Friday, November 30, 2007

Weekend preview...

So, where to start this weekend? In both men’s and women’s leagues there are absolutely massive encounters. Glenanne against Pembroke on Sunday is the obvious fixture that stands out on the men’s side. Both have 100 percent record so far and whilst Pembroke’s results have been more clear-cut, the Glens have an uncanny knack of winning in their head to heads.

The Neville Cup match last week proved that Wanderers need to kill off the game better as they almost conceded a final minute equalizer. Both also have big matches on Saturday playing TRR and Monkstown. Neither opponent will be a pushover and dropped points will raise the importance of Sunday's face-off. All internationals will be playing this weekend, their last domestic action for some time.

On the women’s side, Pembroke’s ladies face an enticing fixture against Railway. They have been the two outstanding sides so far this season and show definite signs of breaking the stranglehold Loreto and Hermes have on the title. Whilst I’ve said it before, a win over a rival at the top of this league is becoming increasingly more important. With the teams at the top so closely matched, it has led to a glut of draws and four unbeaten sides going into the Christmas period. Pembroke’s draw with Hermes on Monday shows they have the appetite for the battle.

Elsewhere, the Railway Cup gets under way, with Pembroke seconds looking to retain one part of their quadruple, starting off with Corinthians 3rds.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Irish Women Secure Two Wins Over Scotland

The Irish women picked up two 1-0 wins over Scotland last weekend at a freezing cold Stirling last weekend. Jenny McDonogh scored the winner in the second match while in the first game Lisa Jacob got the decisive score. Armagh’s Stephanie Quinn made her debut in that first game.

Commenting on the weekend Coach Gene Muller said “Overall, I was very happy with the way in which we played over the two games. The goal we scored today was a very well taken goal. I thought that we played very well in the first half but in the second half Scotland came back into it, it was a big learning experience for us as we were winning the ball but not holding onto it that well something to work on”.

“Preparation will begin now for the South African tour, we have worked quite hard for the last few weeks, so it will be more of the same, I am happy with how our preparation is going but we will continue to work hard.”

News in Brief...

* The IHA has done a nice little job on previewing club action all round the country. Click here to have a look...

* Whilst not exactly news as such, a lot of people complain that there is very little hockey in the newspapers. A quick suggestion on this would be to look up some of your local papers - the Tallaght Echo had reports from the Glenanne men and Loreto women. The Dundrum Gazette had stuff on TRL, Loreto and Andy McConnell while its Lucan counterpart had a page long spread about Weston. Finally, of those I've seen this week, the Southside People. had a feature on the ISC draws for southside clubs. If you've seen others, leave a comment...

* The Champions trophy has tipped off in Malaysia with some pretty entertaining stuff. Click here to watch live match trackers while you are at work or go to to see extended highlights.

Seen anything you want to tell me about? Leave a comment...

FIH announce Women's All Star team

The second Women’s WorldHockey All Star Teams was announced by the FIH yesterday, with those selected voted for by hockey fans the world over. The vote produced this final list of world class Hockey players and is composed of 18 players and two coaches.

The voting for the men’s All Star Team starts on Wednesday 28 November and the result will be published after the end of the Samsung Champions Trophy in Kuala Lumpur.

GK: Amy TRAN ( USA ), Maria Jesús ROSA DURAN (ESP)

DEF: Minke BOOIJ (NED), Tina BACHMANN (GER), Janneke SCHOPMAN (NED), Magdalena AICEGA (ARG), Crista CULLEN (ENG), MA Yibo (CHN)

MID: Luciana AYMAR (ARG) Capt, Fanny RINNE (GER), Maartje GODERIE (NED), Marsha MARESCIA (RSA), Madonna BLYTH (AUS)


Coaches:Marc LAMMERS (NED); Michael BEHRMANN (GER); Coach

Leinster looking for clean sweep...

Leinster have the chance this weekend to complete a clean sweep of the school’s Interprovincial titles. This weekend in Galway they take on Ulster, Munster, Connacht and South East to battle it out for the ESB U16 Interpros Titles.

Ulster has won the title for the last two years and before that Leinster held the title. Ulster will no doubt be out to claim this title having lost to Leinster in the ESB U18 Girls; U16 & U18 boys Interpros in the last month.

The competition takes place at Dangan Sports Centre, Galway, Connacht . To see the squad lists, click here…

Match Schedule
Saturday 1st December: 9.00 Connacht V South East; 11.00 Leinster V Munster ; 14.00 Ulster V South East; 15.30 Connacht V Munster ; 17.00 Leinster V Ulster
Sunday 2nd December: 9.00 South East V Munster ; 10.30 Connacht V Leinster; 12.00 Munster V Ulster ; 13.30 Leinster V South East; 15.00 Connacht V Ulster

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Squad for Chile and match times...

With just nine weeks until the Irish Men compete at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in New Zealand , Dave Passmore has named a squad of twenty for their tour to Chile following last weekend’s match’s in Scotland.

Andrew McConnell retains his place after impressing in his first cap last weekend while Irish stalwarts Butler , Shaw and Barbour have all been left at home due to work commitments.
This tour will give the Irish experience and acclimatisation against the fast pace of the South American countries in a climate the management say is akin to New Zealand.

One of the most positive parts of the trip is that funding has been received from both the Irish Institute of Sport and Irish Sports Council, giving our boys a chance to achieve the best pssoible preparation.

Passmore said of the support received: 'This trip has been possible due to the support and additional funding of the Irish Institute of Sport and Irish Sports Council. It is disappointing that we have three players unavailable due to work commitments. But these athletes will be working hard physically and technically over the period we are away to ensure they are fully prepared for the final period of preparation and selection for New Zealand.”

The players depart for Chile on 11th December returning just in time to spend a few days at home for Christmas on December 23rd. During this time Ireland will play South Africa, Chile and Argentina .

"Chile will provide the perfect climate, training and competitive environment to develop towards the qualifier. It is ideal that we have a variety of opposition playing styles and an opportunity to develop some of the areas we fell short on in Manchester . We showed signs of progress in Scotland last weekend but there is a long way to go given the difficult opposition we face in Auckland" continued Passmore.

Squad: Andy McConnell, David Hobbs, Eugene Magee, Gareth Lennox, Iain Lewers, Jason Black, Karl Burns, Mark Black, Mark Gleghorne, Mark Irwin, Paddy Brown, Phelie Maguire, Ronan Gormley, Michael Watt, Tim Lewis, David Harte, Timmy Cockram, Mark Ruddle, Geoff McCabe, John Jermyn

Schedule: Warm up Game:14/12 Ireland V Chile
Four Nations Tournament, Santiago Chile (Irish Time)
17/12 (8pm) Ireland V South Africa; 18/12 (10pm) Ireland V Chile; 20/12 Ireland V Argentina

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Senior League Round-ups

Men: Corinthian 6 (Lucas Piccioli 2, Chris Pelow 2, David Carson, Jack Kirwan) UCD 3 (Robbie McFarlane, Glenn Holmes, David Storey): A five-star second half performance from Corinthians saw them overcome a half-time deficit and deny the students their first points of the season. The sides went in at half-time at 2-1. But a big turnaround at Whitechurch Park saw Coritnthians home. Youngsters Jack Kirwan and Davy Carson both got on the scoresheet. The win sees them into sixth place but a win in their game in hand against Rovers would move the side up to third. As it happens, losses for Rovers at Glenanne and Monkstown at home to Pembroke and they should take the spot with a win in Bray.

