Massive weekend of men’s hockey action lies in store

MISSING: Lisnargarey's James Lorimer (left)
MISSING: Lisnargarey's James Lorimer (left)

Super Saturday has arrived for hockey fans this weekend as they will be offered up a plethora of hockey to choose from.

First up there is the local domestic leagues, then the second round of the Irish trophy gets under way.

Down in Cork, the Under 16 and Under 18 interprovincial titles are up for grabs.

And finally, the Championship Challenge 1 in Argentina starts in earnest, where Ireland begin their quest for qualification to the Champions Trophy next season.

So all in all, it is going to be one of the busiest weekends of hockey for quite some time.

Game of the day has to be at Havelock Park, where Premiership leaders Banbridge welcome Lisnagarvey.

Bann have already chalked up a win over the Irish champions, in the Kirk Cup earlier in the season, and they will be out to protect their 100 per cent start to this season’s campaign.

Both sides are without their Irish internationals but Garvey are also missing James Lorimer who is with the Ulster Under 18’s in Cork and Johnny Quigley who is assistant coach of the U18’s.

Bann have drafted in Drew Carlisle for the important game, which has a start time of 4pm.

Premiership champions Cookstown travel to Mossley tonight, still without their top goal-scorer Greg Allen who is still recovering from his serious injury two weeks ago.

Mossley are haemorrhaging players this season, as they lost yet another young starlet.

Ulster’s Under 21 player Jordan Robinson is off to Instonians, and coupled with Ricky Lee and Joel Cathcart, who are at the interpros, it would take a miracle for them to win their first league game of the season.

Antrim could be on the receiving end of a hefty defeat, as Instonians look to get back to their winning ways, after they lost their 100 per cent record at Garvey last week.

Whilst Antrim will be unchanged, Inst are missing Stephen Redpath, who is coaching at the interpro’s in Cork.

Civil Service travel to Deramore Park where they play Belfast Harlequins in a bottom of the table clash. Both sides have only won one game each this season and a share of the spoils looks on this weekend.

In the second round of the Irish Trophy, at least three Ulster clubs are guaranteed to be in the next round.

Portadown have a full strength team available for the visit of Bangor. Pete Snodden is back in the side, after being on Christmas tree duty last week.

Queen’s welcome Newry, whilst Armagh and Campbellians meet for the second time in succession and Campbellians will be hoping they can convert the hat-full of missed chances which eluded them last week

Last season’s semi-finalists South Antrim have Ward Phillips back after a two month lay-off for the visit of Dublin side Rathgar Chiefs.