Monday, May 4, 2009

Alex complete IHL line-up

Old Alex took the twelfth IHL qualification place as the rout needed by Greenfields failed to materialise despite a lively opening to the last wildcard game of the weekend, following Cork C of I into next season's showpiece event.

The Galway side raced out of the blocks with Katie Codyre going close, rounding the Alex goalkeeper after Brenda Flannery's through-ball, but only found the side-board.

Leanne Ryan bashed in an early corner for Alex to settle any nerves before Aoife Budd and Liane Costello took any sting out of the game before half-time for a 3-0 win in Arul Anthoni's final game in charge of the Milltown club.

It means Alex will make their tournament debut but were placed in an extremely tough group containing three of this year's semi-finalists - Pegasus, Hermes and Loreto - as well as Randalstown and UCC.

Pool A looks the easier of the two groups with Railway Union the top seeds and will fancy their chances in a group containing Ballymoney, Ards, Pembroke, Cork Harlequins and Cork C of I.

The men's and women's draw both took place on a semi-seeded basis to ensure regular inter-provincial matches. Leinster's first and fourth place were grouped with Ulster's second and third and vice versa for the guaranteed part of the draw.

The final two places in each group came from an open draw, the first round deciding which on Munster's top two made it into the competition; the second round deciding which group the wildcard sides would be in.

Ards, Old Alex, UCC come into the competition at the expense of Armagh, UCD and Belfast Harlequins.

Wildcard final standings: 1. Old Alex 9pts (+7) 2. Cork C of I 6pts (+4) 3. Greenfields 3pts (-5) 4. Belfast Harlequins 0pts (-6)

IHL 2009/10 Groups:
Pool A: Railway Union, Ballymoney, Ards, Pembroke, Cork Harlequins, Cork C of I
Pool B: Pegasus, Hermes, Loreto, Randalstown, UCC, Old Alex

* For more pictures from the Greenfields vs Old Alex game, click here

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