Railway Union and UCD clash again in battle to claim Pool A top spot

In Pool B, Cork Harlequins can seal third if they beat Ballymoney

UCD and  Railway Union will meet again at Park Avenue, a tie that will determine who wins Pool A. Photograph: Inpho

UCD and Railway Union will meet again at Park Avenue, a tie that will determine who wins Pool A. Photograph: Inpho

 


With the country’s top 12 teams making up the competition, it seemed unlikely at the start of this season’s Irish Hockey League that the final round of pool matches would be dead rubbers, but after Railway Union, UCD, Pegasus and Loreto sealed their semi-final places last weekend, that’s what tomorrow’s games are.

The only issues to be resolved are who finishes first and second in their pools, and as luck would have it, Railway meet UCD at Park Avenue, in a repeat of last year’s semi-final when Railway won on penalty strokes, while Loreto host Pegasus at Beaufort to determine the line-up for Saturday week’s semi-finals in Banbridge.

Both UCD and Loreto, the 2013 beaten finalists, need wins to top their pools.

Hermes
In Pool A’s other games, third-placed Hermes, who picked up their first win last weekend against Catholic Institute, play Greenfields at St Andrews, while Institute are at home to Lurgan.

In Pool B, Cork Harlequins can seal third if they beat Ballymoney, still seeking their first point, at Farmers Cross, with Ards hosting Old Alexandra.

Alexandra will be back in action on April 12th when they take on Ulster Elks in the semi-finals of the “wildcard” play-offs for next season’s IHL, Institute facing the Connacht League runners-up, either NUIG or Galway.

The play-off final takes place the following day in a Dublin venue yet to be confirmed.


FIXTURES – Irish Hockey League – Tomorrow – Pool A: Catholic Institute v Lurgan, Rosbrien, 3.0; Hermes v Greenfields, St Andrews, 3.0; Railway Union v UCD, Park Avenue, 3.0. Pool B – Ards v Old Alexandra, Ards Leisure Centre, 3.0; Cork Harlequins v Ballymoney, Farmers Cross, 3.0; Loreto v Pegasus, Beaufort, 3.0.

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