Club sides boosted by international players for Irish Senior Cup ties

Sean Dancer allows players to take part ahead of World Cup qualifier in Italy

While next week’s World Cup qualifier in Italy is likely to be at the forefront of the Irish squad’s minds, some of them, at least, will be in action for their clubs on Saturday having been made available for the second round of the Irish Senior Cup.

More often than not, internationals would be ruled out of club duty so close to a major tournament, but with a few of his squad short of match fitness after delayed returns to action, either due to injuries or extended breaks after their Olympic efforts, Irish coach Sean Dancer has given the go-ahead for those in that category to get some more minutes under their belts before they head for Italy.

With Hannah McLoughlin, Sarah McAuley and twins Michelle and Niamh Carey all called up, UCD have the highest representation of any club in the squad, with six more of the 18 former UCD students. On Saturday, they open the defence of the trophy they won in Lisnagarvey in September of last year, when they beat Pegasus to collect their third Irish Senior Cup in four years.

It should be a testing opening to that defence, though, with Old Alexandra their opponents at Belfield, the two teams level on 10 points in the Hockey League, one behind leaders Pegasus, after promising starts to their campaign.


The only other all-Leinster tie pairs Railway Union and Loreto at Park Avenue, the sides having drawn 2-2 when they met in the Hockey League last month. Pegasus, meanwhile, are at home to Ulster Elks, the winners of the competition in 2015 and 2016, while Queen’s and Lisnagarvey host UCC and Muckross, respectively. Banbridge are the only Ulster side who have to travel outside the province, their journey taking them to Dublin where they will take on Glenanne.

Further south, Catholic Institute’s visitors at Rosbrien will be Corinthian, while Cork Harlequins also take on a Dublin side, Pembroke Wanderers heading for Farmers Cross.

Irish Senior Cup – Second round


Catholic Institute v Corinthian, Rosbrien, 2.0; Cork Harlequins v Pembroke Wanderers, Farmers Cross, 1.30; Glenanne v Banbridge, St Andrews, 3.0; Lisnagarvey v Muckross, Comber Road, 1.30; Pegasus v Ulster Elks, Newforge Country Club, 1.30; Queens University v UCC, Malone Playing Fields, 12.45; Railway Union v Loreto, Park Avenue, 3.15; UCD v Old Alexandra, Belfield, 1.0

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan is a sports writer with The Irish Times