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Weekend Hockey - Preview

Local hockey fans will be spoilt for choice this weekend with action in three all-Ireland competitions, EYHL, Cup and Trophy as well as the start of the expanded Ulster Premier League.

Pride of place will go to the eagerly anticipated clash of heavyweights Banbridge and Lisnagarvey in the first round of the Irish Senior Cup at Havelock Park on Sunday. Bann might just have the edge, having had two tough encounters in Europe last weekend while the Hillsborough team were left without a game.

Annadale, buoyed by an excellent 4-4 EYHl draw with Cork C of I last weekend, will be aiming to secure their first win of the season when they travel south to face Trinity.

There is one ISC game down for decision on Saturday as Kilkeel travel to Dublin to face Avoca.

Cookstown have a tight turnaround before they head to Belfast as they must go to Cork on Saturday to continue their EYHL campaign against C of I (see separate preview) while Garvey are away to Pembroke Wanderers.

The 14-team Ulster Premier League kicks off on Saturday with an interesting contest is in prospect at Deramore where Raphoe, who escaped relegation last season due to the league's expansion, tackle Belfast Harlequins.

Mossley and NICS will be fancied to beat Antrim and Bangor respectively, Newry will start favourites against Queen's, Portadown should have too much in the tank for Cliftonville while North Down and South Antrim should serve up a close contest.

In the women's Premier League during the week, Mossley made it two from two when they defeated Randalstown 2-1 at the Glade. Catherine McGrillen gave Town the lead early in the second half with a cracking penalty corner strike and then Lauren Mulholland missed the chance to level when she was unable to convert a stroke. But she made amends when she snapped up a rebound from a set-piece shortly afterwards and Rebecca McCullough grabbed the winner from another penalty corner with two minutes left.

On Saturday, Ballymoney will be aiming to make it three wins in a row when they entertain Portadown while Ulster Elks travel to Rainey.

Sunday sees the first round of the women's Irish Senior Cup with a double-header for Pegasus following an EYHL game the previous day.

Pegasus should have few problems disposing of Leinster League side Corinthian at Upper Malone. The three other Ulster sides in first round action have all been drawn at home but Banbridge, Dungannon and Lurgan will all start as underdogs against Old Alex, Cork Harlequins and Trinity respectively. 

On Saturday, Ards face their toughest EYHL test to date as they face Cork Harlequins at Londonderry Park in what will be their third home game in a row. So far, the North Down side have defeated Pembroke and drawn with Railway Union and team captain Caroline Adams is hoping to keep that unbeaten record intact at the weekend.

She said: "We have made a satisfactory start, having picked up four points out of a possible six to date.We were a bit below-par against Railway on Saturday but we were happy to take a draw from the game and, if we'd converted a one of our two late penalty-corners, we could even have won it."

"Hopefully, we can continue to pick up points on a regular basis and aim for a top-four spot.." 

Pegasus, like Ards, have made a good start with the same points tally as their local rivals, and they are at home to Railway Union in the EYHL on Saturday to kick off a busy 48 hours.


Cork C of I v Cookstown 1.00pm @ Garryduff
Pembroke v Lisnagarvey 2.30pm @ Serpentine Avenue

Irish Senior Cup
Avoca v Kilkeel 12.45pm @ Newpark Comprehensive

Ulster Premier League
Bangor v NICS 2.30pm @ Bangor Aurora
Belfast HQ v Raphoe 2.30pm @ Deramore
Cliftonville v Portadown 2.30pm @ CIYMS
Mossley v Antrim 2.30pm @ The Glade
Newry v Queen’s 2.30pm @ Newry HC
North Down v South Antrim 4.00pm @ Comber LC

Irish Senior Cup First Round:

Banbridge v Lisnagarvey (3.30pm)
Dublin University v Annadale (3.00pm)

Senior One:

Ballyclare v Victorians (8pm)
Knock v Omagh (7.45pm)


Ards v Cork Harlequins (2.30pm)
Pegasus v Railway Union (2.30pm)

Ulster Premier League:
Ballymoney v Portadown (2.30pm)
Rainey v Ulster Elks (4pm)

Irish Hockey Trophy:
Armagh v Bandon (2.30pm)
Cookstown v Mossley
Lisnagarvey v Cork C of I
North Down v Avoca
Raphoe v Institute

Senior One:
Priorians v Ballymena (2.30pm)

Irish Senior Cup First Round:

Banbridge v Old Alex (1.00pm)
Dungannon v Cork Harlequins (2.30pm)
Lurgan v Trinity (2.30pm)
Pegasus v Corinthians (2.30pm)

Ulster Hockey UnionPhone: 02890 701417Email:
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