Men's hockey season set for exciting conclusion at Grange Road
EY Champions Trophy semi-finals see Glenanne v Pembroke and Three Rock Rovers v Lisnagarvey
Given Three Rock Rovers’ home advantage at Grange Road and strong form, many neutral observers see a Rovers final against Glenanne
Three Leinster sides, Three Rock Rovers, Pembroke and Glenanne, and Ulster’s Lisnagarvey go into the final club weekend of the season at Grange Road, where EY Hockey League champions Glenanne open against Pembroke in the first semi-final of the weekend.
Glenanne, in that sense, have had to wait while the other clubs battled out for the other play-off positions, resting and rotating players. The 5-2 defeat in the Irish Senior Cup semi-final to TRR was also a tired looking end-of-season display.
Player-coach Joe Brennan may have some lifting to do this weekend. He knows Glenanne have it at their disposal, but summoning it up for a final fling might be the difficult part. They will go in as favourites to beat Pembroke after a regular season 3-3 draw and late 4-3 win. An interesting statistic is that nine of Glenanne’s 13 wins have been by a single goal.
In a repeat of last year, Rovers meet Lisnagarvey in the other semi-final. The home side, who have shown recent form in winning the Irish Senior Cup final last month, won a shoot-out to advance at the same stage last year, and come into the weekend with seven league wins in succession.
Lisnagarvey, while star-studded, have limped more than roared into the playoffs, and have just two wins from their last six league games, those coming against the bottom two. Their Irish Senior Cup run was emphatically ended in a 3-0 loss at home to Pembroke.
Given their home advantage at Grange Road and richer vein of form, neutral observers would have to go for a Three Rock Rovers final against Glenanne on Sunday.
Saturday at Grange Road, Rathfarnham. Men’s EY Champions Trophy semi-finals: Glenanne v Pembroke, 3pm; Three Rock Rovers v Lisnagarvey, 5pm.
Sunday: Men’s EY Champions Trophy final: 5pm