It’s one of the busiest dates of the season thus far with 11 crucial EYHL top tier games, four more in EYHL2 along with Irish Hockey Challenge knock-out ties and men’s interpro action on Sunday.
In the men’s EYHL, Three Rock Rovers and Lisnagarvey reprise their Irish Senior Cup meeting from a week ago with top spot in the table up for grabs. Garvey won round one 2-0 with a composed performance but Rovers have a couple of forwards returning to the line-up who could make a difference.
In the bottom half of the table, there are loads of permutations with Annadale, YMCA, Corinthian and Pembroke all lying between the cusp of the EY Champions Trophy playoff places and possible relegation.
The pivotal tie looks to be Annadale’s hosting of YMCA; the lie one and two points above the drop zone respectively. Pembroke, meanwhile, will aim to carry their win over Glenanne into a home date with an in-form Banbridge.
Corinthian will look to the double over Monkstown to aid their chances while the Glens host UCD, the latter needing close to a miracle to avoid the drop.
In the Irish Hockey Challenge, Waterford will look to continue their dominant form when they host Mullingar in the quarter-final while Limerick welcome Midleton in the other tie.
On the women’s side, leaders Pembroke and bottom side Cork Harlequins face a double weekend with the two meeting on Sunday. Before that, Pembroke have a big test against third equal Old Alex on Saturday as they seek to maintain their lead at the top.
Any slip, though, could open the door for Catholic Institute to put on more pressure; they host Cork Quins in the Munster derby.
Pegasus face Loreto in another classic encounter while Railway Union will hope not to have too much fatigue in their legs following their indoor exertions when they welcome Muckross to Park Avenue.
In EYHL2, the two Pool 1 leaders are in action with Corinthian facing Ards at Whitechurch Park with both sitting on 17 points, 10 clear of UCC and Trinity. As such, it is a de facto battle for top spot while the two student sides meet in the other game to try and keep their playoff hopes going.
In Group 2, Monkstown take their perfect record to Cork C of I while second place Queen’s go to NUIG in search of points to maintain their hold on second spot.
The women’s Irish Hockey Challenge is at the semi-final stage with Clonakilty welcoming NICS while Wexford go up to Bangor in two of the longest journeys undertaken this season.
Sunday’s interpros see Ulster face Munster at Under-16, 18 and 21 level in the male competitions. Ulster will hope to keep their perfect record going in the younger two age groups while Munster are aiming to reprise their earlier 3-0 win over the northern province at Under-21 level.
Saturday 26th February 2022
EYHL Division 1: Annadale v YMCA, Lagan College, 2.30pm; Corinthian v Monkstown, Whitechurch Park, 3.15pm; Glenanne v UCD, St. Andrews, 1.30pm; Pembroke v Banbridge, Serpentine Avenue, 2.30pm; Three Rock Rovers v Lisnagarvey, Grange Road, 3pm
Irish Hockey Challenge – Quarter-Finals: Limerick v Midleton, Villiers, 2pm; Waterford v Mullingar, Newtown, 1pm
EYHL Division 1: Belfast Harlequins v UCD, Deramore Park, 12.45pm; Catholic Institute v Cork Harlequins, Rosbrien, 1pm; Old Alex v Pembroke, Milltown, 1.30pm; Pegasus v Loreto, Queens University, 12.45pm; Railway Union v Muckross, Park Avenue, 3pm
EYHL Division 2 – Pool 1: Corinthian v Ards, Whitechurch Park, 1.15pm; UCC v Trinity @ Mardyke, 2.30pm
Pool 2: Cork C of I v Monkstown, Garryduff, 3pm; NUIG v Queens University, Dangan, 1.50pm
Irish Hockey Challenge – Semi-Final: Bangor v Wexford, Bangor Aurora, 2.30pm; Clonakilty v NICS, Clonakilty, 2pm
Sunday 27th February 2022
Under-16: Ulster v Munster, Grange Road, 3pm
Under-18: Ulster v Munster, Grange Road, 3pm
Under-21: Ulster v Munster, Grange Road, 3pm
EYHL Division 1: Cork Harlequins v Pembroke, Farmers’ Cross, 1.15pm