Wednesday 17 January 2018

Loreto bidding for silver lining to end frustration

Loreto suffered as players were called up for international duty
Loreto suffered as players were called up for international duty

Roddy Forsyth

Loreto bid to put a frustrating season in hockey's backwaters behind them this weekend as they battle with Ulster rivals for a place in next term's National League.

The Dubliners fail to qualify for the initial EY Hockey League despite their wealth of international experience.

Ireland call-ups were largely to blame for the disruptions to a squad which finished just too low in Leinster to make the grade.

However, their leading players have since remained largely loyal to the cause, romping unbeaten to the provincial title with ten points to spare.

Loreto's half-dozen stars range from teenage sensation Elena Tice to veteran goalkeeper Louisa Healy.

Today, they play Lurgan in the EY play-offs at Grange Road seeking promotion to the top table. If they clear that hurdle, then they will meet either Randalstown or Belfast Harlequins in tommorrow's decider.

Meanwhile, Instonians of Belfast are favourites to take the promotion spot in the men's play-offs.

They take on Munster side Bandon today, with a couple of Leinster sides - Clontarf and UCD - in the opposite side of the draw.

Irish Independent

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