Ulster Hockey Review
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ONE 1918 Senior Spotlight

By David Agnew

It’s great to see the blog back in action and it’s just in time for a great weekend of action involving Senior League sides! 

Senior One

All Senior One action this weekend involves teams in the bottom half of the table and match of the weekend is the clash between Down and QUB on Friday evening which is a must win for Down and must not lose for QUB.  Both sides have put in impressive shifts recently – QUB drawing with Harlequins and Down narrowly losing out to Antrim – but with so much at stake the form book gets ripped up and this result could go either way.  

In the only other Senior One game Cliftonville host Portadown in a rare 4.00pm start at Belmont Road.  The Ports have been on something of a good run recently with a point at South Antrim and all three from the reverse fixture with Ville a few weeks back but they are only too well aware that their hosts are capable of a much better performance than the 5-0 score-line reflected on that occasion.

Senior Two

In Senior Two PSNI host Ballymena as they aim to continue their resurgence since the arrival of Chris Barnes.  Only three points now separate them from Ballynahinch who occupy second place in the league.   

Foyle continue to search for their first point and this week they travel to face Parkview who will be hoping to heap even more misery on Ulster Hockey’s newest men’s club. 

In the remaining fixture Omagh host Saintfield and will have to be in good form if they are to get anything from this clash with one of Senior Two’s most improved sides this season. 

Irish Hockey Trophy

It’s a clash of the Senior One titans at the semi-final stage of the IHT as NICS face Antrim in what promises to be a rip-roaring encounter!  On such a special occasion league form means nothing and the neutrals could be in for end to end action and plenty of goals as both sides know how to tuck them away. 

Harlequins have a great chance to reach the final and make it an all Ulster affair as they face Dublin based Suttonians in the other semi-final.  Suttonians are capable of scoring goals against the best of Ulster’s Senior League sides but they also concede plenty so here’s hoping Quins can hit their stride early and fly the Ulster Hockey flag with pride. 

Irish Hockey Challenge

Campbellians and Larne represent Ulster in the IHC semi-finals facing St Brendans and Limerick respectively.  Again I’m right behind the Ulster sides and hope to see all Ulster finals in both competitions. 

Linden Cup

Last but by no means least we come to the much talked about and eagerly anticipated Linden Cup Final between Armagh and South Antrim.  The game has now been moved to Havelock Park Banbridge and it will be interesting to see how this change of playing surface affects the standard of hockey on offer.   

South have had a great season so far and look set to finish in the top three which is a remarkable achievement and improvement from last season.  Armagh have also taken huge strides forward this season and they have been boosted by the new year return of Gregory Croft who is capable of turning any game on it’s head.
Good luck to both sides and may the best team win!   

PS a note for the older hands in both teams…….this auld water based malarkey……watch out for the bobbles and go for the straight bat! LOL

(and as usual my Ports team will be tipped for a win!) 

Senior One
Down 3 vs QUB 3
Ville 1 vs Ports 2 

Senior Two
PSNI 3 vs Ballymena 1
Parkview 2 vs Foyle 0
Omagh 1 vs Saints 2 

IHT (I’m gonna back all the Ulster teams!!)
NICS 5 vs Antrim 3
Quins 4 vs Suttonians 2 

IHC (I’m gonna back all the Ulster teams!!) 
St B 2 vs Campbellians 3
Limerick 1 vs Larne 2 

Just a quick note to ask if someone from each club could text me score, scorers and brief match details (including cards) each saturday evening? thanks.  (One person from each club has already been sent my mobile number)


Anonymous on 4 March 2010 at 17:25 said...

Davy Agnew here...Great to see the blog back!! Thanks to the blog administrator for letting me post my blurb once again!

Buzby on 5 March 2010 at 00:03 said...

Davey , many thanks for all your effort to once again give this platform to ulster hockey.

On an important note , and I hope Robbie agrees , the Linden Cup in my opinion has been degraded by the branch in that they at no stage consulted the clubs about suitable dates together with insulting comments, and I quote "water based would not suit you".

We will turn up and play on Sunday out of respect for Armagh HC but the branch should reflect on the complete hash they have made of a competion that 50% of their subscribing clubs enter and how their lack of appreciation for players and teams in senior 1 will ultimately damage the sport they are charged with protecting and developing. Rant over!

Anonymous on 5 March 2010 at 08:47 said...

When are the branch going to wake up.
They had a fantastic opportunity to have a weekend full of finals at the end of the season.
Saturday people play hockey. Sunday they are in all liklihood expected to be with their families. Even a Friday night final might have been a good idea. At least the teams could have celebrated or drowned their sorrows properly. This isnt a professional sport although alot of players train like it is. And I know the branch put alot of work into the season but they should think of the players at times like this.

Davy Agnew on 5 March 2010 at 13:53 said...

I would add my support to the finals weekend idea. Shame to have all the finals so disjointed. Also, water based turf will bring out the best skills from both South and Armagh and I reckon it will lead to a faster pace and more exciting game. Good luck again to both sides

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