Friday, January 22, 2010

Leinster sides keep it in-house for IHL

Derby day in the IHL as four key ties remain within provincial boundaries sees all five Leinster sides stay within city limits on Saturday with Corinthian and Pembroke looking to strengthen their position after opening day wins in Group A.

For the ‘Broke, David Harte is again the major injury concern for the visit of his former club Cork Harlequins as the reigning champions get used to playing with teenager Antoine Bruneau between the posts. Pembroke were pushed all the way by a spirited UCD last Sunday, a performance which might open up a chink of optimism for Quins.

Such hope, though, is tempered by the absence of Jason Black due to a fractured collar-bone while Sean Nicholson is a long-term absentee and trips to Dublin have not borne much fruit in recent years. Last year, Pembroke won the corresponding fixture 2-1 while last weekend’s golden goal loss to YMCA may dent Harlequins appetite for another trip to the capital.

Corinthian, meanwhile, will aim to make it three from three on Saturday this term against Monkstown as Andrew Cronje’s side aim to continue their incredible pre-Christmas from which garnered 10 wins from their last 11 outings.

5-3 and 4-3 results suggest goals are in store with Chris Pelow finding his range last week, Darren Kimfley and Lucas Piccioli with the tricks and Brian Doherty an obvious corner threat.

For the Town, a loss would all but end their hopes of progression in the tournament after a sluggish start against Inst scuppered their opening tie at Shaw’s Bridge. Thus they need Andy Ewington to fire on all cylinders. Matt Fairweather’s aerial prowess with Gareth Watkins, Frank Ryan and Andy Ward in chase could be a fruitful avenue given Railway’s success via this method though would be anathema to the Town’s stylist instincts.

Table-toppers Instonians face a tough battle to maintain that place as they travel to Havelock Park for the late game in Co Down against Banbridge – a prelude to the Irish Senior Cup second round tie.

Former internationals Paddy Brown, Mark Irwin and Neil Cooke have all shaken off injuries over the lengthened winter break up north and will hope to prevent Ross McCandless from getting corner opportunities.

In Pool B, it’s do-or-die for Three Rock and Glenanne as a loss for either will make it nigh on impossible to return to the semi-finals. For the Glens, no side lost twice in the last season’s competition and progressed from the group stages and last month’s shock loss to Cookstown ups the ante.

For Rovers, the 2-2 draw with Cork C of I means the battle is not quite as acute but three Ulster away days to come make it a big ask.

The extent of Steven Doran’s injury sustained against Monkstown last Sunday is a key talking point. If he is unable to play through the pain barrier, High School man Gareth Carragher is waiting in the wings to don the pads.

Rovers are at relatively full strength, though Kyle Good has been confirmed as a non-runner for the rest of the season following surgery while Gavin Bourke has another niggle.

The two winners from round one, Cookstown and Lisnagarvey, battle at the new Coolnafranky water-base and while the Co Tyrone pitch has been frozen in recent times, Cookstown have made use of the Magherafelt indoor astro to keep training on track.

Their home form was rocked with back-to-back losses on home turf – a first for a number of years in Ulster league action – against Annadale and Banbridge and a lack of post-Christmas action means this could be a tricky tie to negotiate, even with Timmy Smyth, David Ames and Andy Barbour in tow.

Cork C of I and Annadale carries much of the same significance as the Rovers and Glenanne tie, especially after the Garryduff hosts threw away a two goal lead in Dublin last month. Karl Burns and Mark Ruddle are out again for CI with Billy Lynch deputising between the sticks.

In the Leinster league, YMCA have the chance to jump ahead of Monkstown into the IHL play-off place when they travel out of Fingal on Saturday afternoon.

The fifth and sixth playoff places for the National Indoor Trophy will be confirmed on Sunday with Railway Union and Monkstown the favourites to advance from a group featuring newcomers Suttonians and Glenanne II.

In division two, Weston will have revenge on their minds when they travel to Bray for the second week in a row. Last week’s cup loss to a Simon Cox-inspired Bray will rankle and if the Lucanites fancy chasing down Suttonians, three points are imperative.

Sutton, for their part, struggled at Navan earlier this season and the Badgers would welcome another 3-3 draw at King’s Hospital on Saturday. Avoca host Dublin Uni as the Blackrock side also aim to apply the pressure on Suttonians.

Irish Hockey League fixtures (all Saturday)
Group A: Banbridge vs Instonians, 7pm, Havelock Park; Pembroke vs Cork Harlequins, 3pm, Serpentine Avenue; Monkstown vs Corinthian, 4.30pm, Rathdown
Group B: Cork C of I vs Annadale, 2.30pm, Garryduff; Cookstown vs Lisnagarvey, 2.30pm, Coolnafranky; Three Rock Rovers vs Glenanne, 4pm, Grange Road

National Indoor Trophy, Group Three (Sunday, National Basketball Arena):
Glennane II, Railway Union, Suttonians, Monkstown.

