Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Battle for fourth faces two vital twists

The intriguing battle for the fourth automatic IHL place continues apace in midweek as Monkstown have their chance this evening to break into the top four for the first time in a couple of months.

They face a Railway Union side with plenty to play for, hoping to avoid any potential relegation play-off that comes with ninth place in the rankings.

Town matches are always good to watch, witness their 5-3 win over Railway earlier this term, but their inability to do anything the easy way makes tonight's battle of more than passing interest. Andy Ewington's (picturedm tackling) flicks and Gareth Watkins' threat have been added to by the emergence of Frank Ryan as a livewire forward to supply options up front.

For Railway, the tie comes on the eve of the Leinster Schoolboy's Senior Cup final, making for a hectic schedule for flick expert Peter English but Paul O'Brien's return from injury was a welcome one last weekend.

On Thursday evening, Three Rock aim to bounce back from their Lisnagarvey horror show but could have a big boost with the potential return of Peter Blakeney to the fray after a short-lived venture in Italy.

They face Glenanne in Tallaght, needing to cause somewhat of an upset to keep their hopes of a top four place on track.

That school's final takes centre stage on Wednesday afternoon when the two modern behemoths of the game - Wesley and St Andrew's - face off.

Wes will be without captain and long-term injury victim and co-captain Kyle Good but have a range of options with first team experience.The afore-mentioned English is joined in the side by midfield schemer Luke Chadwick, powerhouse Conor Motyer, Rovers' flyer Tom Samuel along with seven others from the Leinster U-18 panel.

Andrew's have less in the way of representative honours, four current Leinster U-18s, but Richard Sykes provides a powerful corner option, Stephen West a high quality net-minder with David Watkins and David Cole dangerous presences.

Wesley are hoping to complete the third leg of a potential quadruple but Andrew's pushed the Ballinteer students all the way in the league before Christmas to show this tie is far from a foregone conclusion.

The girl's Premier League final takes centre stage on Thursday afternoon at Grange Road with St Andrew's facing Mount Anville in the decider. St Andrew's got the better of Alexandra College for the second time in a week on Monday afternoon, winning out 4-2 in their semi-final.

Mount Anville, meanwhile, beat Wesley 2-1 on Saturday with Ciara Noble converting a short corner and Aisling Naughton finishing off a one-on-one.

Men's Division One:
Tuesday: Monkstown vs Railway Union, 8pm, Rathdown
Thursday: Glenanne vs TRR, 8.15pm, Glenanne Park

Men's Division Two:
Tuesday: Dublin University vs Navan, TBC

School's schedule (Grange Road):
Wednesday: Boy's Senior Cup final - Wesley vs St Andrew's 3.30pm; Minor Boy's Cup final - Newpark vs Wesley, 1.45pm
Thursday: Senior Girl's Premier League final - Mount Anville vs St Andrew's, 2pm


Anonymous said...

Fantastic to see Newpark back in a cup final, long over due and hopefully a sign of things to come for the school team under the magnificiant coaching and guidance of Mark Cullen and Co

Anonymous said...

Steven will there be any coverage of the leinster junior interpro's this weekend?

Anonymous said...

It really is a great end to the domestic season, every team bar Clontarf has something to play for

Anonymous said...

Its been 13 years since a Newpark Boys team has been in a Junior or Minor 'A' final.

A great a achievement for the team. Well done lads and best of luck in the final!

Anonymous said...

what has kyle good done to his back thats stoped him playing all year

Anonymous said...

Luke Chadwick will score another reverse screamer like he did last year!

Anonymous said...

kilkenny play sutton on thursday too

Anonymous said...

Surely the real issue re this season is the refusal of the Branch to extend the season. finishing off Senior leagues on 20th March has to be one of the craziest and most stupid sporting decisions of all time.
Forcing players to play 3 senior matches in 4 days is criminal and calls into question what agenda these so called sports administrators are at.
Leinster clubs are being put at severe risk of not progessing in IHL and ISC by these mad decisions.
No wonder TRR lost 7-0 to a club they had already beaten in ISC.
No one has offered any rational explanation why 20th.was chosen.
This date was chosen LAST JUNE,before full IHA programm was finalised.Since then NO EFFORT has been made to coordinate IHA and LB programmes.Also three LB clubs had
EUROPEAN fixtures to fulfil PLUS OF COURSE BAD WEATHER for three weeks wnen no matches could be played.
Despite all this LB stuck rigidly to THEIR Date 20th.March.
Let us be reminded that LB cubs are playing for places in NEXT SEASONS IHL 2010/11 and that IHA season does not finish till end of May 2010.
Even LB junior hockey does not finish till end of April.
The LB was asked to amend final match date to April 11th.They refused as a result,no panel /training sessions can now take place for our inter-pro teams .
What a lack of respect for our players.
The people responsible for these decisions should NEVER AGAIN be elected or entrusted with ANY position in hockey .
Sorry for being so long winded but I think this situation is outrageous.
Hockey Lover.

Anonymous said...

Railway monkstown score anyone?

Anonymous said...

As a former Newpark student, great to see the school starting to return to some form. Keep up the good work and Best of Luck in the final!

Anonymous said...

Wesley beat Newpark 6-1 in minor final

Anonymous said...

andrews senior girls for the double