Ireland players and staff celebrate after they beat England 4-2 to win the bronze medal  at the EuroHockey Nations Championship at the Lee Valley  Centre in London London.  Photograph:  Simon Cooper/PA

Brilliant year for men’s team continues as they claim first medal at elite level

Ireland’s Conor Harte reacts during the EuroHockey 2015 men’s semi-final’s match between Netherlands and Ireland at the Lee Valley Hockey Centre in London. Photo: Hannah McKay/PA

A single first period goal separated the sides at Olympic Park in London

Peter Carruth celebrates after scoring against Belgium in the group stages of the European Championships.

The Netherlands have yet not been beaten by Ireland in a competitive match in their history

 Ireland players celebrate a goal against Belgium in the  EuroHockey Championships at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London, England. Photo:  Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Boost for their Olympic qualification chances as Craig Fulton’s side reach the last four

Ireland coach Graham Shaw: “We need to be playing higher-ranked teams . .”

Top-two finish in Prague will bring promotion to premier tier in European hockey

Alan Sothern scored the winning goal as Ireland defeated Pakistan at the World Hockey League semi-final fifth to eighth place play-offs in Antwerp. Photograph:  Frank Uijlenbroek/Inpho

Alan Sothern’s goal from a penalty corner sets up fifth-place clash with Malaysia on Sunday

Ireland’s Peter Caruth ships a heavy tackle during the World League Round 3 quarter-final game  against Australia in Antwerp. Photograph: Frank Uijlenbroek/Inpho

Craig Fulton’s side face Pakistan on Friday as they bid to finish fifth and possibly qualify

Action from the Group B hockey match between Belgium and Ireland in the men’s group stage at the World League. Photograph: Getty Images

Craig Fulton’s side had five video referrals that went against them

Ireland’s John Jackson is congratulated after scoring the equalising goal against Great Britain. Photograph: Koen Suyk/Inpho

Craig Fulton’s team left with mixed emotions after comeback

Ireland celebrate after John Jackson scores his side’s equaliser in their 2-2 World League Round Three draw with Great Britain. Photograph: Inpho

Craig Fulton’s side claw their way back from two goal deficit but rue poor finishing late on

A dejected Ireland team after their World League quarter-final defeat to China on Thursday. Photograph: Epa

Darren Smith’s side wasteful as they’re beaten in sudden death after draw in Valencia

Ireland players congratulate Megan Frazer after setting up goalscorer Anna O’ Flanagan to score their second goal. Photo: David Aliaga/INPHO

The win ensures they finish top of Pool B of the World League Round 3

Nikki Evans: scored a fine hat-trick for Ireland against South Africa in Valencia. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Win over higher-ranked South Africa a fine start to Hockey World League campaign

Clontarf player-coach Gareth Borland scored the penalty spot with the last act of silver goal extra time to secure the Irish Hockey Trophy. Photograph: Ryan Byrne /Inpho

Umpiring blunder plays massive part in denying victory to unlucky Bandon side

Ireland midfielder Bruce McCandless suffered a fractured ankle while playing for Banbridge against Cork C of I in the Irish Senior Cup final. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho.

Fractured ankle means Irish team travel to Belgium for Olympic qualifier without midfielder

Monkstown’s Richard Sykes attempts to block a shot from Johnny McKee of Banbridge in the Irish Hockey League final, claimed by the south Co Dublin team.  Photograph: Gary Carr/INPHO

Co Down side’s season-long dominance comes to an end

Natalie Pinkerton of Pegasus: a resilient defence helped the Ulster team see off Loreto to take their second   Irish Hockey League title. Photograph: Rowland White/Presseye/Inpho

Ulster side defeat Loreto who fail to make the most of their chances during normal time

Ireland and UCD’s Anna O’Flanagan. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Banbridge look to add the Irish Hockey League title to complete perfect season

Cork Church of Ireland’s Alec Moffett in action against  Dane Ward of Banbridge. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Pembroke facing a difficult assignment in semi-final

It’s been a perfect season for Banbridge so far this year. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Still unbeaten, they will be confident of reaching Sunday’s final of the IHL

UCD’s Nikki Evans and her team mates finished sixth in the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Best Irish finish in the top club competition on the continent since Randalstown in 1995

 Chloe Watkins: scored in  UCD’s 3-2 victoty  against English club  Canterbury at the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup. Photograph: Sportsfile

Victory guarantees Ireland retain a place in the top tier of European club hockey for another season

Late strike from Lena Tice enough to see off Alexandra in Leinster Schoolgirls Senior Cup

