Insta and Railway vye for second as interpros reach business end
A number of high quality fixtures are on the agenda this weekend with the women’s EY Hockey League tie between Catholic Institute and Railway Union takes place on Saturday while Sunday sees five female interprovincial fixtures.
Indeed, in the interpro series, the first final of the season will take place at Grange Road with Leinster facing Connacht at 3pm. The two sides played out a close-run meeting in October with the blues prevailing 2-0 while both sides subsequently picked up 1-0 wins over Munster.
At Under-18 level, Ulster can potentially confirm they will join Munster in that competition’s final if the northern province can get by the challenge of Leinster at Havelock Park.
Leinster South will hope to keep their outside chances of nicking a final berth alive when they meet in Mullingar where they meet Connacht who are aiming for their second win of the campaign.
In the Under-16s, it is very much all to play for with four provinces currently covered by three points with two rounds of matches to be played. The match-ups are the same and should Leinster win against Ulster, they will be assured of a final spot but Ulster, Munster and Leinster South are all very much in the hunt.
In the EYHL, Catholic Institute and Railway Union can both potentially move into second place in the women’s table on Saturday at Rosbrien.
It is a position Insta’s Róisín Upton sometimes has to pinch herself to confirm is real as the Limerick club has leaped forward in recent years.
“As the weeks go on, you just want to shake some of the girls!” she said in a recent media outing in her role as a GOAL ambassador.
“I hope some of them realise just how good they are and how good they can be. That’s one of the most exciting things; how keen the girls are to learn and how hungry they are for success.
“Success for us is being in the EYHL Division One, it’s finishing higher than our seventh place from a few years ago. It’s small steps and there is a great buzz.
“Our goal is just to finish higher than we did two years ago. It would be great to get into the playoffs and we also have our first ever Irish Senior Cup quarter-final to look forward to up in Banbridge.”
For Railway, they are in sixth place on 15 points but just three points off second placed Pegasus and Old Alex, tied on 18. That second spot is all-important as it would assure progression straight through to the EY Champions Trophy semi-finals with third to sixth destined to the quarter-finals.
Saturday 15th January 2022
EYHL Division 1: Catholic Institute v Railway Union, Rosbrien, 2pm
Sunday 16th January 2022
Under-16: Leinster South v Connacht, Mullingar, 1pm; Ulster v Leinster, Havelock Park, 12pm
Under-18: Leinster South v Connacht, Mullingar, 3pm; Ulster v Leinster, Havelock Park, 2.30pm
Under-21 final: Leinster v Connacht, Grange Road, 3pm