Jermyn recalled to Irish squad to face Dutch

JOHN JERMYN has returned to the international fold ahead of Ireland’s series of friendlies against the Netherlands in Seville, but there is still no sign of his Cork C of I club-mate David Hobbs in the squad.

Jermyn has been absent from Paul Revington’s squads since he and Hobbs took a sabbatical from last summer’s Celtic Cup and Five Nations schedule, but the 111-times-capped midfielder is named on an 18-strong panel named for a warm-weather programme in southern Spain.

Tim Lewis (Crefelder, Germany), who missed most of the 2010 through injury, Mikey Watt (Santander, Spain) and Banbridge’s Bruce McCandless all return — the former duo among 12 foreign-based players in the squad. Alan Giles, Peter Caruth, Paul Gleghorne and Alan Sothern step out.

Back at home, Loreto’s visit to Queens to take on Pegasus is the plum tie of round two of the women’s ESB Irish Senior Cup. They have shared six of the last 10 titles.

Hermes — winners in 2005 and 2006 — will be favourites to see off struggling Corinthian.

Elsewhere, Munster’s hopes rest on the ability of Catholic Institute and Cork Harlequins to eke out results from two of the tougher venues in Irish hockey up north. Quins head to Ards for the second time this term, having already been humbled 3-0 there in the league in November.

Institute, in imperious domestic form but unlucky not to pick up a positive result in the IHL, will hope to break through a ceiling by beating one of the country’s top clubs when they visit Ballymoney.

Elsewhere, UCD are expected to progress past Belfast Harlequins, but Lurgan’s visit to Glenanne, the all-Leinster clash between Old Alex and Pembroke Wanderers and Ulster Elks’ tie with Armagh are tougher to call.

Meanwhile, the country’s second-string senior clubs are in national action in the Irish Hockey Trophy.

UCC’s men undertake the longest journey in Irish hockey as they head for Donegal to play Raphoe, with another away tie in the offing — against Leinster’s Suttonians or Rathgar Chiefs — for the winners.

Bandon’s women must also hope a long day on the road won’t affect their chances against Ballymena, while Waterford meet some familiar faces when NUIG come to town with ex-UCC pair Rosie Shanahan and Louise Riordan, and former Bandon girls Síle Johnson and Jane O’Higgins, in tow.

Little change is expected at the top of the men’s league in Munster. Cork Harlequins, with 51 goals in six league outings, should add to that tally at home to a Catholic Institute side mauled 7-1 by UCC last week.

C of I will be in Harlequin Park later that day to take on Quins’ seconds.

In the sole women’s tie. Cork C of I will be targeting a second league win of the campaign when they visit UL.

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