Craig Fulton’s side start Oympic qualifying bid with opening game against Chile

Kenny Carroll scored four goals in Railway’s 7-6 victory over Hungary’s Soroksari. Photograph: James Crombie/INPHO

Leinster champions scored twice in the last 90 seconds to finish fifth in Rotterdam

 Mitch Darling returned from international duty and played a major role in Three Rock Rovers’ comeback win over Lisnagarvey. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Elsewhere, Banbridge scored three in the last 10 minutes to defeat Railway Union

Ireland’s men’s hockey coach Craig Fulton in his playing days: he will be hoping the team secure qualification for the Olympics. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Team now preparing for San Diego where they will be aiming for Olympic qualification

Paul Gleghorne: his strike along with Alan Sothern’s had levelled matters at 2-2 against the Netherlands. Photograph: Inpho

Three goals from Roel Boevendeert in final quarter prove decisive

 Erica Cody Kennedy Smith, DCU Mercy, in action against Marie Breen (left) and Claire Rockall of  Team Montenotte Hotel Cork. Photograph: Sportsfile

Cork side favourites to defeat Killester in the Women’s National Cup final

 Eugene Magee:  will lend his considerable experience to the Ireland side in South Africa. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Craig Fulton’s side boasting plenty experience for the first of six games on the tour

John Jermyn: Former Irish international scored Cor C of I’s vital winner against Lisnagarvey in the Irish Senior Cup quarter-final. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Ireland’s record goalscorer seals last four place in Irish Senior Cup for underdogs

Lisnagarvey are favourites after their recent 10-1 win over Mossley in the Ulster Premier League. Photograph: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Neither side has won the national hockey tournament since 2005

Richard Sykes’ last-minute penalty corner saw Monkstown cling on to their unbeaten Leinster Division One run. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Goal earns league leaders a 4-4 draw against Glenanne in top of the table clash

Ireland coach Craig Fulton: “It is the perfect training environment and we couldn’t ask for better opposition.  Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Coach Craig Fulton’s charges will face the Netherlands, Belgium and the hosts

Geoff Cole created two goals for Monkstown, on the day he joined his three brothers in the matchday squad. Photograph: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Richard Sykes scores twice in 5-1 win which puts them top of Pool A

Mark English opened the scoring for Railway but YMCA turned it around to leave the clubs level in the table. Photograph: INPHO/Presseye/Rowland White

IHL qualification play-off scrap ahead for Railway, Corinthians and YMCA

Banbridge’s Stephen Dowds (left) who scored twice in his side’s 4-4 draw against Lisnagarvey

Banbridge and Lisnagarvey share of second place behind Three Rock Rovers

Banbridge’s Stephen Dowds has scored 40 goals in 16 games so far this season.   Photograph: INPHO/Donall Farmer

Stephen Dowds is one of five internationals returning for Saturday’s match

Conor Harte, of Racing Bruxelles, along with Shane O’Donoghue and Kyle Good who play with Antwerp’s Dragons will play against France. Photograph: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Coach Craig Fulton calls on Belgium-based hockey players for midweek series

Ireland goalkeeper David Harte is bought at auction by Dabang Mumbai for $51,000 for the third edition of the Hockey India League. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Banbridge, Pembroke, Railway Union and Lisnagarvey record wins in Irish Senior Cup

Joe Brennan of Three Rock Rovers is an injury doubt ahead of the senior cup clash in Banbridge. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho.

Banbridge favourites as they take on Three Rock Rovers in quarter-finals

Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Glenanne beat UCD to make it six wins in a row and move to joint second in table

The proposal was passed with 87 per cent voting in favour of introducing the full IHL. Phogograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

New system will provide more frequent high-quality fixtures for top players

Alan Sothern: Pembroke’s top scorer last season has moved to Belgium. Photograph: INPHO/Donall Farmer

Pembroke have seen top scorer Alan Sothern and defender Conor Harte taking up contracts in Belgium

Ireland’s Timothy Cockram: his equaliser secured a 1-1 draw against Scotland in Investic London Cup. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Timmy Cockram goal 30 seconds from full-time gives Ireland a good chance of reaching final

Ireland’s Megan Campbell (left)  celebrates scoring against India during their recent match at Belfield. Ireland had initially been drawn to play in Montevideo in Uruguay. Photograph: Inpho

Olympic hopes boosted by chance to host a tournament ahead of Rio 2016

Ireland’s Shane O’Donoghue: has previous Euro Hockey League experience with Glenanne. Photograph: Inpho

