Friday, November 6, 2009

Students and Bulls' basement battle

The international commitments of Pembroke and Glenanne sees the club's non-Ireland players take a virtual winter-break as all their fixtures for the next three weeks are off.

A potentially tough run for the 'Broke against Corinthian, Monkstown and Three Rock is on hold as a result as national coach Paul Revington has been consistent in freeing players for their domestic league.

Such a policy has filtered down and meant the clubs, unlike the previous season, have full use of their players for the domestic league. The upshot is division one has a reduced look to it but, nonetheless, throws up three intriguingly well-matched pairings.

UCD and Clontarf's tie will be the most vital. Both sides have received a lot of platitudes for their play but no points and it is time for both to start reversing that trend if they are not to become further detatched at the bottom of the table.

Neither side has broken their duck so something has to give. It could prove quite a lively affair, too, as both sides have shown decent endeavour on the counter-attack with the Bulls having found the net eight times in four games.

But Stephen Cairns' superb form between the posts has kept a few scores down and they will need to shut down the threat of Robbie McFarlane and Tim Hill on the Belfielder's home turf.

Monkstown and Fingal always serve up plenty of action and the Rathdown club's form to date suggests there will be goals galore. The greens, though, have been a little gun-shy at corner time without Mick McGuinness though Chris Neville, Paddy Gahan and Adrian Sweeney have been chipping away.

And a win for the ALSAA-men will push them right back into contention for the IHL placings, a point off the Town with a game in hand. A loss and a chasm between the top and bottom half would begin to appear.

YM are the other side looking to close that gap as Three Rock return to the site of a 3-1 humbling in the Neville Cup. That loss suggested a long season ahead but, while it has not been especially fluid at times, Rovers have managed to steady the ship with five wins from six.

That day they had nine absentees and this time out they could have a similarly long injury list as Kyle Good, Peter Blakeney, Ali Haughton, David Storey and Gavin Bourke are doubts.

For YM, its another crucial fixture if they are to step up to be an IHL contender, especially in the wake of last week's limp loss to Corinthian. Should they repeat their autumnal dominance in this fixture then it could be game on again.

Elsewhere, Weston are the only Leinster side called into action in the Irish Hockey Trophy. Northern sides dominated the competition last time round and a trip to Armagh is a tough one with the likes Stewart Kirkland and Davy Warnock set to test Alan Browne's charges to the hilt.

Consistency has been a problem for the Lucanites but Brian Scully and Alan Browne have plenty of experience on the national stage and the battling qualities to push a side currently eighth in Ulster's Senior One league.

* The draw for the men's Irish Senior Cup will be made on Sunday at 12pm in Pembroke in conjunction with the IHA's EGM. There will also be a Governance Review Presentation at this meeting. To find out more, go to

Leinster Men Division 1 (Saturday)
Monkstown v Fingal, 1.30pm, Rathdown; UCD v Clontarf, 1pm, Belfield; YMCA v TRR, 1.30pm, Alexandra College

Men's Irish Hockey Trophy (Saturday)
Armagh v Weston, 2.30pm, Armagh; Down v South Antrim, 4pm, Donard Park


Anonymous said...


Monkstown 4 Fingal 3
UCD 2 Clontarf 1

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

YM to get back on track with a good score draw if they can avoid too many yellow cards

Anonymous said...

Surely iain isnt allowed play for ym due to international commitments?

Anonymous said...

biggest game of the day has gotta be down the bottom. both teams have looked competitive, despite the 0 on the board. deffo both UCD and clontarf look to be rubbishing the idea that Leninster Div1 would be better off as an 8 team elite....

Anonymous said...

keepers have different allowances so i'd say he will play.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

walker confirmed to play

Anonymous said...

Good luck Weston, lets really kickstart the season with a decent cup run

Anonymous said...

A weekend without the fox in the box?

That's not a weekend at all...