Monday 22 January 2018

Hockey: Glenanne feeling heat as fixtures hit skids

David Medcalf

A full set of Leinster league and cup fixtures has been announced for the weekend but no one really expects a ball to be struck in anger.

With pitches frozen solid under a layer of snow, the prospects of being able to play are slim, so the growing backlog of unplayed games will be further extended.

The situation in Ulster and in Munster is more or less under control, though Cork Harlequins and Banbridge may be struggling to keep up with the rest.

However, the programme in Leinster is already severely out of kilter, especially for Glenanne. Between national and provincial competitions, the Tallaght team is involved on four fronts. They began slipping behind during November when league fixtures went unplayed while their international players were in Argentina with the Irish team.

The cold snap has since put paid to any chance of the Glens playing catch up as games against Corinthians, Railway Union and YMCA all fell victim to the weather.

They have now completed just seven league games this term while Three Rock Rovers have clocked up 13.

"It is going to create problems," concedes team manager Gerry Shaw, as he contemplates the likelihood of double-header weekends and midweek games down the line.

The side is due to meet Three Rock in the league on Saturday and then Fingal in the Mills Cup the following day, both fixtures very much in doubt.

Glenanne coach Arul Anthoni is concerned that the players have not even been able to train properly for the past three weeks.

With pitches like skating rinks, they have not been together since the victory in the Neville Cup final on St Stephen's Day.

"Our pitch at St Mark's is in a dreadful state,' says Shaw. "I don't hold out much hope for the weekend. We have never had it as bad."

Irish Independent

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