Strongs team clash in Irish Senior Cup

Banbridge favourites as they take on Three Rock Rovers in quarter-finals

After a couple of rounds of the provincial leagues and the early phases of the Irish Hockey League, the real contenders for men's hockey national glory are likely to reveal themselves in the quarter-finals of the Irish Senior Cup.

The ties between Banbridge versus reigning champions Three Rock Rovers and Pembroke’s home date with Monkstown align last season’s top performers with two big names set to fall.

Injury doubt

In the former tie, it will be a huge test of Rovers’ player-coach Joe Brennan’s young panel as they travel to Havelock Park to meet the Ulster champions. Brennan, himself, is an injury doubt at the back having missed last week’s tie against Railway Union while goalkeeper

Stephen West


is set to be out until the new year due to a broken collar bone.

Banbridge's Stevie Dowds has already scored 34 goals in all competitions as Bann have run up 13 wins in succession with perfect records in both the Ulster league and the IHL.

With vociferous home support, Bann will be looking to dethrone the champions and push for their first final in 20 years and first title since 1986.

IHL champions Monkstown will face a stern test from Dublin rivals Pembroke, finalists last season. The other quarter-final date sees Railway Union hosting Glenanne, a side they beat comfortably 4-2 earlier in this campaign.

Since then, the Glens have gone unbeaten while Railway have faltered and struggled without the services of Peter English.

Lisnagarvey meet Corinthian in a refixed round-two game at Comber Road with a fixture against Cork C of I in the offing for the winner. WEEKEND FIXTURES (Saturday unless stated) – Men's Irish Senior Cup, Round two: Lisnagarvey v Corinthian, 2.45pm, Comber Road; Quarter-finals: Banbridge v Three Rock Rovers, 3pm, Havelock Park; Railway Union v Glenanne, 2pm, Park Avenue; Pembroke v Monkstown, 2.15pm, Serpentine Avenue.

Stephen Findlater

Stephen Findlater

Stephen Findlater is a contributor to The Irish Times writing about hockey