Kilkenny 1 (Lloyd Pearson) Monkstown 4 (Brian Groves 2, Simon Groves, Alan Lewis) A solid away win in the Cats den has seen Monkstown continue their current, quiet form as they have stealthily moved into a tie for third place. The Groves' brothers did the damage at Kilkenny College and they will also be anxious viewers when Rovers play Corinthians - that match will have an increasingly important bearing on the destination of the All-Ireland league spots.

Women: Pembroke 1 Hermes 1
As with all encounters between the top four this season, it ended in stalemate between two of the title chasers but this was hardly a dull affair. Hermes took a deserved lead after 20 minutes with Pembroke on the back foot in an intense, physical encounter. Hermes, indeed, had chances to double their lead before the break. Pembroke fought back in the second half, equalising from a Siobhan Kane pile-driver from the left. Pembroke could have snatched the win, too, when Shona Doyle's cut-back just narrowly missed the on-rushing forward. On balance, a fair result to a fantastic game - the value of a win against a rival at the top becomes increasingly valuable.

The point gives Pembroke the lead at the top but they are in the bizarre situation of having three unbeaten sides below them in the league. They face another biggie this Saturday when they host Railway who trail by one point.
Trinity 3 (D Costigan, M Horan, C Hearnden) Corinthian 0
Trinity continued their strong run this season and have now already won more games than last season after just eight outings. Former club captain Danielle Costigan opened the scoring in a match that probably confirms their safety this season already with wins at a premium throughout the league.

Alex 3 (S Markey, B Fitzgerald, Z Dahl) Genesis 1 (L Barrie)
Alex stay in touch with the leading pack with a win against bottom of the table Genesis. Genesis, though, unlike a number of the sides at the bottom are probably cursed by their endeavour. Their attempts under Maarten Sier to play attractive hockey has seen them caught short at the back where rivals have striven to have greater numbers in defence.

Loreto 3 (Z Delaney, C Greally, N Keegan) TRL 1 (L Lehane)
Loreto move to within a point of Railway in third, albeit with an extra game played with a routine victory over ninth place TRL.

Irish Junior Cups round-up...

TRR needed a golden goal from Christian Judd to get past local rivals Corinthians. The game was level at the end of normal time after short corners from Ross Harris and Chris Pelow. Both Fingal and Clontarf had to go a stage further, needing penalties to dispatch YMCA and Weston respectively. Other Leinster winners were Glenanne (0ver Bray 6-1) and Monkstown (against Dvision 8's RCSI).

In the women's competition, four goals from Hazel Agar saw Alex home against Newbridge, Hermes fired seven past Fingal while Our Lady's had the best of Corinthian 5-2. Loreto, Pembroke, Suttonians, Railway Union, Clontarf, Bray and Genesis all made it into the hat for the second round.

ESB Irish Junior Cup Results (women) ROUND ONE
Belfast Harlequins 2-0 UUJ ; Lisnagarvey 2XI 1-4 Randalstown 2XI; Ards 2XI 0-6 Pegasus 2XI; Newry 1-2 Portadown 2XI; Omagh 2XI 0-6 Banbridge ; Priorians 2XI 0-3 Knock 2XI; Annadale 1-2 Armagh 2XI; Lurgan 2XI 2-2 (3-2 strokes) Parkview ; Old Alex 2XI 7-1 Newbridge ; Our Lady’s Terenure 5-2 Corinthian 2XI; Hermes 2XI 7-0 Fingal ; Naas 5-3 Three Rock 2XI; North Kildare 0-0 (1-3 Strokes) Loreto 2XI; Weston 1-2 Clontarf ; Glenanne 2-0 Diocesan ; Muckross 0-3 Genesis 2XI; Skerries 0-3 Pembroke Wanderers 2XI; Avoca 2-3 (GG) Suttonians ; UCD 2XI 1-2 Railway Union 2XI; Bray 6-2 Dublin University 2XI; NUIG (SUNDAY) Fermoy ; Galway 1-0 (GG) Cork Harlequins 2XI; Waterford 2-1 Kilkenny ; UCC 2XI 0-1 Wexford ; Greenfields 1-2 Catholic Institute

Byes to round 2 (December 15th)
Victorians 2XI; Ashton 2XI; Bandon 2XI; Belvedere 2XI; Cork C of I 2XI; Moyne Thurles ; Yeats Co.

Men’s Irish Junior Cup Results ROUND ONE
Down 2XI 1-2 South Antrim 2XI; Instonians 2XI 5-1 Newry 2XI; Lisnagarvey 2XI 6-0 Portrush ; Raphoe 2XI 1-7 Cookstown 2XI; Cliftonville 2XI 1-10 Belfast Harlequins 2XI; Larne (Postponed) Portadown 2XI; Saintfield 2-4 Campbellians ; N.I.C.S. 2XI 4-1 Mossley 2XI; Armagh 12-0 East Antrim ; Antrim 2XI 1-5 North Down 2XI; Banbridge 2XI 7-1 Omagh ; Ballymena 2-3 Parkview ; Kilkeel 2XI (walkover to Kilkeel ) PSNI 2XI; Corinthian 2XI 1-2(GG) Three Rock Rovers 2XI; Glenanne 2XI 6-1 Bray 2XI; Monkstown 2XI 13-0 R.C.S.I. ; Clontarf 2XI 2-2 (4-1 strokes) Weston 2XI; YMCA 2XI 3-3 (3-4) Fingal 2XI

Byes to round 2 (December 15th)
Annadale 2XI; Bangor 2XI; Queens University 2XI; Avoca 2XI; Mullingar ; Pembroke Wanderers 2XI; Railway Union 2XI; UCD 2XI; Bandon 2XI; Cork C of I 2XI; Cork Harlequins 2XI; Galway ; Midleton ; UCC .

How did your club do? Have your say...

Friday, November 23, 2007

Weekend preview - Irish in Scotland, IJC and Ulster...

Another massive weekend of action with the Irish team heading off to Scotland, the Irish Junior Cup and Ulster's top two men's sides taking each other on.

You can read previews about the women and men's matches in Scotland on this site and also in today's Irish Times. Three Rock's Andy McConnell could amke his debut while David Hobbs could be the youngest player to reach 100 caps if he plays over the weekend. To see a full biography of Hobbs' career to date, check out the IHA site.

the Irish Junior Cup kicks off with 18 matches in the Men’s Irish Junior Cup and 25 in the ESB Irish Junior Cup (women) this Saturday. Last year’s champions Old Alex 2XI take on Newbridge in the unusual venue of Mount Anville as Alex are currently rebuilding their pitch. Last year’s runners up Bray expect to do well, they are currently sitting top of the Leinster Division Two table. Up North Pegasus 2XI take on Ards 2XI, Pegasus were knocked out at the quarters last year by eventual winners Alex.

