Men’s Hockey: UCD looking for a victory to kick-start playoff push

Students facing an uphill struggle as they face second-placed Banbridge

UCD’s Ewan Ramsey in action against  Alastair Haughton of Three Rock Rovers. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

UCD’s Ewan Ramsey in action against Alastair Haughton of Three Rock Rovers. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

 

If the students of UCD want to make in it into the playoffs, this weekend is the perfect place to start.

There’s no doubt the talent available to UCD but they have been on a slide in recent weeks and have fallen out of the playoff places.

Last week’s 6-4 defeat to Glenanne was a good one for the neutrals with 10 goals but it leaves UCD seven points behind fourth-placed Three Rock Rovers and with six games remaining they are fast running out of track.

Banbridge, currently in second position behind Lisnagarvey, are UCD’s opponents and, even with home advantage in Belfield, it will be a true test of whether the home side have enough in their locker to make a convincing effort and climb back up the table.

But they have to break the losing streak that began after beating Glenanne 2-1 at the beginning of February. Since then UCD have lost 3-4 to Corinthians, 4-0 to YMCA, 1-2 to Three Rock Rovers and 4-6 in their Belfield goal fest last week.

What is good for UCD is Three Rock Rovers face the unbeaten Lisnagarvey at home. Ten games in and the Ulster leaders have just dropped points to a single draw. The three chasing teams, who all share 23 points are Banbridge, Monkstown and ’Rovers.

Monkstown travel to Serpentine Avenue where they face Pembroke, who, though they are having a poor season seem to be safely out of real trouble. Glenanne will be hoping for some points in Belfast. Opponents Annadale have just drawn once in 11 games and look like they are destined for a drop

Saturday

Men

EYHL Division 1

Glenanne v Annadale, St. Andrews, 2.45pm; Pembroke v Monkstown, Serpentine Avenue, 4pm; Three Rock Rovers v Lisnagarvey, Grange Road, 3pm; UCD v Banbridge, Belfield, 1pm; YMCA v Corinthian, Wesley, 4pm

EYHL Division 2 - Pool A: Avoca v Railway Union, Newpark, 1pm; Cork C of I v Instonians, Garryduff, 1pm. Pool B: Cookstown v Clontarf, Steelweld Park, 2.45pm; Cork Harlequins v Kilkeel, Farmers’ Cross, 1.30pm

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