EYHL2 playoff places to be finalised as groups come to a close

The men’s and women’s EY Hockey League playoff places will be finalised on Saturday with elements to be decided in each of the five different groups.

Men’s Pool 2 has just one game but looks like the one with the most intrigue. Last week, Harlequins, though, gave themselves a fighting chance in Group B thanks to a 2-1 win over Kilkeel with Harry O’Byrne and Andrew Dale getting the goals.

It puts them top of the three-team group by one point. Quins have finished their matches and so await Kilkeel and Clontarf’s result from next week with numerous permutations at play.

Kilkeel dropped to the foot of Group B as a result but there is only one point separating everyone. A draw would see both Kilkeel and the Bulls go through as would a win for either by a single goal due to the bonus point rule.

And so Quins are hopeful one side will run away with the contest at Kilkeel HS.

In Pool 1, Instonians put in a breathtaking performance to move ahead of Cork C of I in Group A as Mikie Watt and William Robinson scored twice each in a 6-2 success.

It lifted them into second place with a date against bottom side Rathgar to come to secure their place in the playoffs. A losing bonus point will be enough for them while a win and a favour could lift them into the semis.

Railway have the edge at the top of the group but face a C of I side in Garryduff whose promotion hopes are in the last chance saloon, hoping for a big win and then a shock from Rathgar.

Both Cookstown and Bandon will advance from Group 3 but in what order remains to be determined; the Co Tyrone club beat Portrane 4-0 to sit top on goal difference while Bandon defeated Mossley 3-2.

The two group leaders meet on Saturday to determine who will take first spot and a probable place in the promotion playoff semi-finals.

On the women’s side, Pool 1’s major issues look to be done and dusted thanks to Corinthian’s 3-2 comeback success over UCC. It assures them of second spot with the Cork side guaranteed third due to the losing bonus point with Trinity eliminated despite a 3-1 win over Galway.

The only change that can happen to the rankings this week is if Corinthian win big over Trinity and Ards lose by a heavy scoreline. In effect, there needs to be an 11-goal swing in the reds’ favour to take top spot and a semi-final berth. UCC will finish third and in the other quarter-final spot.

In Pool 2, Monkstown are assured of first but if they take the foot off the gas against Lurgan and drop their first points, it could open the door for the Ulster side to overhaul Cork C of I. The Garryduff side moved into playoff contention with a 3-2 away win over NUIG, leaping them above Lurgan – who lost 4-0 at home to Queens – into third place. C of I could land second and a home quarter-final if they win against Queen’s on Saturday thanks to last Saturday’s

EYHL Division 2
Saturday, March 26th
Pool 1:
Cork C of I v Railway Union, Garryduff, 2pm; Rathgar v Instonians, The High School, 2.45pm
Pool 2: Kilkeel v Clontarf, Kilkeel HS, 2.30pm
Pool 3: Cookstown v Bandon, Steelweld Park, 2.30pm; Portrane v Mossley, Donabate LC, 2pm

Pool 1:
Corinthian v Trinity, Whitechurch Park, 3.15pm; Galway v Ards, Dangan, 1pm
Pool 2: Cork C of I v Queens University, Garryduff, 12pm; Monkstown v Lurgan, Rathdown, 2.15pm