Last places in Irish Hockey League finals up for grabs

Four teams for finals weekend will be known after weekend’s matches

Pembroke’s Patrick Shanaghan and Richard Arneill of Lisnagarvey in action during their Irish Hockey League Men’s Pool A match on March 8th. Both sides will be seeking this weekend to clinch places in the finals. Photograph: Inpho

Pembroke’s Patrick Shanaghan and Richard Arneill of Lisnagarvey in action during their Irish Hockey League Men’s Pool A match on March 8th. Both sides will be seeking this weekend to clinch places in the finals. Photograph: Inpho

 

With the top two

sides in Pool B already decided this weekend’s action in Pool A will determine which teams there go through to the Irish Hockey League finals in Banbridge on April 5th-6th.

Theoretically four can still qualify, with Pembroke on top with full points (16) from four games, Lisnagarvey (13) second after last week’s win over Three Rock Rovers, Rovers themselves are third, on 12, while Cookstown on 10 could still clinch a second place if all the results fall the right way.

It’s a tough task for Cookstown, who must travel to Hillsborough and beat Lisnagarvey and hope Rovers get nothing from their visit to Pembroke.

Penalty shoot-out
That Rovers recently beat Pembroke in the Irish Senior Cup final after a penalty shoot-out will stand to them and a win tomorrow at Serpentine Avenue could see them topping the pool s.

So that pool is wide open , although, it is difficult to see Pembroke or Lisnagarvey letting their dominant places slip at the very last hurdle.

In Pool B, Monkstown, on 19 points, and Banbridge on 17 , have qualified with the weekend’s games a formality in terms of qualification. But both sides will want to go through as the first placed in the pool as they will play the second placed side in Pool A in the semifinal.

The bragging rights may also be important as the finals’ weekend will be to the advantage of the hosts for the two days, Banbridge.

FIXTURES – Irish Hockey League (all matches 1pm): Pool A : Cork Harlequins v Instonians, Farmers Cross; Lisnagarvey v Cookstown, Hillsborough; Pembroke v TRR, Serpentine Avenue. Pool B : Cork C of I v Annadale, Garryduff; Monkstown v Banbridge, Rathdown; UCD v Corinthians, Belfield.

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