Catholic institute and Banbridge lead in ireland

Catholic Institute have the Christmas lead in the Irish women’s EY Hockey League following a run of six wins in a row following a slow start to the season.

The Limerick club had lost their first game and drawn their next but subsequent victories over Railway Union (1-0), Loreto (1-0), Pembroke (2-1), Belfast Harlequins (4-1), Pegasus (2-0) and Ards (3-2) with Olympians Naomi Carroll and Róisín Upton to the fore.

They finished as runners-up last season and now hold a one-point lead over Loreto who edged out Railway 1-0 last Saturday with a strike from Sarah Torrans in the last round of matches before the winter break.

Elsewhere, Pembroke – Ireland’s EHL representatives this season – are sitting in fifth place overall after eight rounds of matches. Last weekend, they led against fourth placed Old Alex until Deirdre Duke struck to make the score 2-2.

On the men’s side, Banbridge came back from a goal down in the final quarter to beat Monkstown and move clear at the top of the men’s EY Hockey League. Rory Nichols had the Dubliners in front but strikes from internationals Johnny McKee and Charlie Rowe turned things around for a 2-1 result.

It helped them move above reigning champions Lisnagarvey who were held to a 0-0 draw by near neighbours Annadale.

Bann are on 19 points with Garvey on 17 with seven games played; they are clear of Glenanne – who have played a game extra – on 15 points. 

The Irish leagues are on hiatus until late January for the winter break.