Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Posted by Stephen Findlater at 12:06 PM
The Irish Masters over 40's and over 50's will play in Edinburgh on the weekend of August 29-30, in an annual quadrangular event. The tournament involves matches against Scotland, Wales and England and the team is looking to recruit players from Leinster as previous years have seen travelling teams predominently made up of Ulster players.
However, such luminaries as Liam Canning, Ger Burns, Nigel Kingston and Pete Agnew at 40s' level and Eddie O'Malley and Stuart Walker at 50's, have played for the squads in the recent past.
Ideally, what the team is looking for is players in their early 40's or early 50's that have played hockey to either provincial or international standard. However, this is not a prerquisite, rather a guideline and if you feel your a late developer please feel free to contact Frank Byrne.
This tournament is both highly competitive and demanding and not for the faint hearted. It is, however, an extremely enjoyable weekend playing with and against a high calibre of players.
If you are interested, contact Frank Byrne within the next 2 weeks: email: email@example.com, Phone: +353 (01) 219 4244, mob: +353 (87)8207078
Posted by Stephen Findlater at 11:59 AM
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Ireland laboured to a 1-0 win over bottom of the table Uruguay in their Olympic Qualification campaign. And while they will be pleased to have kept a third clean-sheet in a row and a third successive win, facing into the Italy and Korea match, they will hope to take a few more chances.
The Irish thoroughly dominated the game but only had Nikki Symmons to show for their efforts. Her drag-flick in the 27th minute came from the sides fourth short corner.
It was a frustrating afternoon with Uruguay offering little going forward, resolute in their task of keeping the scoring down after a 10-0 and 4-0 losses at the hands of Korea and Italy respectively.
Ireland continue to top the group on maximum points but have their hardest two matches to follow for the final remaining Olympic spot.
The first is against qualifying favourites Korea on Thursday before a crucial match with Italy on Friday. They will need to win at least one of those to be in with a chance of making the playoff spot for Beijing.
Posted by Stephen Findlater at 10:33 PM
Four nominees have been issued for the each of the eleven award categories, ranging from top international players, to coaches, umpires, volunteers and clubs.
Posted by Stephen Findlater at 10:11 PM
Posted by Stephen Findlater at 12:10 AM
Monday, April 28, 2008
Ireland were resolute in defence as they withstood a second half onslaught to beat host nation Canada 2-0 in their second Olympic qualifying match.
It sees the girls in green go temporarily top of the six team pool, following yesterday’s win over Malaysia, ahead of Italy on goal difference with Korea yet to play today.
Cathy McKean – celebrating her 100th cap – was given extra cause for jubilation when she opened the scoring in the 10th minute, getting a fantastic deflection on a low Nikki Symmons drag-flick to roof the ball.
Clare Parkhill scored her second in two games with a similar penalty corner switch move to her goal against Malaysia, battering the ball in from the top of the D.
It was a good return of two goals from three first-half corners to put Ireland in the box seat.
Canada had most of the play in the second half but were unable to get past Mary Goode who was in top form. She produced three fine saves while Ireland’s best chance to improve their goal difference came from Eimear Cregan’s reverse stick shot which flew just over.
Ireland now rest for Monday before taking on bottom of the heap, Uruguay.
Posted by Stephen Findlater at 12:22 AM
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Fingal's wild card play-off tournament will take place this coming weekend. They play Instonians on Saturday at 2pm and then play Fingal on Sunday at 1.30pm in conjunction with the Club Championships qualification stage in Lisnagarvey.
The key match will see them looking to get a result in the tournament opener against Inst, looking to keep livewires Marks Gleghorne and Irwin at bay. They will have to do so without Andy Quinn who has a broken hand and are waiting on a fitness test on Keith Crawford.
Bandon, whose main threat comes from David Smyth, came third in Munster and have former underage international, Ian Hosford, between the sticks.
A win in the competition will see the side join Leinster's TRR, Pembroke, Glenanne and Monkstown in next year's inaugural All-Ireland league.
Posted by Stephen Findlater at 7:58 PM
Posted by Stephen Findlater at 7:37 PM
Posted by Stephen Findlater at 1:22 PM
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Ireland begin their Olympic Qualifying Tournament on Saturday night, taking on Malaysia.