On the Men’s side of the Irish Junior Cup, both finalists from last year Pembroke 2XI (who are currently on a 100pc run after last year’s quadruple season) and Cork Harlequins 2XI have received byes to round two. Ulster’s two top teams from the Junior 1 leaguer will be in round one while Banbridge 2XI take on Omagh and Instonians 2XI take on Newry who are at the bottom end of Junior 1. Elsewhere Rathfranam rivals Corinthians and Three Rock Rovers go head to head - both are currentrly locked on 12 points in division 3.

Up North, there is two titanic battles between the men's biggest rivals. Top two Cookstown face Banbridge in Coolnafranky while perennial rivals Instonians host Lisnagarvey.

There is also three women's matches in Leinster while Kilkenny host Monkstown in the men's section along with Corinthian 1sts taking on UCD.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

About the site...

Two things -

1) The site has just gone beyond 10,000 hits which is pretty cool. It means that a couple of you are reading and so there is a definite reason for the site to exist.

2) Basically, you may notice some comments have been deleted and some now appear with "
This post has been edited slightly from the original " written at the bottom of them. In hindsight, it was a bit naive to give carte blanche.

Planet Field hockey, a predecessor in a way, basically turned into a slagging match before it closed and I'd hate for that to happen here. The basic premise is, no personal attacks and only reasoned out comments. I really hate doing it but for all concerned its for the best. Listen to Leona Lewis to get the full picture...

TRR 5 - 1 Fingal - Neville Cup Semi

A fluid second half performance saw Three Rock rack up a comprehensive 5-1 win but it was Fingal who made the brighter opening. Enjoying much of the possession, David Bane got a deserved opener with a low drag-flick in the sixth minute.

Rovers fought back straight away, Colin Huet scoring gracefully two minutes later. The game meandered around the midfield for much of the half until Mitch Darling - a constant thorn all night - took the initiative; whacking in a quick free hit on the edge that Kyle Good slid onto with a beautiful deflection.

While the first half was hardly a thing of beauty, the style was turned on in the second. Bane broke clear but could not get his reverse shot past Richie Irivine and from the resulting free out, Rovers sealed the win. A sweeping move saw Darling win the decisive corner which Tim Hill scrambled home. Maarten Sier fired in two corners to embellish the scoreline in the closing stages.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pembroke 3-1 Glenanne – Neville Cup Semi-Final

Pembroke edged the first official encounter of top two this year but were almost dragged into extra time despite dominating for large periods. In a scrappy first half, Ian Symons drag-flick on 10 minutes separated the sides.
Sheer brilliance from Stephen Doran though, meant that’s how it stayed at the break. His double save on the hooter came after Alan Sothern robbed Devin Kehoe and fed John McInroy. His rocketing shot was plucked out of the air. The rebound fell to Justin Sheriff who played in Sothern but from three yards, Doran scrambled to save a point-bank effort.

Pembroke’s second goal a minute after the break, though, was unstoppable. McInroy produced an outrageous one-handed drag back from the end line to Ronan Flannery who selflessly passed up an open goal to lay off for Alan Giles. The broke drew further heroics out of Doran as Paddy Good’s pull back pulled the keeper out of position. He managed to recover in time to first save Sothern’s shot with his knee at the top D before scurrying to his near post to block Gordy Eliott’s chance.

And with ten minutes left, the Glens got back a lifeline – David Shaw blasting home a knee breaker off Stephen O’Keefe’s boot from a short corner. Pembroke protested in vein to umpire Geoff Conn about its height. In the final throes, they almost forced extra time – a booming hit from left-back Paul Fitzpatrick found Brendan Parsons on the back line and his deflection almost snuck in. Parsons forced home at the second attempt but Conn’s whistle had just blown for a prior infringement.

From the ensuing free out, Wanderers broke quickly, finding themselves in a 4 on 1 with only Richie Shaw covering. Sheriff found McInroy for the simplest of tap-ins and the 3-1 win.

Were you at the game? Did you see it differently ? Have you say...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Men's qualifiers schedule known...

The Irish men’s match schedule for the Olympic qualifiers in Auckland, New Zealand, from the 2nd to 10th of February, was made known today by the FIH.

The tournament is a six team round-robin event which will be decided by a final between the top two teams from the preliminary round on Sunday 10 February 2008. The winner of this final will earn a place in the hockey tournament of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Ireland open the tournament against their nemesis, France, before facing host side New Zealand, Trinidad, the US and Argentina. Ireland go into the competition as the third highest ranked team.
Match schedule:2nd Feb (12pm) vs France; 3rd Feb (115pm) vs New Zealand; 5th Feb (2pm) vs Trinidad and Tobago; 6th Feb (6pm) vs USA; 9th Feb (1215pm) vs Argentina
How do you think we will do? Have your say...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

ESB Women's Irish Cup round-up

Loreto and Railway both made it through on penalty strokes to the quarter finals of the ISC. Railway's win, though, came at a cost with Isobel Joyce breaking fingers in a tough clash.

Indeed, it will be interesting to see how the young Railway side perform in latter rounds - their rise this season will be tested in the new year when both Joyce twins join up with the Irish cricket squad and Emma Smyth and Kate Dillon go on their travels. Yesterday, Sinead Walsh scored the decisive stroke.

In the quarters draw, Hermes must travel again up north to Ballymoney after they were relieved to overcome Ards after the four hour drive while Loreto will face Old Alex's conquerors Victorians.

Results Round 3: Railway Union 1 (Dooley) Armagh 1 (Patterson) (Railway Win 3-2 on Stokes); Randalstown 6 (Orr 2, Parkhill, Elkin, Clarke, Doyle) Ashton 0; Cork Harlequins 1 (Bateman) Ballymoney 2 (McVicker, Stewart-Moore) (aet); Lisnagarvey 1 Cork C of I 3; Victorians 2 (Hamilton, Patton) Old Alex 0; Pembroke Wanderers 0 Loreto 0 (Loreto win 3-2 on strokes); Ards 0 Hermes 5 (O'Flanagan 2, Harte, Evans, Burke); Belfast Harlequins POSTPONED Pegasus

Draw – ESB Irish Senior Cup Quarter Finals: Ballymoney V Hermes ; Loreto V Victorians ; Pegasus / Belfast Harlequins V Randalstown ; Railway Union V Cork C of I.

ISC Men's Round up

Leinster has nine of the last 16 in the Irish Senior Cup - including two division 2 sides - after yesterday's 3rd round matches. As a result, seven of the eight 4th round matches will take place in and around the Dublin area.

There were shocks galore, with Ulster table-toppers Banbridge beaten by bottom of the table and pointless Kilkeel 3-1 while Trinity overcame higher division opposition when they beat Kilkenny. PSBPP overcame Catholic Institute on a day where no Leinster side lost when facing opposition from another province. Cookstown were the biggest winners, they fired 17 past hapless Cliftonville.

The draw pits last season's finalists Glenanne against Annadale while Fingal continue their history with Lisnagarvey who will visit ALSAA.

