Thursday 5 December 2019

Pembroke aim to regain mojo against 'Bridge

In the women’s EYHL, Loreto against Pegasus is the clear pick of the games (stock photo)
In the women’s EYHL, Loreto against Pegasus is the clear pick of the games (stock photo)

Stephen Findlater

Preseason, the odds would have been strongly stacked in favour of Pembroke and Banbridge's men's EY Hockey League contest being a key one in the shake-up for the playoff places.

The former welcomed back Olympians Kirk Shimmins and Alan Sothern as well as former international Nick Burns. Bann, meanwhile, had Owen Magee back in the line-up following a year in the pro-ranks to add to the rejuvenated Jonny McKee.

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And yet it has not happened for either side with both garnering just one win each from the first five rounds with only Annadale beneath them. As such, their meeting at Serpentine Avenue (2.30pm) is crucial for both sides to finally catch their mojo before the top four playoff places disappear into the distance.

The erratic Three Rock Rovers face Glenanne in a similar mindset. The Rathfarnham club produced Ireland's best Euro Hockey League win when they smashed Scotland's Grange 6-0 and almost shocked German giants Rot Weiss Koln.

Since then, they've been thumped 6-0 by Lisnagarvey and Monkstown as they have struggled to overcome midfield injuries to James Kyriakides and Ben Johnson.

In previous years, Rovers have had one of the deepest panels. This year their numbers are trimmed back but it offers the likes of Luke Adams and Harry Lynch a chance to stake a claim in the team.

The Glens will not have access to Kieran Bolger as sideline coach as his red card for dissent last weekend incurred an automatic one-game suspension.

In the women's EYHL, Loreto against Pegasus is the clear pick of the games.

The Dubliners are bubbling up nicely with four points from six on their new Beaufort turf and they will look to continue that form with home advantage.

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