The Irish Senior Cup finals take place this Sunday in UCD and the finalists are as of yet unknown but that will all have changed by Saturday evening. The finals of the world’s oldest hockey competition will also be streamed live.
Current title holders UCD are still on course to repeat the treble of last year but in order to secure their place in the final they must first get past Loreto. The sides have met twice in the EY Hockey League this year with UCD running out victors on both occasions, although the most recent result saw just 1 goal separate the two teams. Both teams boast a plethora of international experience amongst their ranks; Katie Mullan has been on the scoresheet in both encounters, while Loreto have the ever-reliable Hannah Matthews holding down their defence.
The other semi-final sees an all Ulster derby between Belfast Harlequins and Pegasus get under way at 2:30pm on Saturday for a place in the final. Harlequins arguably had the trickier of the quarter finals as they travelled to Cork to play their namesake, a team currently occupying second place in the EY Hockey League. It was honours even at the end of regular time with goals from Naomi Carroll and Laura Johnston forcing the game to penalties where the Ulster side prevailed 3-2. Pegasus played their quarter final way back in January as they earned a 2-0 win against Old Alex in Milltown. They sit third in the EY Hockey League with a game in hand and have the second lowest goals-against record in the league so it is certain to be a tight fixture to book a spot in the Irish Senior Cup finals.
In the men’s competition we have the top 4 teams from the EY Hockey League all going up against each other on Saturday afternoon. Glennane vs Three Rock, first vs second, gets underway in St Andrew’s at 3pm and could be the match of the weekend. Glennane are undefeated in the EYHL and have a 10-point cushion at the top but Three Rock are fresh back from high level Eurohockey League action in Rotterdam. Glennane have claimed victories in both of their EYHL clashes this season but only a goal separated the sides in one of those fixtures, while 3 goals in 4 minutes in the other tie snatched victory for the Glens.
The other semi-final sees Pembroke travel North to play Lisnagarvey, again the teams sitting side by side in the EYHL. They faced each-other recently in a tight contest where they shared the spoils of the 3-3 encounter. Both clubs have experience at the back end of the season but neither have won the prestigious Irish Senior Cup title in several years. Lisnagarvey had to take 2 EYHL scalps on their cup run, meeting both Banbridge and Railway Union in the early rounds before putting 9 goals past YMCA to book their semi-final place. While Pembroke had a slightly easier run on paper as they faced Rathgar, South Antrim and Mossley along the way.
The winners of the aforementioned fixtures will meet in the Irish Senior Cup finals in UCD on Sunday (April 8th). The women’s Irish Senior Cup final will begin at 1pm and the men’s Irish Senior Cup final will commence at 3:45pm. In between the two fixtures, there will be a Parahockey blitz between Monkstown, Three Rock and Railway Union.