Sunday 24 September 2017

Hockey: Hosking's Rovers career on ice

David Medcalf

South African striker Jody Hosking must be wondering why he deserted his sunny native land in favour of Ireland's Arctic-style winter.

Signed up by Three Rock Rovers, he has been in this country since mid-November but has yet to make an appearance in top-grade hockey.

With Rovers granted a bye in the Irish Senior Cup and sitting out the Irish Hockey League this season, there was no opportunity for him to make his debut while the temperatures were above zero.

Then came the snow, which has precipitated a mass abandonment of fixtures and forced a virtual wipeout of the programme for three weekends in succession.

At least the new recruit was able to offer a glimpse of his potential contribution to the Grange Road squad when he appeared last Saturday with the club's second string.

Mentors were most encouraged by what they saw at Garryduff, as Hosking scored both their goals in the 2-1 win over Cork C of I in the Irish Junior Cup, just about the only game to evade the big chill.

And, as the nightmare fixture backlog grows, they would love to see Hosking in action this weekend with their first team at Dublin Airport, where Three Rock are slated to meet Fingal.

However, as the weather forecast continues to be very uncertain, there is no guarantee that any progress will be made in Leinster -- at least outdoors.

Unfortunately for cabin-fevered Rovers, they are not due to feature just yet in the IHA indoor series, which is due to tip off at Loughlinstown on Sunday.

YMCA, Glenanne, Belfast Harlequins and Suttonians are the four clubs involved, while Three Rock and the other seven clubs entered in the competition must wait until January.

Irish Independent

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