Cup Finals Weekend

Cup Finals weekend

The domestic club season is ending this weekend with a bumper round of cup finals to round the season off ahead of the summer break. The Junior Cup Finals traditionally contested by clubs 2nd XI’s take place, with the Men’s finals taking place in Banbridge this Saturday and the Women’s Finals taking place in UCD this Sunday.

In addition they will be the main event on a bill that will include the Hockey Trophy and Hockey Challenge competitions, contested by clubs and teams outside the senior ranks.

Catholic Institute’s men will be trying to emulate the recent successes of their Women’s firsts by bringing some silverware to Rosbrien. Standing in the way are the men of Belfast Harlequins who in turn will be trying to bring a trophy back to Deramore Park to try and raise the gloom brought about by the relegation of the Women’s 1sts from the EYHL.

In the Junior Cup Final, Banbridge, whose First men’s team won everything available domestically, will be looking to put a bigger strain on the Havelock Park Trophy Cabinet by squeezing this trophy into the mix. Catholic Institute will be looking to win a Men’s Junior Cup title to add to last season’s success by the women at Senior Cup Level.

In the Hockey challenge on Saturday, Portush take on Saintfield. Saintfield had to overcome Midleton 4-1 away in their semi final while Portush had a 6-2 home win over Limerick in the other semi-final. The County Down side face County Antrim rivals Portrush in an all Ulster Final and their familiarity with one another should provide for a keenly fought encounter.

It all gets underway in Banbridge at 11:30 this Saturday with the Hockey Trophy Final.

Saturday 6th May

Men’s Cup Finals

Irish Hockey Trophy

Catholic Institute vs Belfast Harlequins, Havelock Park, 11:30

Irish Junior Cup

Banbridge vs Lisnagravey, Havelock Park, 13:30

Irish Hockey Challenge

Portrush v Saintfield, Havelock Park, 15:30

On Sunday, the Women’s Finals will take place at the UCD Hockey Stadium in Belfield which has been the main home venue for the international sides since the mid 1990s. First up is the Irish Hockey Challenge where Portrane take on University of Galway. A win for University of Galway at national level would raise the profile of Hockey not only in Galway itself but in the province of Connacht overall and provide a boost at a time when there are no teams playing in the EYHL senior divisions in the province. Portrane are celebrating their 104th anniversary in the club’s history and a win in this would be a big step as they march on into their 105th year as a club. Their men narrowly missed out on an EYHL 2 qualification recently and a win here would be a fitting way to end a season which has season real progress for both the men’s and women’s sides of the club.

The Junior Cup Final sees UCD 2nds take on geographical rivals and current Junior Cup holders Corinthians 2nds. UCD finished 3rd in Leinster Division 2 while Corinthians finished in 6th place and the two games between the sides in the League were close a 2-2 draw at UCD and 2-1 win for the Students at St. Columba’s College. Led by Club captain Lisa Baldwin UCD will be looking to bring another trophy back to Belfield to add to the EYHL Women’s Division title won by the First team. Corinthians will be looking to retain their title and add a Junior Cup to their already heavily burdened trophy cabinet following the Divisional trophies won by both the Men’s and Women’s first teams this season.

The Hockey trophy will feature University of Galway and Omagh both of whose sides are not from the traditional heartlands of the game. University of Galway because of their ability to draw in students from around the province and other parts of the country have usually been one of the stronger clubs in the Connacht League at all levels. A win in this competition would cement their reputation in this regard. Omagh would be striking a blow for the less fashionable clubs in Ulster should they be able to bring home some national silverware. Expect this to be a keenly fought contest. The possibility of the Students bringing home a national trophy double is also an aspect that could be a factor should the Irish Hockey Challenge go their way in the first of the days finals .

It all gets underway on Sunday at 11:45 in UCD with the Hockey Challenge Final.

Sunday 7th May

Women’s Cup Finals

Irish Hockey Challenge

Portrane vs University of Galway, UCD, 11:45

Irish Junior Cup

Corinthain vs UCD, UCD, 13:45

Irish Hockey Trophy

University of Galway v Omagh, UCD, 15:45