Ireland call-ups could lead to fixture chaos

Paul Gleghorne.
Paul Gleghorne.

The absence of Ulster’s Irish Internationals is going to compound an already manic premiership fixture list and with some teams only at the half-way stage, the question is when are the games going to be played?

Banbridge will suffer more than any of the teams, as they have four players heading off to America with the Irish squad for the World League 2 tourney.

There also seems to be vagueness around whether Bann games will go ahead without their squad of players? And it is difficult to see how they would be forced to play without them.

Instead we have this grey area, are games on or are they off and already Bann’s game against Lisnagarvey this weekend has been cancelled.

Whilst it is frustrating for the other Bann players and officials who want to play games, it is just as frustrating for Ulster Fixtures secretary, Raymond Hughes, who has to find slots to rearrange games.

Perhaps instead of playing the Kirk and Anderson Cups at the start of the season, the premiership should have been started earlier and the cups moved to the second half of the season.

It now seems that the rearranged Mossley game against Kilkeel is about to be postponed. Mossley had originally been scheduled to play Cookstown on Friday night but with three players and their coach unavailable on Saturday, they have requested a postponement, so watch this space.

Meanwhile, the game between Annadale and Instonians is definitely on, weather permitting. Second placed Inst will be without their Irish international, Paul Gleghorne. Dale will have their Irish international, Michael Robson back from this week’s Irish International against France.

The Lough Moss side need to chalk up points to book that ticket to the IHL or they could miss out on qualification.

Civil Service will be without their player coach Gareth Grundie for the trip to Newry, who are at full strength.

Cookstown can concentrate on qualifying for next season’s IHL as they face Belfast Harlequins.

In the midweek game, Kilkeel defeated Newry 2-1 to take them on to 20 points and 4th spot in the table.

Ireland play France tonight in Dublin (7pm) for their final game, before leaving for America next week.