Results – Men’s Irish Senior Cup (Round Three): Bangor 0 Cork Harlequins 1; Belfast Harlequins 2 (Hamill, Anderson) Bray 3 (Cox 2, Hinge); Antrim 2 (McIlroy, Criton) Bandon 3 (Smith, Kingston, Sweetnam); Kilkeel 3 (Annett, Cunningham, Niblock) Banbridge 1 (Magowan); Cookstown 17 Cliftonville 2; PSBPP 3 (de Nortichoke 2, Borne) Catholic Institute 1; Lisnagarvey 3 (Cockram 2, Black) Cork C of I 1 (Smith); Suttonians 0 Pembroke Wanderers 9 (Giles 2, Fulton, Conlon, Sheriff, Sothern, Wilson, Gormley, C Harte); Mossley 0 Annadale 5 (Mills 2, N Hamilton, McKeown, Persil); Belvedere 0 Fingal 5 (Sweeney, Gahan, D Bane, McGuinness, Neville) ; Ballynahinch 0 Instonians 8 (Barnes 5, Watson, Irwin, og); Three Rock Rovers 5 (P Maguire 2, Darling, Ringwood, Blakeney) UCD 0; Glenanne 2 (Butler 2) Corinthian 1 (Warren); YMCA 2 (A Walker, Whelan) NICS 1 (Posnet) ; Dublin University 4 (Orr, Coady, Gorman, Moore) Kilkenny 3 (Pearson, Sharman, Gray); Monkstown 3 (Allen, Lewis, Lee Railway Union 1 (Lynch)

Draw – Men’s Irish Senior Cup Round Four (8th December): Monkstown V Kilkeel ; Three Rock Rovers V Dublin University ; PSBPP V Cork Harlequins ; Bray V Pembroke Wanderers ; Glenanne V Annadale ; Fingal V Lisnagarvey ; YMCA V Cookstown ; Instonians V Bandon

Friday, November 16, 2007

25 Leinster players in underage squads...

Twenty five Leinster players have been named in the Irish under 18 and 16 training panels announced this week, following last week’s Interpros.

In the under 18 squad announced by Arul Anthoni are: David Carson (Corinthian, St Andrews), Stephen Cole (Monkstown, St Andrews), James Dalrymple (TRR, Wesley), Brian Doherty (Corinthian, Wesley), Kyle Good (TRR, Wesley), Stuart Loughrey (Pembroke, St Andrews), Eoin MacArthur (Railway Union, Oatlands), Josh Purcell (YMCA, High School), Cian Speers (Monkstown, St Andrews), Andrew Ward (Monkstown, St Andrews), Stephen West (TRR, St Andrews)

This is a non European Year for the Under 18s and so player development is the main priority. They will play a friendly series of matches against England 13th-15th February (Dublin), against Belgium (Dublin)) 25th-27th March 2008 and against Scotland at home with dates and venue to be confirmed.

Under 16 Coach Andy Smyth announced 14 Leinster players in his 39 player panel for trials.

They are: Cian Booth (Monkstown, St Andrews), Luke Chadwick (YMCA, Wesley), George Dockrell (TRR, Gonzaga), Robert Fitzgerald (YMCA, Wesley), Simon Lowry (Monkstown, Newpark), Shane Madeley (TRR, Wesley), Scott Margetson (YMCA, Wesley), Neal Megarity (TRR, Wesley), Shane O’Donoghue (Glenanne, Templeogue), Mark Ryan (Suttonians, Sutton Park), Tom Samuel (TRR, Wesley), Andrew Shekleton (Fingal, Dundalk Grammar) Conor Stephens (St Andrews), Richard Sykes (Monkstown, St Andrews)

The Irish U16 Boys team will play in the European Youth Championships in Den Haag, Netherlands from the 6th -13th July 2008. In preparation they will play against England from 13th-15th February (Dublin), against Belgium (Brussels) 26th-28th March 2008 and against Scotland 20th-22nd June 2008.

Congratualtions to all...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

World news...

In the past week, there has been loads of announcements on the world hockey scene. Fancy taking a holiday with some high quality hockey involved, read on:

* The 2010 World Cup will take place in New Delhi in India, it was announced last week.

* The FIH said they hope to be back to Pakistan for a major event as soon as the political situation allows them to. Due to ongoing unrest, the FIH took the decision to move this month’s 2007 Samsung Champions Trophy from Lahore, Pakistan to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

* The US will host the 2009 Women’s Junior World Cup at Harvard University in Boston. Malaysia and Singapore will co-host the 2009 Men’s Junior World Cup. In order to directly qualify both organizers for the event, the tournament will exceptionally be played with 20 instead of 16 teams.

* A new World Level event will take place in Dubai, UAE early 2009. The best eight men’s and best eight women’s teams of the world will participate in this new event.

* The FIH will assist in the construction of a pitch at a newly constructed national sports centre in Zambia as part of the ‘Sports for Hope’ project. The pitch will be used for the 2011 All African Games.

* Finally, the Pablo Negre Trophy was awarded to England Hockey. The Trophy is awarded to the National Association which best served the course of hockey and made it more popular during the previous two years. England Hockey received the award for excellent work during the 2006 FIH Congress in London and the revival of the organization structure in England Hockey.
Gonna go any of these events? Think we should have more tournaments in Ireland? Have your say...

ISC Previews and fixtures

The most action-packed weekend of the hockey calendar - both Irish Senior Cups begin the business end of the competition this weekend with all the main players being introduced to the fray.

On the men’s side, an intriguing tie pits C of I against Lisnagarvey to take on one of their own. Former Munster-man, Jason Lynch now plies his trade in Hillsborough for Garvey who currently lie fifth in Ulster’s Senior League – trailing table toppers Banbridge by a massive 9 points after just five games.

C of I for their part have already overcome Harlequins locally and are averaging six goals a game, thus far. How much you should read into their local form, though, is hard to tell. Garvey, the most decorated ISC side of recent times will certainly be no pushover for whom Mark Robinson, Johnny Bell and Cameron Black all return.

Mark Tumilty, the Garvey coach is also glad to see John Jermyn is off his opposing team-sheet: “C of I are one of the top Irish teams, and we probably go in as underdogs admits but they are not as strong this season, now that John Jermyn is in Holland and Jason is with us. Jermyn's influence was immense, not only in attack but from penalty corners, so we have as good a chance as ever of beating them."

Locally, holders Glenanne against Corinthians should prove the toughest contest but the Glens still hold the mantle, for the moment, as the best team in Ireland in cup competition.

In the women’s draw, two young up and comers meet at Park Avenue, with Railway taking on Armagh. Mick McKinnon coached Armagh for seven years before moving to Railway last September and under his guidance the Northern club – which only emerged in the mid 90s - produced a number of current international names including Amy Stewart, Rachel Mulligan, Emma Stewart and Stephanie Quinn.

Pembroke Wanderers take on Loreto in a test of their new found credentials as a top-table side while Cork C of I ladies follow their men to Garvey.

