team was reduced in numbers for breaking the line early, Harlequins played a clever corner move which O’Byrne guided in for the game’s only goal.

UCD returned to the ascendancy in the third quarter as they camped in Harlequins’ half for long portions but could not find a way through the defences of Kate Murphy and her defensive team.

Loreto 1 (N Daly) Pembroke1 (G Pinder)

Loreto and Pembroke shared the spoils to see the former drop off top spot – albeit with a game in hand – following their tie at a rain-soaked Beaufort. Pembroke started strong, winning a trio of penalty corners as they edged the first quarter but all were well defended.

The Ballsbridge side, though, did go in front a couple of minutes into the second quarter with Gillian Pinder on the mark from play. The advantage did not last long, however, as Nicci Daly – back after a lengthy break – made an instant impact when she finished off from a lovely lay-off from Siofra O’Brien.

Liz Murphy’s defence remained busy in the second half, clearing a chance off the line as both teams had their moments. Ali Meeke and Sarah Torrans went close in the closing quarter but Pembroke had their point, making it four out of six against the Beaufort side this term.

Muckross 1 (S McAuley) Catholic Institute 2 (L Foley, N Carroll)

Catholic Institute moved out of the relegation playoff place with what could prove a vitally important away win at Muckross in a howling gale on Marlborough Road as tough conditions made free-flowing hockey difficult at times.

After a scoreless first half, the game burst into life in the third quarter after an excellent finish by Laura Foley who hopped in front of her marker to get a stick to a Rosie Pratt pass. The quality of the move and finish saw the ball fly into the top corner, something which was required to beat Ellie McLoughlin who was in exceptional form.

Muckross levelled quickly from a Sarah McAuley effort from a penalty corner but the Limerick side got back in front when Roisin Begley – one of the game’s star performers – crossed from the left to Leah Clery whose backhand pass found Naomi Carroll. She rounded McLoughlin and her shot was credited as the final touch – it was hard to establish whether it had crossed the line but Foley followed up from close range to make sure.

Pegasus 2 (L McKee 2) Railway Union 1 (K Lloyd)

Pegasus returned to the top of the women’s EYHL table as they found the best part of an otherwise miserable day weather-wise to grind out a 2-1 win over Railway Union.

Pegasus were quicker to settle into their rhythm, dominating the first quarter. They won two penalty corners in the first five minutes, converting the second one via a Lucy McKee deflection. Railway replied almost immediately, intercepting a loose pass and countering to great affect with a well taken reverse by Kate Lloyd.

Railway played well in the second quarter and had chances to take the lead, but some squandered chances and some excellent work by the Pegasus goalkeeper Megan Todd, meant that the scores were level at half time.

During the third quarter, McKee rocketed the ball into the roof of the net giving Pegasus a 2-1 lead and allowing the home team to control the final quarter despite Railway going to 11 outfield players for the final seven minutes.

During that time, there was one worrying moment for Pegs when Railway’s final short corner struck the backboard; however, after consultation, the umpires agreed the initial shot was too high and the score remained 2-1 to Pegasus.

EYHL Division 2 round-up

Corinthian became the first team to confirm their place in the semi-finals of EYHL Division 2 as they ran up their sixth successive win in Pool A, beating NUIG 5-1.

Amber Kinlan put them in pole position from the outset with a second minute goal and she then helped created another for Nicola Torrans at the back post for a 2-0 lead.

NUIG pulled one back via Sinead Minihan before the end of the first quarter but the buffer was back in place when Cilia Holderman assisted Jodie Douglas for 3-1 at half-time. Jessica McGrane finished between her legs for goal four and Niamh Walsh completed the win from a tight angle in the final quarter.

Chasers Lurgan and Trinity, meanwhile, shared a 1-1 draw which leaves them both 10 points back. After initial Lurgan pressure, it was Trinity who went in front in the second quarter via Ailish Long before Julie Morrow equalised soon after half-time.

And the Ulster side hung on to parity in the closing minutes when they survived four penalty corners for Trinity. Lurgan have the edge on goal difference in the battle for the second place in the group but have played an extra game which could be vital.

Both games in Pool B were postponed due to Storm Dennis with UCC against Ards and Greenfields’ tie with Monkstown succumbing to the weather.

EY Continues Support for Hockey Ireland League

Monday 16 September 2019

EY Ireland announced it will continue its sponsorship of Hockey Ireland’s highest level of domestic competition – the EY Hockey League – for a further three years.

Speaking at the launch, Frank O’Keeffe, Managing Partner for EY Ireland, said: “We are proud to continue our support all of the amazing men and women of this sport, and we look forward to celebrating their continued success this year in both the EY Hockey League and the EY Hockey League Division 2. 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.” 

 

Covering all four provinces, the all-island EY Hockey League (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 sponsorship will also support the EY Hockey League Division 2 (EYHL2), which currently boasts eight men’s teams and ten women’s teams, the winners of which will progress to the EYHL for the following season.

The EYHL and EYHL2 showcase some of Ireland’s top players, with a notable number of Ireland’s international female players returning from European Clubs this year, taking up player/coach roles within EYHL clubs.

Jerome Pels, CEO of Hockey Ireland, said “We are delighted to have the continued support of EY as the sponsor of the League. Their 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.”

The first round of the Men’s EYHL gets underway this weekend on the 21st of September, while the Women’s EYHL returns to action in November after the Olympic qualifiers for Toyko 2020. 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 EYHL2 matches take to the pitch in mid-October with the eight men’s and ten women’s teams all vying for promotion to the EYHL for the following season.

The EYHL launch took place at the UCD National Hockey Stadium, home to both UCD’s men’s and women’s squad. The women’s team finished in a competitive third position in last year’s league, while the men succeed in gaining promotion from EYHL2.