Lack of umpires forces the postponement of rescheduled UCD-Monkstown clash
Leaders Three Rock Rovers maintain their unbeaten record thanks to an exciting 5-5 draw with Railway Union
Gary Shaw: netted the winner for Glenanne in their 4-3 victory over UCD in Saturday’s Men’s Division One clash. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
UCD and Monkstown’s Leinster men’s Division One tie was called off late on Friday evening with no umpires of a top-tier standard available for yesterday’s scheduled marquee fixture.
The tie, a refixture from week one of the season, had been penciled in for the past fortnight between the clubs but Leinster Hockey Umpires Association appointments secretary Tom Goode says he was only given notice of the game last Wednesday evening. While efforts were made at short notice to find officials, Goode said it was not possible for a “fixture that deserves good umpires”.
His pool has been slimmed in recent months as international standard umpires are proving thin on the ground with Bruce Bale moving to Britain, Geoff Conn working in the US and Graham Caulwell injured.
In addition, up and coming whistle-blower Shane O’Donnell has moved to San Jose until Christmas, leaving four of the best umpires unavailable.
As yet, much to the frustration of both clubs, no refix date has been confirmed with both due to play double-weekends next Saturday and Sunday due to the return of the Mills Cup.
On Saturday in the league, meanwhile, a massive 40 goals were scored in five helter-skelter games.
Gary Shaw returned after a year in Australia to net a vital winner for Glenanne against UCD. All the goals in that 4-3 thriller came in the second half in which the Glens led three times with Stephen Brownlow in impressive form. He created one for Stu Ronan and netted twice, continuing the students’ tough start to the campaign.
At Grange Road, Three Rock Rovers just about kept their unbeaten record intact despite having held a 3-0 lead with 13 minutes remaining of their date with Railway Union.
Doubles from Richie Forrest and Jake Morton and one from Phil Baron, though, put Railway ahead before Jonny Bruton nabbed an equaliser in the dying moments to make it 5-5.
That result leaves Three Rock one point ahead of the chasing pack headed by Monkstown and Pembroke.
The former eased to a 9-3 win over Rathgar while Pembroke were 5-2 victors against Corinthian.
In Munster, the balance of power looks to have swung massively in Cork C of I’s favour as they demolished city rivals Harlequins 6-1 with Simon Wolfe netting a hat-trick.
CI are among a couple of big-hitters to receive an Irish Senior Cup bye along with Three Rock and Pembroke following Sunday morning’s draw in ALSAA. Monkstown meet rank outsiders UCC in the first round of their title defence.