Men’s hockey: Monkstown get chance to close gap on Lisnagarvey

Up to 15 internationals could line out at Rathdown for top-of-table clash

 Monkstown’s Gareth Watkins  and Lisnagarvey’s James Lorimer in action. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Monkstown’s Gareth Watkins and Lisnagarvey’s James Lorimer in action. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

 

As many as 15 internationals could line out at Rathdown tomorrow as the two most impressive sides to date in the EYHL, Lisnagarvey and reigning champions Monkstown, lock horns.

Garvey hold a four-point lead in the national league ahead of their south Dublin hosts but they will be wary that their only loss of the campaign came in the reverse fixture, falling 5-2 at Hillsborough.

Since then, Jonny Bell has fully recovered from injury and Mikey Watt has joined the ranks. Garvey have been unbeaten in all competitions and showed their attacking intent last Saturday in a 6-3 demolition of Railway Union in the Irish Senior Cup.

Town lost ground before the winter break but looked in ominous form on their outdoor return last Sunday in the cup when they swept aside Pembroke. They have seven players from the Irish panel that travelled to South Africa in January in their squad but Peter Caruth is a doubt due to illness.

Below them, the scramble for the third guaranteed playoff place is set to be a heated one. Banbridge will want revenge when they host Railway Union after the Dubliners knocked them out of the cup.

Confident

Bann are in third, a point above Three Rock Rovers who will be confident of beating bottom-placed Annadale.

Cork C of I’s form is on a divergent path to tomorrow’s opponent, Glenanne, at Garryduff; after three initial wins, they have not won since mid-October. The Glens have lost just one of their last six games in the league and are through to the Irish Senior Cup semi-final, where they will meet Monkstown.

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