ESB Irish Senior Cup 17th November
15.00 Railway Union V Armagh (Park Ave); 13.00 Randalstown V Ashton ( Antrim Forum); 14.00 Cork Harlequins V Ballymoney (Harlequin Park); 14.30 Lisnagarvey V Cork C of I (Hillsborough); 14.30 Victorians V Old Alex (UU Jordanstown); 14.30 Pembroke Wanderers V Loreto (Serpentine Ave); 14.45 Ards V Hermes ( Ards Leisure Centre); 15.00 Belfast Harlequins V Pegasus (Deramore)

Men’s Irish Senior Cup 17th November
14.30 Bangor V Cork Harlequins (Ballykillaire Sports Ground); 13.00 Belfast Harlequins V Bray (Deramore); 14.30 Antrim V Bandon ( Antrim Forum); 14.30 Kilkeel V Banbridge (McCauley Park); 14.30 Cookstown V Cliftonville (Coolnafranky); 13.30 PSBPP V Catholic Institute (Dardistown); 14.30 Lisnagarvey V Cork C of I (Hillsborough); 13.15 Suttonians V Pembroke Wanderers (Sutton Park); 14.30 Mossley V Annadale (The Glade); 14.00 Belvedere V Fingal (Ballincollig); 13.00 Ballynahinch V Instonians (Donard Park); 13.00 Three Rock Rovers V UCD (Grange Road); 14.45 Glenanne V Corinthian s ( Glenanne Park); 14.00 YMCA V NICS (Claremont Road); 14.00 Dublin University V Kilkenny (Santry); 13.30 Monkstown V Railway Union (Rathdown)

The Draw For the ESB Irish Senior Cup quarter finals will take place live in Pembroke Wanderers , Serpentine Avenue at 16.45. The Draw for the Fourth Round of the Men’s Irish Senior Cup will also be announced at this time.
Who's going through? who do you want to play in the next round? Have you say...

A comment about commenting

First up, its great to have so many comments rolling in and opening an extra channel of communication was one of my main aims in setting this little site up. My hope, though, was to never have to moderate messages. Unfortunately, I've started getting a load in which are just slagging other people off (mainly references to people's parental origins or the perceived lack of style in a chosen haircut... all followed up by the mandatory c**t) and have no place on this site.

Basically people, use the site for a place of debate. The ongoing Pembroke debate is lively and interesting, showing up some people's deep-seated concerns about the club and drawing an enviable show of pride from those involved at the club. Everyone has an opinion - but keep it as an opinion based on logic, facts etc rather than part of prejudice.

Yeah, I know it sounds all hippy dippy, but readers will get more out of that and be able to respond accordingly than just abusing someone. This type of comment is liable to spill over onto the pitch and as such would be a complete failure of what I, and I'm guessing most of Leinster hockey, hope to acheive.

Finally, a lot of people have asked me to encourage people to leave their names on their posts. There is a facility to put your names to your comments if you like. I understand people want to know the background where the comment came from. But to be honest, though, I'm not going to enforce it beacuse a perfectly good point can be made in an anonymous vein and it may never be aired if forced to be labelled. Use a pseudonym if you're really bothered...

Fair enough or a pile of new age rubbish? Have your say...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Women's Round-Up

Three Rock coach Tony Barry saw Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Old Alex “as a definite point gained” and part of the club’s ongoing plans to mould a squad able to push for higher honours in Leinster.

Aoife Dalton, one of the youngsters promoted from the 2nds, tapped in at the back post to take the lead before Zanya Dahl equalised with 15 minutes remaining. Railway moved into a share of top spot, overcoming Trinity 4-1, gaining three points they lost last season.

Pembroke and Loreto both maintained their unbeaten records with a 1-1 draw at Serpentine Avenue.

Results: Three Rock 1 (A Dalton) Old Alex 1 (Z Dahl); Pembroke 1 (S Clarke) Loreto 1 (S Scott); Genesis 1 (L Barry) UCD 4 (C Quinlan, R Flinn, C McGlip, R Bourke); Trinity 1 (D Costigan) Railway 4 (J McDonnell 2, S Walsh, S Dooley)

Men's Round-up

Once again the difference between the haves and have nots were ruthlessly exposed with Pembroke and Glenanne rattling home a heap of goals against Bray and Kilkenny. Elsewhere in division 1, though, whilst winners were as expected the results were much tighter.

UCD pushed Fingal all the way, succumbing to goals from the Bane brothers while YM, the subject of much debate on this site, almost pulled off a result against All-Ireland chasing Monkstown. Their 4-1 cup win over Railway probably shows they have enough in the tank to pull clear at the bottom.

Indeed, the Leinster Senior Cup served up more of the same, Pembroke thrashing Skerries and the Glens putting seven past their former coach Nasir Munir’s side, Suttonians.

Results: UCD 1 (R McFarlane) Fingal 2 (D Bane, E Bane); Monkstown 1 (B Groves) YMCA 0; Glenanne 7 (S Butler 3, E Tucker 2, Gary Shaw, A Goulding) Kilkenny 2 (G Sharman, T Manning); Bray 0 Pembroke 11 (A Giles 2, A Sothern 2, J McInroy 2, C Harte, I Symons, P Good, G Elliott, C Fulton)

Mills Cup Round 1: YMCA 4 (W Powderly 2, M Fry, D Robinson) Railway Union 1 (G O’Meara); Pembroke 8 (J Sheriff 5, C Wilson, J McInroy, P Good) Skerries 1 (B McMahon); Suttonians 1 (P Phillips) Glenanne 7 (J Brennan 2, A Browne, A Goulding, P Fitzpatrick, J Kane, E Tucker)

*Apologies for the brevity of the reports this week but I had a very busy weekend with my graduation and so on. If you were at any of the matches and want to tell me about it, email me at

Have your say, leave a comment...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Leinster claim Interpros

Leinster's under 16 and 18s have both won their respective interprovincial championships, with the under 18 side completing the tournament unbeaten. The 18s, consisting of nine St Andrews players, took the title with a 2-0 win over Ulster on Sunday morning and a 3-3 draw with Munster later in the afternoon. They won the tournament on goals scored, after finishing level with Ulster on points and goal difference. Corinthian's Brian Doherty ended the series top scorer with four.

The 16s secured their title with 4-2 (over Ulster) and 4-1 (over Munster) victories on the final day. Richard Sykes top scored with six goals out of a total of fifteen scored in their four match series.

The under 18 girls, meanwhile, took their Interpro title after a final game victory over Ulster in Belfast. Goals Alison Meeke and Hannah Matthews gave the Leinster side a 3-1 victory to bag the title.

For full details, go to

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Muller Announces Squad Selection for Scotland

Armagh's Stephanie Quinn is included in Gene Muller's 18 woman squad to travel to Scotland later this month and could earn her first Irish Cap after recent strong performances in defence against Australia A. The 17 year old joins the growing Armagh contingent with clubmates Rachel Mulligan and Emma Stewart also included. Emer Harte and Emma Clarke return after bouts of injury.

The squad has been pared down from the 27 players that took part in the recent series against Australia. Coach Muller said about earlier that “This team is starting to accumulate both training and competition experience so we will be expecting good individual performances from the players prior to an important tour to South Africa in the New Year.”