And coach Gene Muller is upbeat about the side’s build-up to the tournament “I am very happy with our preparations including the last week in camp out here which has all gone to plan. At this point with the first match just around the corner we are anxious to get the qualifiers under way and off to a good start.”
Ireland played a forty minute training match against Canada yesterday as part of their session which saw them draw one all “the training game went well and the match was very impressive, it was only a forty minute game which saw us pull back from one down to level at one all”.
Looking at the tournament, Muller said “We are taking this one game at a time but we need to get ourselves into a good position early on so we are in contention towards the end of the tournament.
“In the first two games we really want to come out with at least four points, ideally we don’t want to drop more than two points and put ourselves up against a wall, we want to be in contention all the way through.”
World number 14s, Ireland are the second highest ranked side in the group behind Korea and above by Italy (19), host Canada (23), Malaysia (24) and Uruguay (27). The top two from the pool stages go on to play in a final on Sunday 4th May in a winner takes all match to take that final Olympic spot.
Live commentary from the matches and full match reports are available online at http://www.olympicqualifierwomencanada.sportcentric.com/
Match Schedule: Victoria Canada; (Local time/Irish time)
April 26 Ireland v Malaysia, 16.30/00.30
April 27 Ireland v Canada, 14.30/22.30
April 29 Ireland v Uruguay, 12.30/20.30
May 1 Ireland v Korea, 12.30/20.30
May 3 Ireland v Italy, 16.30/00.30
May 4 Classification Matches
Emma Clarke (22, 45), Eimear Cregan (Capt)(26, 131), Mary Goode (GK)(28, 42), Louisa Healy (GK)(26, 27), Lisa Jacob (20, 23), Jenny McDonough (26, 102), Shirley McCay (19, 40), Cathy McKean (29, 96), Bridget McKeever (25, 105), Hollie Moffett (22, 8), Louisa Moore (23, 11), Ciara O’Brien (V Capt)(28, 144), Julia O’Halloran (19, 31), Clare Parkhill (27, 62), Cliodhna Sargent (20, 23), Alex Speers (22, 35), Emma Stewart (20, 48), Nikki Symmons (25, 93)
Posted by Stephen Findlater at 11:00 PM
In memory of the late Jenny Robinson, 16 predominantly boy's teams from Primary Schools in Leinster took part in an 8-a-side tournament at TRR yesterday played on a round robin basis.
All competitors, many of whom had been coached by Jenny either at Taney NS or YMCA, played with great spirit in a lively atmosphere. It was particularly pleasing to welcome newcomers Castleknock National School to the Primary School section.
The final was a closely contested affair between Delgany NS and Whitechurch NS. Delgany came out on top with goals from Daniel Joyce and Uilliam Blythman with Stuart Ronan replying for Whitechurch.
Jenny's family Philip, David and Sarah presented a beautiful cup to the winners, a great tribute to a special person and it is hoped to make this an annual event.
Posted by Stephen Findlater at 10:37 PM
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
The Irish Hockey Association have announced Angus Kirkland as the new Chief Executive of IHA as the search to replace Paul Varian has finally ended.
In the role of CE, Mr Kirkland will be responsible for the implementation of the IHA's 2008-2012 Strategic Plan.
“Angus’ appointment is timely for a number of reasons. Firstly, it follows an extended vacancy of the position of Chief Executive and secondly it coincides with the imminent finalisation of the next phase of our strategic planning. This plan outlines the development of hockey over the next four years.” commented Irish Hockey’s Chairman, John Dennis .
Kirkland joins the Association with a experience in strategic planning, sponsorship and sport's management. In 2002, he completed a Masters in Business Administration majoring in finance, marketing and project management before accruing a further six years experience primarily in the sport ing industry.
In 2005, he was appointed as Chief Operating Officer with Irish Squash of which his primary responsibility was to oversee all aspects associated with the development and growth of squash in Ireland .
His experience with regard to the day to day management of sport which was gained in management positions with both Mount Pleasant LTC and the Harvard Club of Boston and is also familiar with the demands of playing sport at an elite level as from 1991 – 2000 he competed as a professional squash player which involved international travel to compete in major events.
