UCD target one point from Ards clash to retain Hockey League title
At the bottom of the table, Monkstown must defeat Trinity to avoid relegation
Pegasus need just one point from their four remaining games to join UCD and Cork Harlequins in the Champions Trophy
The penultimate weekend of the Hockey League could see all outstanding issues at both ends of the table resolved, UCD needing just a point from their game away to Ards to make mathematically sure of retaining the title – although a goal difference advantage of nine over second-placed Cork Harlequins makes any late drama on that front unlikely.
Similarly, Pegasus need just one point from their four remaining games to join UCD and Cork Harlequins in the Champions Trophy, their first opportunity to do so coming at Deramore Park against Belfast Harlequins on Saturday.
Railway Union still look a solid bet for holding on to fourth place and they’ll edge closer to clinching it if they beat third-from-bottom Pembroke Wanderers on Saturday. That would leave Loreto, five points behind but with a game in hand, the only side still with a chance of catching them, but they’d need to win away to Cork Harlequins, something only UCD have done this season, to keep their hopes alive.
At the other end of the table, Trinity can consign Monkstown to relegation if they prevail in their meeting at Santry Avenue while also boosting their chances of overtaking Pembroke and avoiding going on to a play-off with the winners of the provincial play-offs which are being held in Cork in a week’s time. The students are currently four points clear of Monkstown and one adrift of Pembroke, but with a game in hand on both.
Hockey League – Saturday: Trinity v Monkstown, Santry Avenue, 12.30; Ards v UCD, Ards Park, 2.30; Belfast Harlequins v Pegasus, Deramore Park, 2.30; Cork Harlequins v Loreto, Farmers Cross, 2.30; Railway Union v Pembroke Wanderers, Park Avenue, 4.0. Sunday: Cork Harlequins v Trinity, Farmers Cross, 2.30.