Squad (Club, Caps): Emma Clarke (Randalstown, 31), Eimear Cregan (Cork Harlequins, 116), Roisin Flinn (UCD, 25), Emer Harte (Pembroke Wanderers, 27), Louisa Healy (Loreto, 22), Mary Goode (Pembroke Wanderers, 31), Lisa Jacob (UCD, 10), Shirley McCay (Randalstown, 31), Jenny McDonough (Belfast Harlequins, 88), Cathy McKean (Loreto, 81), Bridget McKeever (Ballymoney, 93), Rachel Mulligan (Armagh, 14), Ciara O’Brien (Chelmsford, 129), Clare Parkhill (Randalstown, 47), Stephanie Quinn (Armagh, 0), Cliodhna Sargent (Cork Harlequins, 14), Emma Stewart (Armagh, 34), Nikki Symmons (Loreto, 79)

Match Times (Stirling):
Friday 23rd November (1800) Ireland V Scotland
Saturday 24th November (1500) Ireland V Scotland
Sunday 25th November (1100) Ireland V Scotland (Unofficial match)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

News in Brief - The Irish at the EHL

* Leinster umpire Geoff Conn has been promoted to the level of "International Outdoor Umpire". Geoff umpired at the EuroHockey Club Champions Trophy in Prague earlier this year and following another good performance in the recent EuroHockey League Round 1 in The Hague he got his new accreditation.

Ulster's Warren McCully and Chris McConkey both also umpired in the recent rounds of the EHL while Ramon Davey was a judge.

* Irish Junior and Development players John Jackson, Paul Gleghorne and Chris Gregg were part of the Loughborough Students (England) side that got through a group containing Luzerner SC (Switzerland) and Azzurri Kelburne HC (Scotland).

* Michael Watt meanwhile scored in the first set of group matches for his Scottish side, Grange.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Women's Round Up

Loreto 1-1 Old Alex
"Pleased with the result but not with the performance" was the verdict afterwards from Alex coach Arul Anthoni. Loreto piled on the pressure in the second half but were unable to nab the decisive score after Cathy McKean had levelled from a counter-attack early in the second half. Louisa Murphy gave Alex the lead from a short-corner rebound after thirteen minutes. The result, though, doesn't really help either team as they failed to gain ground on early pace-setters Pembroke and Railway.

Scoring sequence: 13mn 0-1 Murphy (pc); 38mn 1-1 McKean (fg)

Hermes 3-3 Corinthian
Report to follow...

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Women's ESB Senior Cup Round Up

Leinster's two form sides continued their winning ways, Railway Union and Pembroke beating North Down (4-2) and Bandon (1-0) respectively to join Old Alex, Hermes and Loreto in the ESB senior cup thrid round. Student sides UCD and Trinity, however, fared less well with the Belfield side going down 1-0 Victorians whilst Trinity lost on golden goal to Cork side Ashton.

Top 3 seeds, Pegasus, Hermes and Loreto have all been handed tricky ties in the draw: Hermes travel to Ards, Loreto to league-leaders Pembroke and Pegasus across town to Belfast Harlequins. The most interesting tie, though, pits two of Ireland's up and coming club sides as Armagh visit Park Avenue while Cork C of I ladies and men will both travel to Lisnagarvey.

Results: Trinity 2 (L Watson, M Horan) Ashton 3 (C Murphy, J Casey, M Ryan) on golden goal; North Down 2 (L Stevenson, R Bill) Railway Union 4 (S Dooley, K Dillon, E Smith); Armagh 5 (S Holdsworth, E Thornbury, A Stewart, L Colvin, R Mulligan) Knock 0; Belfast Harlequins 3 (R Miller, A Gordon, S Wilkinson) UL 0; Ards 2 (C Watson, J McGill) Ballyclare 1 (S Bell); Pembroke 1 (S Clarke) Bandon 0; Victorians 1 (H McMillan) UCD 0; Lisnagarvey 1 (D Hood) Omagh 0

Draw for Round 3:
Railway vs Armagh; Randalstown vs Ashton; Cork Harlequins vs Ballymoney; Lisnagarvey vs Cork C of I; Victorians vs Old Alex; Pembroke vs Loreto; Ards vs Hermes; Belfast Harlequins vs Pegasus

Pembroke 2-3 KS Pocztowiec Poznan

Pembroke were left heartbroken as Marcin Michniak’s deflected goal thirty seconds from time dumped the Dublin side out of the Euro Hockey League in Antwerp. Needing only a draw to qualify for the 2nd round of the inaugural European competition, Pembroke threw away a two nil half-time lead to Polish side KS Pocztowiec Poznan.

Player coach Craig Fulton said afterwards he was absolutely devastated by the Polish side’s late show. “I’m really disappointed, we had the opportunity to finish it out but we didn’t do it. We played for 69 minutes and had our chances but we just didn’t do it.”

Prior to the match, Fulton said the mood in the camp was extremely positive after picking up a bonus point in Friday’s 3-2 loss to Egara – one of Europe’s top sides and a favourite for the overall title. Egara took the first qualifying spot on Saturday, beating Poznan emphatically 7-2 with a hat trick from Edouard Arbos.

Friday’s bonus point, therefore, meant a draw with Poznan would be enough for qualification. Fulton added “we outplayed them for long periods in the second half and played some of our best hockey.”

And the Dubliners carried that form into the first half against Poznan, taking a 2-0 lead – Ian Symons on target from a short corner and player-coach Fulton netting a rebound after initial efforts by Justin Sheriff and Alan Sothern.

The match turned, though, early in the second half, when a Symons’ drag-flick crashed against the crossbar. From the breaking ball, Poznan counter attacked through Piotr Mikula (pictured playing for Poland) who set up Krysztof Wybieralski.

From a potentially unassailable three-goal lead to a nervous 2-1 lead, Pembroke found it difficult to get back into the game and conceded again with 10 minutes left. In the tense final moments, David Harte saved from a penalty stroke while captain Paddy Conlon was given a two-minute suspension over a disputed penalty corner.

With Pembroke down to ten men, Poznan launched their late show, to knock Wanderers out of the competition at the first hurdle.

EHL Results:Friday: Pembroke Wanderers 2 (Fulton, Elliott) Egara 3 (Arbos 2, Schickendantz)Saturday: Egara 7 (Tubau 3, Romeu 2, Schickendantz 2) KS Pocztowiec 2 (P Mikula, Juszczak)Sunday: Pembroke 2 (Fulton, Symons) Poznan 3 (Mikula, Wybieralski, Michniak)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Men's Irish Senior Cup Round-up

Leinster sides Dublin University, Railway Union, PSBPP and Suttonians all made it through to the 3rd round of the Irish Senior Cup. The 3rd round draw pits Suttonians against All-Ireland champions Pembroke while Trinity host Kilkenny. PSBPP will be pleased with their home draw against Catholic Institute, conquerors of Avoca (see below). The tie of the round, though, sees Lisnagarvey host Cork C of I, while the all-Leinster tie of Glenanne against Corinthians could prove to be a feisty affair.

