Instonians look to stay unbeaten in Ulster Hockey Premiership

Raphoe's Michael Leckey
Raphoe's Michael Leckey

Ulster hockey’s Premiership will take centre stage this weekend as the EY Hockey League has a break for the next three weeks.

Ireland are playing Argentina in Dublin this weekend and this week’s HL programme was moved to another date.

So it gives the premiership clubs the opportunity to take full advantage of media attention.

Instonians will be hoping that they can maintain their unbeaten run this season when they travel to Newry.

Inst, this season’s premiership favourites, hammered Mossley 6-1 last week, and with Stuart McNiece back from injury, Inst coach, Steven Redpath, will be confident he can secure another three points.

Newry are missing four players, Ivan Tombs and Darren Liggot are both unavailable. Mark McCullough is recovering from knee ligament damage and Nigel Davenport has exams, so it will be a tough call for them to notch up Inst’s first defeat of the season.

Kilkeel welcome back Sam Morris to goal-keeping duties as Mossley are the visitors to Kilkeel’s south Down base.

Ashton Graham has been called into the squad and the home side will be hoping they can secure another win this week.

Portadown who surprised North Down with a superb win at Comber, this week entertain Civil Service who have a couple of injury worries.

Andrew Crone will definitely miss the game with Peter Johnston trying to recover from injury.

They are also missing Aaron Gill but they welcome back Jamie Anderson.

Lee Marshall returns to the South Antrim side after three weeks out injured for their trip to and injury hit Raphoe.

Matthew Leckey and Simon Goudie could both be out for a while as Leckey dislocated his shoulder and Goudie broke his arm in their seven goal thriller against South Antrim last week.

Harlequins are without Iain Kelly for their game against North Down, but the Deramore side welcome back Tom Brann and schoolboy Michael Patterson.

There’s also full Senior One programme. Armagh entertain Queens, Antrim host Campbellians, Portush travel to Cliftonville and game of the day is at the seaside as Bangor welcome Ballynahinch.

Meanwhile, Ireland went down 2-1 to Argentina in Dublin in the first of a three test series all held in Dublin, Lee Cole scoring Ireland’s only goal.

Ireland play Argentina again tonight and then tomorrow night, again in Dublin, they wrap up the series at Pembroke Wanderers Hockey club, hit off is at 6pm.