Commenting on his appointment Kirkland said "I am absolutely delighted to accept the post of Chief Executive of Irish Hockey and to be part of an organisation of such stature and reputation. I am looking forward to working with everyone within hockey to continue to grow the games' profile and standing, and the challenge that entails."
Posted by Stephen Findlater at 2:02 PM
Monday, April 21, 2008
He explained his reasons for retiring, saying “like every other member of the squad my ambition was to qualify for the Olympics. It was bitterly disappointing to lose out on a place in the final due to goal difference but this alone shows how far the teams and Irish hockey aspirations have increased over the last few years.
“With this part of the Irish programme over and no more major tournaments until the European Championships in over a year’s time it is vital for Irish hockey to bleed some of the talented development squad players.
Posted by Stephen Findlater at 12:00 PM
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Pembroke claimed the Avoca Cup for the first time since 2002 with a comfortable 5-0 win. On that day, Glenanne were also the victims and, with Tim Lewis and Alan Sothern in top form, they were no match for the 'Broke after a competitive start.
Posted by Stephen Findlater at 8:58 PM
Posted by Stephen Findlater at 8:39 PM
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Pembroke won the Irish Senior Cup for the first time since 2000 with a 3-0 victory at Belfield, preventing Monkstown from causing a third successive shock in this year’s competition.
Indeed, Monkstown faced a Wanderers backlash, who looked in a hurry to erase the memory of their league campaign. They began in dominant fashion and took the lead within three minutes when John McInroy got on the end of a good move to make it 1-0.
The Town looked a little overawed by the occasion in front of a packed out stadium and struggled to make many clear-cut chances even when Colin Kelly was harshly sin-binned. The best fell to Ian Allen who snatched at a reverse side effort when he possibly had the time to wind up for a more powerful shot.
They also had a penalty corner switch in the net but it flew in above the backboard and over Nigel Henderson.
In truth, though, these were only fleeting chances. Pembroke were in the ascendancy for much of the game and always looked as if they had a gear or two in reserve should they need to forge away.
Early in the second half, Ronan Gormley scored a drag-flick to make it 2-0 but found themselves under a modicum of pressure, mainly from the lively Gareth Watkins, when Paddy Conlon was sin-binned.
They held out and sealed the win when Craig Fulton slid home with three minutes remaining after Alan Giles breath-taking run to wrap up a comprehensive win. Tim Lewis took the man of the match title with a dynamic performance at the back while Conlon battled hard all day.
Nigel Henderson picked up the trophy on what was his last ever competitive game after an illustrious career.
Posted by Stephen Findlater at 8:52 PM
Cork C of I landed the Munster Senior Cup in an action-packed final against their fierce rivals, Harlequins, at Farmer's Cross. They looked comfortable, going into a 2-0 lead thanks to John Bruton and Paul O'Leary but were pegged back by the break as the game became fractious toward half-time.
Posted by Stephen Findlater at 8:13 PM
Division 7/8 Final: Our Lady's 2 Railway Union 1
Our Lady's added their fine season with the division 7/8 cup final with two excellent goals sealing a 2-1 win. They opened the scoring early on before Railway equalised with a straight shot from a corner. But Our Lady's sealed the win before half-time with their second.
Division 11/12 Final: Avoca 1 YMCA 1 (6-5 on penalty strokes)
Avoca added to their promotion with a cup title in dramatic fashion at Grange Road when Claire Dunwoody netted the winning penalty in the 10th round of strokes. Tanya Chapple saved YM's final stroke in the sudden death series to give them the win and overturn the final standings in division 12.
Posted by Stephen Findlater at 7:45 PM
Thursday, April 17, 2008
The Town have are the big story in this year’s competition and Pembroke’s recent struggles could see the score line being a lot closer than the two sides previous encounters this season, both of which ended 4-1.
Underdog performances against Rovers and Lisnagarvey have given Monkstown the confidence to take on the bigger sides and while they stuttered in the early stages against UCD last week, they soon reverted to type firing in five unanswered goals.
Having said that, Pembroke will, undoubtedly, go into the final as favourites. In recent games, especially against Corinthian and Instonians, they dominated for long periods.
Against Corinthian, they were unable, though, to score the decisive goals to make the game safe and were eventually thankful to a Ronan Gormley save off the line.