Featured match: Avoca 2 -4 Catholic Institute

A hat-trick from former Avoca player and all-Ireland medallist, Brian Downes gave Limerick-side, Catholic Institute the edge at Newpark. Downes opened the scoring after just 3 minutes, latching onto a long diagonal ball to coolly slot past the on-rushing keeper. Feargal McGuinness got Avoca back on terms from a corner switch but that was as good as it got for the Blackrock side. Further goals from Downes (one penalty stroke) and Simon Brickenden put the game beyond the home side before Andrew Byrnes scored a consolation goal.

Scoring sequence: 0-1 3mn Downes (fg), 1-1 10mn McGuinness (pc), 1-2 18mn Brickenden, 1-3 37mn Downes (fg), 64mn 1-4 Downes (ps), 2-4 69mn Byrnes (fg)

Irish Senior Cup Round Two Results:Dublin University 4 (J Orr 2, D Coady, C Moore) Portadown 1 (D Winter); Cliftonville 4 (S Caruth 2, L Burrows, D Hurley) Down 2 (S Ferguson, P Tate); NICS 3 (P Johnson 2, J Anderson) Queen’s University 2 (D Bell, M Adamson); PSBPP 2 (A Carroll, D Ledwidge) South Antrim 1 (C Henry); Ballynahinch 2 (D Ross, P Murray) Skerries 1 (A Butterly); Raphoe 3 (W Wauchob 2, R Harrison) Belfast Harlequins 4 (D Anderson, J Stevenson, R Quigley, N Crawford) after golden goal; Navan 1 Suttonians 2; Clontarf 1 (R McMullan) Antrim 2 (R Maybin, S McIllroy); Avoca 2 (A Byrnes, F McGuinness) Catholic Institute 4 (B Downes 3, S Brickenden); North Down 1 (A Forrest) Railway Union 2 (P O’Brien, K O’Brien)

Draw for Round 3:
Bangor vs Cork Harlequins; Belfast Harlequins vs Bray; Antrim vs Bandon; Kilkeel vs Banbridge; Cookstown vs Cliftonville; PSBPP vs Catholic Institute; Lisnagarvey vs Cork C of I; Suttonians vs Pembroke; Mossley vs Annadale; Ballynahinch vs Instonians; TRR vs UCD; Glenanne vs Corinthians; YMCA vs NICS; Trinity vs Kilkenny; Monkstown vs Railway Union

Men's Round Up

Fingal 3-2 Monkstown

In a key match for All-Ireland qualification, Fingal edged out a Monkstown side shorn of Ian Allen, Filip Jaros and Zack Dutton. Fingal, for their part had to call upon Tony Doyle in goal, one of a select number of grandfathers to play in division 1, after Nigel Grothier was called away for work reasons at late notice. Fingal started the stronger and raced into a 2-0 lead. They created a number of chances to extend this but couldn't, allowing the 'town to draw level. They were only on level terms for 30 seconds - as Monkstown had barely finished celebrating - Mick McGuinness won it for Fingal.

Scoring sequence: 1-0 4mn McGuinness (fg), 2-0 15mn Dunne (fg), 2-1 44mn Watkins (pc); 2-2 56mn Watkins (fg); 3-2 57mn McGuinness (fg)


Three Rock easily swept past UCD to record their fourth win of the season and get back into the title race after last week's setback against Pembroke. Leading 4-0 at half-time with goals from international trio, Phelie Maguire, Peter Blakeney and Mitch Darling, Rovers strolled through the second half with Michael O'Connor providing the sole response from the Belfield students.

Scoring sequence: 1-0 Peter Blakeney (fg), 2-0 Peter Blakeney (fg), 3-0 Phelie Maguire (fg), 4-0 Mitch Darling (fg), 5-0 Maarten Sier (pc), 5-1 Michael O'Connor (fg), 6-1 Phelie Maguire (fg), 7-1 Mitch Darling (fg)

YMCA 1-4 Glenanne

In a fiery encounter that saw Keith Benson (YM), Alan Browne and Joe Brennan (Glenanne) yellow carded and Geoff Walker shown red, YM started well but couldn't turn their possession into clearcut chances. Glenanne, though, soon got into their stride with Graham Shaw slotting home a short corner, doubled soon after by Stephen Butler's low dragflick. Five minutes before halftime, Shaw finished a good move down the right to make it 3-0, a scoreline that perhaps flattered the Tallght side. In the second half, Mikey Fry forced home a short corner with 15 mins left. Mark Lambe, though, provided the sucker punch to score Glenanne's fourth.

Scoring sequence: 18 mins 0-1 Shaw (pc), 22 mins 0-2 Butler (pc), 30 mins 0-3 Shaw (fg), 55 mins 1-3 Fry (pc), 65 mins 1-4 Lambe (fg)

Kilkenny 8-3 Bray
Kilkenny, once again, got the better of one of their close rivals in the lower reaches of the league, crushing Bray 8-3 - doing it without the injured Lloyd Pearson and South Africa bound Stephen Thompson. Gary Sharman bagged a hat-trick and there was a goal too for former Monkstown player Richie O'Malley on his return to Leinster hockey action.

Scoring sequence: 1-0 Sharman (fg), 2-0 Sharman (fg), 3-0 Maher (fg); Half-time 3-0; 3-1 Cox (fg), 3-2 Hinge (fg), 4-2 Manning (fg) 5-2 Manning (fg), 6-2 Dore (pc), 6-3 Lewis (fg), 7-3 O'Malley (pc), 8-3 Sharman (fg)

Were you at any of these games? Did you see them differently? Have your say...

Egara 3 - 2 Pembroke Wanderers

Pembroke lost their opening Euro Hockey League match 3-2 against Egara but picked up a bonus point for finishing within one goal. The sides were tied at 1-1 after the first quarter after Edourard Tubau opened the scoring - with a deft deflection from the left wing - before Craig Fulton levelled matters, reacting quickest with a waist-high volley on his reverse stick after Ian Symons initial effort was saved.

The Spanish side built up a two goal lead in the second quarter, Tubau crashing in a rebound while Justin Sheriff was in the sin bin and Guillermo Schickendantz slotting home after being found unmarked by another left wing cross.

Pembroke had chances to narrow the gap with Sheriff's cross just evading Paddy Good's stick before Gordy Eliott gobbled up a rebound to give Pembroke a chance with 12 minutes remaining. They couldn't capitalise and has to settle for a single point.

Egara 3 (Edouard Tubau 2, Guillermo Schickendantz) Pembroke 2 (Gordon Elliott, Craig Fulton)
To see full match highlights, go to, click on Match Schedule and then on Video Highlights in the left hand panel.
While you're there, check out HGC vs An der Alster from last week to see Eugene Magee score an absolute cracker. A great moment for Irish hockey...

Friday, November 2, 2007

Pembroke to begin European adventure

Pembroke Wanderers will break new ground this weekend when they represent Ireland in the inaugural Euro Hockey League in Antwerp.

The tournament, which tags itself as “the best way hockey has ever been presented”, pits Europe’s top 24 clubs against each other in a format akin to football’s Champions league.

Pembroke must come in the top two places from a group including Spanish Copa del Rey holders, Egara and Polish champions KS Pocztowiec Poznan, to qualify for the second round in March.

