Friday, March 27, 2009

Mullingar and YMCA ready to rumble

This weekend sees the first national club titles handed out as the inaugural Irish Hockey Trophy and Challenge competitions come to the final stage. Saturday sees the major Leinster interest with YMCA ladies and the men from Mullingar gunning for their first national titles.

Mullingar are looking to make it a 25th anniversary to remember as they face a complete trip into the unknown as they take on Campbellians - a side formed in 2006, open only to past and present students and relatives of people who went to Campbell College.

En route to this stage, though, Mullingar have outdone three sides from the Ulster Podium Senior Two division, in which their opponents are currently fourth. PSNI were beaten on strokes before Omagh were dispatched 3-0 in Tyrone while the Westmeath men fought back to beat Saintfield 3-2.

The goals have come from the big man up front, player-coach Colin Watters, bashing in four so far in the cup run, while the midfield guile of Tom Bowers has left many division four sides floundering. At the back, former Westmeath minor footballer Daragh Ryan patrols the circle while the youthful Marl brothers and Stewart Synott give the side willing and fit runners.

For YMCA, the famous names in Dublin hockey circles of Powderly and Bradshaw abound. Since beginning life with a female section in 2006, YMCA have zipped through the divisions, recently completing the division nine title without dropping a point.

The side have yet to leave Dublin in their four rounds of competition and easily disposed of Newcastle (5-0), Monkstown (4-1) and Clonmel (4-1) to get to the finals day in Belfield. In terms of prior form guides, there is no background between the teams but Fermoy are unbeaten since November in the league and have shown an equally high appetite for goals as their Sandymount counterparts.

Sunday sees the inaugural Irish Hockey trophy finals with Ulster guaranteed to be the first home for the men's title as Antrim face North Down. The ladies provides an interesting battle as the Ulster Elks array of international talent faces their second game in two days at the National Stadium. They follow up their battle with UCD on Saturday with a game against a lively Catholic Institute who disposed of both Genesis and TRL.

ESB Irish Hockey Challenge Final (11am)
: Fermoy vs YMCA
Men’s Irish Hockey Challenge Final (1pm): Campbellians v Mullingar
Men’s Irish Hockey Trophy Final (1pm): Antrim v North Down
ESB Irish Hockey Trophy Final (3pm): Ulster Elks v Catholic Institute


Derek said...

Good luck to Mullingar this weekend. Great club that has always welcomed any team that makes the effort to go down there very welcome. Hope they win and the club gets a boost.

Anonymous said...

The very best of luck to Mullingar on Saturday. Fantastic achievement. Enjoy the occasion and bring home the Cup!

Suttonians HC

Anonymous said...

Best of Luck tomorrow to both YMCA ladies and Mullingar's men. Hope they do Leinster proud!!