EY Hockey League returns to action after two week break
** UCD’s Niamh Carey and Railway Union’s Holly Jenkinson. Pic: Adrian Boehm
** Please note this article was amended/corrected at Saturday, 9.55am since originally posted on Friday evening
After the highs and lows of last weekend’s World Cup qualifiers, many of Ireland’s internationals have to quickly refocus on EY Hockey League domestic matters with team mates becoming rivals with just a few days turnaround.
In Sandymount, it is particularly pointed as UCD’s Carey twins Michelle and Niamh come up against their former club, Railway Union, who just happened to be coached by their mother, Una McCarthy.
Along with Sarah McAuley, they will face flying midfielder Sarah Hawkshaw though the students may be without league top scorer Hannah McLoughlin who missed the qualifier final due to injury.
Similarly at Rosbrien, Catholic Institute welcome back Róisín Upton and Naomi Carroll back into the fold for their contest against Loreto for whom Sarah Torrans leads the line.
For Loreto, their panel has strengthened with Sarah Evans coming back into the fold.
At Deramore Park, Irish newcomer Jane Kilpatrick -in Belfast Harlequins’ colours – will look to stem the forward runs of Ellen Curran for Pembroke.
All told, the league is at a fascinating stage with just three points covering first to seventh place and many permutations possible for another shake-up.
Insta and Loreto are both three points off top and keen not to lose touch with leaders Pegasus who face currently winless Muckross.
Old Alex are a point off first and will be clear favourites against visiting Cork Harlequins but the nature of the competition to date is it is anyone’s guess how things will pan out.
In the men’s competition, UCD and Annadale are both eyeing their first win of the league campaign in round six. Kevin O’Dea was on target twice for the students when they beat Trinity in the Mills Cup in midweek – setting up a tie with Three Rock Rovers – 4-3 to build the confidence.
For eighth placed Dale, they have proved very hard to beat in the league with four draws but they will be targeting some three-pointers to move them away from the bottom end of the table.
YMCA’s contest against Lisnagarvey offers plenty of intrigue with the Y boosted by a 7-1 win over Rathgar and the return to action of Grant Glutz with captain Sam Hyland also in the mix.
Garvey were without James Corry and Jonny Bell for their visit to Pembroke two weeks ago with Mark McNellis taking over the captaincy. They are on a three game winning streak with their refixed game against Three Rock Rover set to take place next week.
Glenanne have stolen a march on the rest of the table with five successive wins but face a tricky away date against Monkstown with player-coach Shane O’Donoghue the league’s outstanding marksman with nine goals already this season as the St Andrew’s side have stormed to five wins in succession.
For Town, they have missed the experience of goalkeeper Dave Fitzgerald of late through injury; they welcome back Jeremy Duncan and Lee Cole from international duty.
Fifth place Corinthian are up against Banbridge. The reds have enjoyed a productive season to date, picking up seven points to sit in fifth place while a 4-0 success against Monkstown in their regional cup gave them another boost.
Nicholas White is their latest arrival from South Africa to join Chad Futcher – scorer of four goals – and Ross Willis in the line-up.
They sit a couple of points and places above Bann who will look to the experience of Eugene and Owen Magee, Bruce McCandless and Philip Brown but Peter Brown is not named on the squad list for this one.
Three Rock got the best of Pembroke 5-2 in the Leinster Cup during the EYHL break and they face a rematch with the Dublin 4 side having goalkeeper Mark Ingram back available for the tie. For Rovers, Ali Haughton remains on the sidelines while work has seen Fred Morris return to the Netherlands.
There are also 14 Irish Junior Cup games on the agenda with six men’s and eight women’s games to be decided on Saturday.
Saturday 30th October 2021
EYHL Division 1: Corinthian v Banbridge, Whitechurch Park, 4.30pm; Monkstown v Glenanne, Rathdown, 2.15pm; Three Rock Rovers v Pembroke, Grange Road, 1pm; UCD v Annadale, Belfield, 3pm; YMCA v Lisnagarvey, Wesley College, 3.50pm
Irish Junior Cup – Round 1: Corinthian 2 v Cork C of I B, St. Columba’s, 2.30pm; Cork Harlequins B v Instonians 2, Farmers’ Cross; North Down 2 v Avoca 2, Comber LC, 4pm; Railway Union 2 v South Antrim 2, Park Avenue, 3.30pm; Three Rock Rovers 2 v YMCA 2, Grange Road, 3pm; UCD 2 v Bangor 2, Belfield, 4.20pm
Called off: Cookstown 2 walkover Rathgar 2 scratch; Kilkeel 2 walkover Bandon B scratch
EYHL Division 1: Belfast Harlequins v Pembroke Wanderers, Deramore Park, 2.30pm; Catholic Institute v Loreto, Rosbrien, 1pm; Old Alex v Cork Harlequins, Alexandra College, 1.30pm; Pegasus v Muckross, Queens University. 2.30pm; UCD v Railway Union, Belfield, 1pm
Irish Junior Cup – Round 1: Avoca 2 v Cork C of I 2, Newpark, 2.30pm; Corinthians 2 v Lisnagarvey 2, St. Columba’s, 12.30pm; Monkstown 2 v Genesis 2, Rathdown, 12pm; Ulster Elks 2 v Catholic Institute 2, Uni. Of Ulster Jordanstown, 2.30pm; UCC 2 v Ashton 2, The Mardyke; UCD 2 v Old Alexandra 2, Belfield, 11.15am