Sunday, January 6, 2008

Preseason predictions revisited - part 1

With the mid-season break ending this week, The Hook is revisiting its preseason predictions to see what's changed for the Men's sides and what we can expect for the New Year. The top sides will be missing their players for five games but will this affect their title charge? Here's my assessment of how its all going to go down:


Bray
Bray have really struggled this season, suffering massively from the loss of Phil Marshall. Reaching eighth may already be beyond them but the two encounters against UCD will decide who is relegated and who gets the playoff spot. Lose those and they're down.
Current: 10th Pre-season prediction: 8th

Corinthian
The most wildly wrong of my predictions, Corinthian currently lie fifth but could break the top 4 if they snatch a win in hand against Pembroke or Rovers. Lukas Piccioli is the catalyst along with their brigade of youngsters – Brian Doherty, Davy Carson, Jack Kirwan and Karl Smith – have come on leaps and bounds. An effective side who showed in their cup match against Rovers they are definitely a force this season.
Current: 5th Pre-season prediction: 7th

Fingal
Another steady season from Fingal, the side has been together a long time, they look set to be in a dog-fight for the fourth All-Ireland league spot with Corinthian and Monkstown. On their day, they can beat anyone at home – their match with Corinthian at ALSAA on January 12 will be key.
Current: 4th Pre-season prediction: 4th

Glenanne
The Tallaght side are lucky they have easier matches while Shaw and Butler are away, facing UCD, Bray, YMCA and Kilkenny between now and February 23. The one tough game will be in Fingal in early February which could kill off their title challenge altogether if they don’t take the points. Rovers may leap-frog them if they win their game in hand and these two will have quite a tussle back at Grange Road.
Current: 2nd Pre-season prediction: 2nd


How do you think these sides will get on? Have your say...

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

"their match with the ‘Town at ALSAA on January 12 will be key"

think u mean corinthians not the town, monkstown are playing bray on the 12th and have already played fingal out in ALSAA.

Anonymous said...

Corinthians really have bounced back from their poor season last year. They're young guns are starting to show they can cope in the 1st league. Miks Kirwin and Carson have shown excellent glimpses of what they can do.

Stephen Findlater said...

For the first comment, cheers for the correction.

Anonymous said...

Are the Senior games on the 29th postponed because of the Irish Junior Cup?

Anonymous said...

Yes i agree Fingal Corinths game in ALSAA this sat is crucial for both sides, Corinths have a better style of play but home advantage could prove a huge factor....who do people fancy?
DK

Anonymous said...

i imagine fingal will clinch this one as most teams struggle to play decent hockey on their "pitch"

Anonymous said...

i think corinthians should beat them in a close game.

Anonymous said...

The irish Junior Cup is being played on the 26th. not sure if the Senior games are due to be on or not.

Anonymous said...

Corinthians beat them on their pitch last year and with a vastly improved squad this year I can see Corinthians getting something out of it this year!

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, as in some cases it is not financially viable to get a new pitch, Fingal should be asked to play on a different pitch. They obviously have more of an advantage on that pitch (training on it/playing on it week in/week out) than any other team playing at home in the country. They could always play on the grass inside the running tracks??

Anonymous said...

Here we go again, blame it on the pitch if you lose! Yes we do have an advantage playing and training on the pitch week in week out, as does every other home team in the league (except YM), if you have the ability you should be able to adapt.

We would love to play on a water based pitch every week but unfortunately its not financially viable. As for your not so funny joke about playing on grass, this would give the other teams an advantage as they all play on pitches that play similar to a grass pitch!

Anonymous said...

corinthains will most likly win this one in a tough game.

Anonymous said...

It wasnt a joke

Anonymous said...

What people don't realise about Fingal's situation is that despite having an advantage on our pitch, we are at a disadvantage every time we play away.

The bounce of the ball, speed of the ball and ability to dribble faster put us at a disadvantage especially when we play on water-based.

I am not whining, just pointing out that there are two sides to every coin.

It'd be great to have a top of the range water based pitch but some clubs are not as well off as others.

Mick - Fingal HC

J.P.P. van der Elfinhausen said...

play your games at college park. best hockey pitch in the country. cant beat grass.

Anonymous said...

Have heard a rumour that Marshall will be back in Bray colours for the 2nd half of the season. Could be some light at the end of the tunnel for them.

Anonymous said...

glenanne will do well to finish 2nd in my opinion - they are finding things more difficult this season.

Their squad has aged and without young players coming thru the future looks very bleak.

Apart from that chap Kane - there are no players coming thru - they may have a good colts section - but they will be waiting 4/5 years before these players come thru.

Prediction for this seaon 3rd and next year beginning of a quiet spell for a number of years

- just hope they dont turn into the next Avoca.

RB

Anonymous said...

Sorry rb but thats rubbish, just the kane lad is the only young player....hmmmm!!!!gary shaw, ritchie shaw not to mention the fact their are some lads only mid twenties....parsons, david shaw, doran, joe brennen, the gelns have two or 3 player that are aging but to turn around and say that the futures bleak when we have 2 current inetnationals and numerous leinster player is a bit of an unfair comment. The reason the glens have found it hard this year like any team would is because of thier success last year and maybe some major changes in personnel..ie coach!!!!
what a silly comment from you.
dave

Anonymous said...

Dave

To suport my "silly" comment heres information for you:

Fitzpatrick
Murphy
goulding
brown
bolger
kehoe
lambe

these guys are all on the wrong side of 30 - which points at an aged team. You dont have any players to replace them of the same quality.

You dont have any goalkeepers coming tru - hence Dorans import.

Shaw & Butler wont stay with a team on the slide.

Glens havent won an u16 or u21 cup in years, their seconds havent won anything in years - you have a limited amount of players playing leinster. Which is worrying!

The st marks supply chain seems to have ended - as you now import players. Years ago your 1st to 3rd teams would be full of st marks players. Why has this stopped - worrying!

so in my opinion - glens had a great season last year - but thats it with players getting old and a limit supply to replace them - it will lead to one thing

- A Team in decline -

RB

Anonymous said...

bolger hasnt played in glenannes first team in at least 2 years and possibly more....nd so wot if the are "importing" players in isnt that what all the top teams do??

Anonymous said...

RB,

a fair comment but lets be honest, up front their is young talent with kane and o malley and both gouldings, young shane o d is also coming through,

their are a few players getting old but thiers plenty their.

As for imports, who have the glens imported????
as far as i can see they are all home grown talent, and even if they do decide to bring in someone, so what, pembroke are full of imports.
dave