Some of Ulster’s Irish Internationals are expected to be back playing for their clubs this weekend after their successful gold medal-winning trip to the World League 2 in America.
Paul Gleghorne’s return for Instonians top of the table clash against Cookstown will be a welcome one, as the Shaw’s Bridge side have slipped from second place to fourth in the GOC Estate Agents Premiership since he left for the WL2 last month.
Inst have a good record against Cookstown winning their two games this season. But the Reds will be determined to not let them have the hat-trick.
Since their last league meeting back in December, Cookstown have notched up six wins and a draw, but with prospect of no silverware on show this season, they will be determined to finish the season as high up the league as they can.
It will be a close call but this one has the hallmarks of a draw written all over it, but there again it could be a goal either way to secure maximum points.
Mossley should include Neal Glassey in their game against Civil Service, which will now be played on Saturday. The Glade side have only notched up one win all season and that came last month against Belfast Harlequins.
But without Chris Barnes and Peter Johnston for the game, Service could struggle to take anything from it, and there might just be a second win on the cards for Mossley this weekend.
Annadale travel to Newry on Saturday and a win could see Dale focus on fourth spot and that automatic qualifying place to next season’s IHL. Newry will be missing Nigel Davenport and Andrew Gilmer for the game.
Things are just beginning to bubble in Senior One, as Portadown are hoping that leaders South Antrim will slip up. And this weekend the Lisburn side entertain Queens, and that could be a possible banana skin for South.
Queens are on a roll, having lost one of their last seven games and they are now sitting in third spot. And that could prove vital, especially if the premier league is restructured, as a top five finish will take them into the premier division.
Portadown have tough game against Bangor this weekend and they will be looking for the same gutsy performance as they did last week, when they came back from 3-1 down to defeat North Down 4-3.
The top five is far from finished in Senior One, as any five of seven teams are still in the melting pot. Two of those contenders meet this week, North Down and Campbellians, and a defeat for Campbellians could end their hopes of premier hockey, if it comes about.
Raphoe should see off PSNI and with games in hand, the county Donegal side are looking good for a top five finish.