HOCKEY: Qualification for next season’s EYHL picks up pace

Chloe Brown
Chloe Brown

The race for a place in next season’s EYHL gathers momentum this weekend with the first phase of the provincial play-offs for both men and women in Dublin.

With the provincial champions - runners up in Bangor’s case after Kilkeel didn’t take up their place - exempt until the second showdown in Cork, Instonians and Mossley will be joined by Queen’s and Dungannon ladies in the event.

Only the outright winners in the round robin series this weekend will progress and will then fight it out again, with the overall victors replacing the respective relegated EYHL teams and the runners up vying with the penultimate EYHL finisher in a doe or die encounter to determine the last place.

On Wednesday night, Lurgan were crowned Ulster ladies champions after Penny Joyce’s first half goal clinched a 1-0 win over Mossley while Dungannon clinched third place following a tight 1-1 draw with Randalstown.

In the EYHL, Ards beat Belfast Harlequins 2-1 at Londonderry Park on Wednesday night with a double from Chloe Brown.

Brown was on top form and her double clinched all the points for her side against a determined Harlequins outfit.

The action resumes on Sunday with Ards at home to Pegasus and Quins travelling to Dublin to tangle with Pembroke.

Meanwhile, in the men’s EYHL, Cookstown will continue their bid to avoid a relegation play off when they meet Cork C of I at Steelweld Park on Sunday.

The Munster side, who are just above Cookstown in the table play Banbridge on Saturday with Bann aiming for the win to keep their play off hopes alive.

Annadale could also do Cookstown a favour if they can defeat Railway Union in Dublin on Saturday.

Lisnagarvey face leaders Glenanne at Comber Road as they bid to close the gap at the top and get back on track after last week’s ISC loss to Pembroke.