Leinster Men’s Division One:
Fingal vs YMCA, 1pm, ALSAA

Men’s Division Two:
Avoca vs Dublin University, 1.45pm, Newpark; Navan vs Suttonians, 12.30pm, King's Hospital; Bray vs Weston, 2pm, Loreto Bray

Leinster Senior Mills Cup (Tuesday, January 26):
Pembroke vs YMCA, 7.45pm, Serpentine Avenue

Men’s Irish Hockey Challenge, round one:
Skerries vs Portrane, 2pm, Skerries; Mullingar vs St James Gate, 1pm, Loreto Mullingar


Anonymous said...

Pool A - Can't see Harlequins getting anything from the Pembroke game without Black. In fact I would expect a big bonus point win for Pembroke. Glennane should have too much for Rovers & should also take a bonus point. I'd take Corinthian to come out on top in a hard fought win over Monkstown.

Anonymous said...

i think the navan sutts game is off....

Anonymous said...

Broke with Bonus

Glens with Bonus
C of I with Bonus
Cookstown Garvey Draw

Anonymous said...

Pakistan fine hockey star and officials for ‘hugging woman’
By Alan Good
Saturday, January 09, 2010

PAKISTAN’S parliament fined a national hockey player and two team officials for un-Islamic behaviour after photos surfaced of them hugging a female liaison officer at the Champions Challenge tournament in Argentina last month.

National field hockey team player Rehan Butt was fined 100,000 rupees (€815) while coach Shahid Ali Khan and manager Asif Bajwa were fined 50,000 rupees (€415) each, the chairman of the National Assembly’s standing committee on sports said.

"Islamic culture does not allow us to hug a lady and have alcohol," committee chairman Jamshed Ahmed Dasti said. "The players are ambassadors of their country and they should remember this well."

Pakistan team members took pictures with the liaison officer during the official players’ night at the end of the tournament.

The dinner was also attended by other participating teams and their officials. Pakistan lost the final to New Zealand, costing them a place in the Champions Trophy.

Pictures run by a Pakistani television channel and posted on the internet showed one of the men hugging a woman and another apparently drinking a beer.

Another picture showed a group of men sitting at a table with glasses in front of them, apparently containing alcohol.

Bajwa said the woman in the photograph was a tournament liaison officer.

"All officials and players considered her as our sister," Bajwa said before the fines were imposed.

The pictures were taken at the end of the tournament, after Pakistan lost in the final to New Zealand, and the woman had put the pictures on her Facebook page, he said.

Dasti warned coach Khan not to get involved in such activities in future.

"If I would have to take the decision you all could have ended up in a lock up after the team returned home," he said. "Don’t get yourselves involved in such parties in future tournaments abroad."

Khan acknowledged the warning, adding: "I agree with the committee members that some pictures were objectionable and it should have been avoided."

Butt – who is due to compete in the World Cup in India next month and last appeared on Irish shores during the Setanta Sports Trophy tournament in Dublin in June 2008 – escaped a heavier punishment, as Dasti proposed to ban the forward from the national team.

"He is our key player for the World Cup and it would deal us a severe blow if you ban him," pleaded Irfan Khokhar, chief co-ordinator of the PHF.

One of the female members of the committee, Nasim Akhtar Chaudhry, was furious after seeing the pictures.

"We live in an Islamic country," she said. "We have our own traditions, our own culture which should be portrayed abroad.

"We didn’t shake hands with males when our women parliamentary delegation visited the US last year and here they are giving a hug to a lady."

This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Saturday, January 09, 2010

Read more:

Tom H said...

Just to Confirm the Navan v Suttonians game is not taking place as it is scheduled for the 20th February instead. This is due to the reshuffle when it was decided that every team was to play each othe 3 times.


Tom H

Anonymous said...

matt from monkstown is back in south africa!!!

Anonymous said...

The Fox to get 2 the weekend, All Hail The Fox!!!

Anonymous said...

a hard fought game between Corinthian and monkstown n use figure it will be easy for pembroke and glenanne this is the Corinthian team that has between pembroke twice in the last year one being mills cup final and the other being in the leaugue this season corinthains are a strong side i say they will win it yea but all the matchs will be hard fought matchs even the glenanne and pembroke will hav hard fought matchs and as it looks their both missin their starting keepers and as seen against ym pembroke really do miss dave harte!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Cookstown 1 Garvey 3