Irish international duo join Dragons, one of Europe’s top clubs, for the 2014/15 season

If the proposal is formally adopted it would mean a further three sides from Ulster and Leinster, two from Munster and another couple of wildcard entries would take part in IHL2

Proposal sees top clubs taken out domestic leagues

Emma Smyth half-volleyed home the winner for Railway Union. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Students prove tough nut to crack but eventually succumb to Sandymount side’s star quality

UCD captain Sarah Greene and team-mates celebrate with thw Irish Senior Cup.  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Nikki Evans and Anna O’Flanagan’s second half goals see off brave Pembroke effort

Three Rock Rovers well accounted for at Rathdown

Davy Carson: scored Ireland’s equalising goal against Spain. Photo: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Manager Mick McKinnon’s side includes eight debutants

 Pembroke’s Alan Sothern is one of the most experienced players in Ireland squad for trip to Spain.

Nine uncapped players are part of the panel

Andrew Meredith, who will no longer coach the Irish men’s team. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Men’s hockey coach parted company with IHA on Friday

Railway Union’s Rob Abbott (right) tackles Sean Nicholson of Cork Harlequins in this year’s Men’s Irish Senior Cup Final. Photograh: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Winners dispatch Queens and NICS with four successive victories

Ireland coach Andrew Meredith will be pleased to be travelling to America.

For head coach Andrew Meredith, location will be seen as lesser of three evils

Conor Harte:  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Glenanne drop out of the top five with Railway Union replacing them

Gary Shaw: got a hat-trick in Glenanne’s 5-2 success over  Kilkeel. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Monkstown defeat Portadown 6-1 to set up a battle royale with Banbridge

Goals from Karl Lynch and Cillian Hynes seal a 4-1 win over Monkstown

Two goals in final five minutes secure a 3-2 victory

Belfield club were already looking to reschedule game against Three Rock Rovers

Cork club seeking form that saw them lift National Cup last January

Ireland’s David Harte is on the shortlist of 18 goalkeepers vying to be taken on by the Hockey India League. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho.

Irish goalkeeper in with a chance of lucrative contract with one of six franchises

Nikki Evans scored four for UCD against Trinity.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

UCD lead the way in Leinster’s Division One after putting 13 past Trinity

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

Leaders Three Rock Rovers maintain their unbeaten record thanks to an exciting 5-5 draw with Railway Union

Graham O’Neill feels cup win over reigning Neville Cup champions Railway may kick-start campaign

Rathgar fall short to Glenanne on Division One debut

 Conor Harte (left) returns to Ireland after a couple of season with SCHC in the Netherlands. Photograph: Dennis Grombkowski/Bongarts/Getty Images

Ireland coach wants more player back from playing abroad

Ireland’s John Jackson. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

A draw with the Czech Republic preserves elite status for men but women are relegated

Two penalties from Shane O’Donoghue earned Ireland a draw with England at the European Championships in Belgium. Photograph:  Donall Farmer/Inpho

Two second-half penalties from Shane O’Donoghue earn draw in Belgium

IIreland’s Nikki Symmons was required to use her cricket skills to bat an effort from a penalty corner off the line. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Trio of goals from corners deny Ireland semi-final place

Conor Harte, who scored from a penalty corner in Ireland’s 4-2 victory over Poland.

It was laboured at times but a vital 4-2 win over Poland was secured in the TriFinance EuroHockey Championships in Belgium to set (...)

Ireland drawn against the Netherlands, Poland and England

Chris Cargo scored Ireland’s opening goal against Belgium. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Andrew Meredith’s side still have a chance of making the World Cup if they beat Spain

Graham Shaw: the Monkstown coach has given them a harder edge gleaned from his playing success at Glennane. Photograph; James Crombie/Inpho

Nearly men of yore hoping to add Irish Hockey League title to Irish Senior Cup in Grange Road

Alan Sothern: hat-trick for Pembroke

Pembroke and YMCA make big efforts but just fall short

Lee Cole of Monkstown and Stuart Smyth of Cookstown tussle during their Men’s Irish Hockey League game at Carryduff, Co Down. Photograph: Presseye/ Inpho

Semi-final places look settled ahead of last weekend of league action

Railway’s Isobel Joyce, Emma Smyth and Kate McKenna celebrate victory over UCD in the Irish Senior Cup final at Belfield. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

UCD pipped in five-goal thriller

Ewington’s two goals prove crucial in victory

Speers on the double in Grange Road

MEN'S HOCKEY: Peter English’s trio of penalty corners saw Railway Union ease to their fourth Tony Byrne Cup success, ending …

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