The Instonians match was truly bizarre. The Broke were simply breathtaking for 50 minutes, barely letting their Northern opponents into the 25.
If Pembroke can recreate that form then they should have way too much in the tank but, with Fingal, Rovers and Inst making late comebacks, Monkstown’s confidence may be boosted and will know the game will never be over.
Conor Harte is the only injury victim for either side as Pembroke look to add the ISC to last season’s Club Championships while, as I’m sure you’ve heard ad nauseum this week, Monkstown will be hoping to win their first ISC since 1914.
Posted by Stephen Findlater at 1:17 PM
The draw for the Club Championships has been almost finalised. Pool A sees last year’s champions Pembroke line up against Cork C of I, Ulster champion’s Cookstown and either Lisnagarvey and Banbridge.
Leinster league winners Three Rock do battle with last year’s ISC winners Glenanne, Cork Harlequins and Ulster ’s runners up which is between Lisnagarvey and Banbridge.
On the women’s side, which take place on the May 16-18 in Lisnagarvey, Pool A sees Railway Union, Cork Harlequins, Pegasus and Armagh battle it out while pool B lines up Hermes, Loreto, Cork C of I and Ballymoney.
Men’s Club Championships Pool Stages
Lisnagarvey; May 3-5
11.30 A Cookstown v Lisnagarvey or Banbridge
12.30 B Three Rock Rovers v Glenanne
3.00 B Lisnagarvey or Banbridge v Cork Harlequins
4.00 A Pembroke Wanderers v Cork C of I
11.00 A Pembroke Wanderers v Cookstown
12.00 B Three Rock Rovers v Cork Harlequins
2.00 A Lisnagarvey or Banbridge v Cork C of I
3.30 B Lisnagarvey or Banbridge v Glenanne
10.30 A Pembroke Wanderers v Lisnagarvey or Banbridge
11.30 B Glenanne v Cork Harlequins
2.00 A Cookstown v Cork C of I
3.00 B Three Rock Rovers v Lisnagarvey or Banbridge
Women’s Club Championships Pool Stages
May 16-18; Lisnagarvey
Friday 16th May
6.00 A Pegasus Armagh
6.00 B Hermes Loreto
8.00 B Ballymoney Cork C of I
8.00 A Railway Union Cork Harlequins
12.30 B Hermes Cork C of I
13.30 A Railway Union Pegasus
15.00 B Loreto Ballymoney
16.00 A Armagh Cork Harlequins
11.00 A Armagh Railway Union
12.00 B Cork C of I Loreto
13.00 A Pegasus Cork Harlequins
14.00 B Hermes Ballymoney
Posted by Stephen Findlater at 1:09 PM
Away from the ISC, there’s a wealth of action over the weekend with a few key issues to be decided. In the division ½ playoff, UCD will hope they can avoid becoming just the second division 1 team to lose this fixture against Suttonians.
They open up a triple bill on Sunday at Serpentine Avenue at 3.30pm followed up by the Under 21 Cup final at 5.30pm. Traditionally, this is one of the most exciting finals in the cup calendar and while Pembroke have internationals Tim Lewis and Alan Sothern to call upon, Glenanne, in evidence on Tuesday night, are a well balanced side right the way through their squad.
The Leinster Junior Cup completes the bill at 7.30pm with Clontarf playing YMCA.
In Munster, Cork C of I and Harlequins face off once again for a major trophy on Saturday. They meet at 2pm in Farmer’s Cross on Saturday for the Munster Senior Cup final while UCC A face Bandon B in a promotion/relegation playoff.
In Ulster, the league season comes to an end at Coolnafranky with Lisnagarvey needing a point against newly crowned champions Cookstown to pip Banbridge for the runners up spot.
On the east coast, at McAuley Park, Kilkeel must win against All-Ireland wild card qualifiers, Instonians, to avoid the drop and send Mossley down.
Posted by Stephen Findlater at 12:23 PM
Posted by Stephen Findlater at 12:13 PM
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Ireland, who defeated Canada in the last year's final will again face the Canadians along with Great Britain and Pakistan - visiting for the first time since the Whitechurch park pitch opening in the earyl 1990s - when the tournament gets underway in June.
Posted by Stephen Findlater at 7:58 PM