South-African player-coach Craig Fulton can call on a full squad, with all 18 players coming unscathed through last week’s league encounter with Three Rock with the front pairing of Justin Sheriff and Alan Sothern in irresistible form.

Pembroke have won all their matches so far this term, including a friendly against Glenanne (3-1) where they practiced the new ‘quarters’ system, one of a number of new innovations being introduced at the tournament.

Matches will be divided into four periods of seventeen and a half minutes, to aid greater advertising revenue from television.

Fulton said of the new system: “it makes the game feel a lot longer and can also let your opponents off the hook a bit if you get some rhythm going in one quarter”.

He also sees it as important to make the “right changes at the right time” in the new format as his regular substitution patterns are likely to be affected.

Egara go into the group as top seeds counting top internationals Eduard Tubau and goalkeeper Francisco Cortes among their number and are two time winners of the European Club Championships – the forerunner of this tournament.

Poznan, for their part, have several Polish internationals and base their game around 31 year old Piotr Mikula. They finished seventh in European competition last year.

Fulton says of his side’s tournament strategy “it would be foolish to stick all your eggs in one basket” and focus on getting a result against the Polish side given the number of methods of picking up points.

Wins gain five points, a draw gets two points and a loss by less than two goals picks up one point. The South African added “there are so many scenarios you can come up against so you have to see how it goes. But the squad is in a good place right now and we’re positive.”

As to whether Fulton agreed with the format and range of new rules being introduced, he said that “anything that gets hockey on the television, it is important to give it a go”.

Whatever happens for Pembroke, Ireland is guaranteed three players in the second round of the EHL.

In last weekend’s first series of group games in the Hague, Irish trio John Jermyn, Iain Lewers and Eugene Magee were part of Dutch side HGC who qualified for the second round, beating German side Club an der Alster and drawing with Belgium’s Waterloo Ducks.

Pembroke squad: David Harte, Nigel Henderson, Paddy Conlon (Capt), Ronan Flannery, Craig Fulton, Patrick Good, Ronan Gormley, Alan Giles, Conor Harte, Colin Kelly, Tim Lewis, John McInroy, Peter Priestly, Alan Sothern, Justin Sheriff, Ian Symons, Craig Wilson

Euro Hockey League – Group F - for more details click here
Friday 2nd November – (20:30) Pembroke vs Club Egara (Spain)
Saturday 3rd November – (1630) Club Egara vs KS Pocztowiec Poznan (Poland)
Sunday 4th November – (1630) Pembroke vs KS Pocztowiec Poznan

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Irish Senior Cup times...

With Pembroke playing in the Euro Hockey League and the two Irish Senior Cups taking place this weekend, hockey fans are spoilt for choice. If you haven't been able to book the flight to Belgium, here are the times and venues for some locally based fare. Highlights include the Santry double header, with Trinity ladies hosting Ashton and the men playing Portadown. Railway Union ladies and men both travel to Comber to play against North Down.

3rd November

Dublin University V Ashton (Santry 1pm), North Down V Railway Union (Comber 2.30pm), Armagh V Knock (Ardmare, 2.30pm), Belfast Harlequins V UL (Deramore Park, 2.30pm), Ards V Ballyclare (Ards Leisure Centre, 3pm), Pembroke Wanderers V Bandon (Serpentine Avenue 2.30pm), Victorians V UCD (Jordanstown, 2.30pm), Lisnagarvey V Omagh (Hillsborough, 2.30pm)

Dublin University vs Portadown (Santry, 3pm); Cliftonville vs Down (CIYMS, 2.30pm); NICS vs Queen’s (Stormont, 2.30pm); PSBPP vs South Antrim (RCSI, 1pm); Ballynahinch vs Skerries (Donard Park, 1pm); Raphoe vs Belfast Harlequins (Raphoe, 2.30pm); Navan vs Suttonians (Sportslink, 1.30pm); Clontarf vs Antrim (Mount Temple, 1.45pm); Avoca vs Catholic Institute (Newpark, 2pm); North Down vs Railway Union (Comber, 1pm)

Passmore announces squad for Scotland trip

National coach Dave Passmore has named his twenty one man squad for the three match series against Scotland at the end of November.

Three Rock Rover’s Andy McConnell is the one new addition, with Passmore saying "McConnell has impressed since his return from playing club hockey in Holland and is included for the first time. He is reasonably versatile but I intend to play him in midfield"

The squad is buoyed by the form of current oversees Irish players who competed in the EuroHockey League - Lewers, Jermyn and Magee all played for HGC while Michael Watt was on the score-sheet for Scottish Club, Grange.

The series will probably prove to be a major milestone for Cork C of I’s David Hobbs, who currently holds 99 caps.

Scotland are currently ranked four places behind Ireland’s world ranking of 19th

Squad (Club and Caps):
Jason Black (Cork Harlequins, 112); Mark Black (Cork Harlequins, 94); Paddy Brown (Instonians, 136); Karl Burns (Cork C of I, 76); Stephen Butler (Glenanne, 123); Timothy Cockram (Lisnagarvey, 56); Mark Gleghorne (Instonians, 68); Ronan Gormley (Pembroke Wanderers, 45); David Hobbs (Cork C of I, 99); Mark Irwin (Instonians, 123); John Jermyn (HGC, 64); Gareth Lennox (Banbridge, 10); Tim Lewis (Pembroke Wanderers, 13); Eugene Magee (HGC, 50); Phelie Maguire (Three Rock Rovers, 51); Geoff McCabe (Banbridge, 22); Andy McConnell (Three Rock Rovers, 0); Graham Shaw (Glenanne, 107); Iain Walker (YMCA, 8); Michael Watt (Grange, 21); Conor Harte (Pembroke Wanderers, 6)

Rested: Andy Barbour (Cookstown), David Harte (GK – Pembroke Wanderers), Iain Lewers (HGC), Mark Ruddle (GK – Cork C of I)

Match Times (Stirling):
20.00 Friday 23rd November - Ireland V Scotland
17.00 Saturday 24th November - Ireland V Scotland
13.00 Sunday 25th November Ireland V Scotland (Unofficial match)

What do you think of McConnnell's inclusion? What do you think of the squad? Have your say...

2007 WorldHockey Women’s All Stars...

Want to honour some of Ireland's greatest female hockey players? Recent weeks have seen two of Ireland's all-time greats (Linda Caulfield and Jill Orbinson) retire from international hockey after the Europeans in Manchester. Would they be part of a world squad if you had to pick one?

Well, now you can have your say! The FIH is looking for hockey fans to select the 2007 WorldHockey All Star teams. From now until Sunday 18 November 2007 the FIH is asking for your opinion on who should be named in the women’s team of 18 players and 2 coaches.

All entries received will go into the draw to win one of the spectacular WorldHockey prizes.

To nominate your favourite players, send an email to, naming:

One goalkeeper
Two defenders
Two midfielders
Two forwards
One coach

The composition of the 2007 Women’s WorldHockey All Stars will be published on the official FIH website on Tuesday 27 November 2007.

Who would you have in your team? Do you think these awards are worthwhile? Think we should start up a campaign? Have your say...