Railway to carry Irish hopes at European indoor event

Winners dispatch Queens and NICS with four successive victories

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

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

 

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The Dublin side were competing in the Ulster event which doubled as the national competition due to the paucity of entrants in Leinster.

Indeed, just three teams overall entered the competition, down from 18 in 2011, reflecting the difficulties in promoting the shortened format of the game.

Nonetheless, Railway made short work of Queen’s and NICS with four successive wins. They set the tone on Saturday with a 9-0 opening win over the students with the wily Paul O’Brien netting twice along with doubles from Dave McCarthy and Rob Abbott.

They followed up with a 3-1 win over NICS to head the overnight table. They ran up another 14 goals yesterday in the return legs, seeing off Queen’s 7-3 and 7-1 against NICS.

In Ulster’s Premier League, meanwhile, Lisnagarvey surprised title rivals Banbridge with an 8-2 win.

It brings Garvey to within one point of Banbridge going into the new year with a game in hand. For Bann, it was a stunning first loss of the league campaign.

Garvey now look to pick up some silverware on St Stephen’s Day when they meet Annadale in the Kirk Cup final.

It is one of four finals to be played across the country on that date. In Leinster, Glenanne take on YMCA in the Neville Cup following up the under-21 cup decider between Three Rock Rovers and reigning champions UCD.

In Munster, UCC will look to break their senior duck in the Peard Cup when they meet favourites Cork CofI.