Sunday 28 May 2017

Furious hockey club protest over weekend fixture woes

Skerries' Chris Tonge drives at the Suttonians cover during Friday nigfht's AIL Division 2B match at Holmpatrick.
Skerries' Chris Tonge drives at the Suttonians cover during Friday nigfht's AIL Division 2B match at Holmpatrick.


FINGAL Hockey Club have complained to the Hockey Association's Leinster branch, after being fixed to play twice on three successive weekends.

A rescheduling of the fixture list has hit the Swords-based side hard and they will go into next Saturday's Irish Senior Cup tie at home to Mossley after playing six competitive matches in a 15-day period coming up to last Sunday. Coach John McInerney said yesterday (Monday): 'It's all to do with the international team's programme, but I'm sure there would be heaps of time in the middle of the season when there would be no games. 'There would be nobody in other sports playing two games at the weekend, and it takes its toll. We've been lucky not to come out with serious injuries. 'The club complained to the Leinster Branch and they came back with nothing, and then they did come back when it was too late - with nothing.' McInerney described last weekend as 'torturous' for Fingal after they missed a myriad of chances and lost both games, when a return of four points would not have flattered them. They began with an away trip to one of the Leinster Division 1 favourites, Monkstown, and found themselves 2-0 down at half-time, but Eamonn Bane pulled a goal back soon after the restart from a corner rebound and after that Monkstown struggled to get out of their own 25. Shots reigned in from all angles, but a mixture of poor finishing and a good performance by international goalkeeper Davie Fitzgerald ensured that Monkstown held out for the narrowest of victories. More opportunities passed Fingal by on Sunday as they played host to Railway in another tough league outing. In an extraordinary first half Fingal worked the opposition keeper 20 times but couldn't score as they missed four proverbial sitters and David Bane struck the post on two occasions. Railway were far more efficient and converted two corner opportunities to take a 2-0 interval lead. Fingal then turned the contest on its head by scoring three times from open play in seven minutes, with Paddy Gahan (2) and Marcus O'Brien on target. However, Railway responded with two further goals to restore their lead - 4-3 - and a chance right at the death to rescue a point went abegging when David Bane couldn't convert a corner. Fingal's Irish Senior Cup first round tie against Mossley from Belfast takes place at ALSAA next Saturday at 2pm.

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