Junior Cup draws kind to Munster clubs as Bandon lone travellers

Hockey: The Irish Junior Cup draw has been kind to Munster teams with seven home draws out of a possible eight raising hopes that many can advance.

Bandon’s women will be keen to repeat last year’s 4-1 quarter-final defeat of Hermes but John Dennis’ troops will have to do it in Dublin this time as the only Munster side drawn away from home.

Ashton’s seconds will be hoping a home tie with Belfast Harlequins doesn’t bring a repeat of the fate that befell their firsts in the 2012 Irish Hockey Trophy, losing 6-0 to the Ulster side.

UCC host Randalstown, the first meeting between the clubs since an IHL clash between their firsts in 2009, and the students will have to be wary of a side that’s likely to feature three of the Ulster U18 girls that swept the boards at the interpros last month.

Cork C of I, beaten in the last eight by neighbours Cork Harlequins last year, will look to the in-form Munster U18 Louise Egan to lead their charge against Glenanne.

On the men’s side, UCC have again been drawn at home to Lisnagarvey and will hope for better having lost 2-0 in the Mardyke 12 months ago.

2009 winners Cork C of I have hitman Stephen Sweetnam back as they host Glenanne while Cork Harlequins host their Belfast namesakes and Bandon welcome Glenanne to west Cork.

Things don’t let up in the men’s and women’s Division 1 despite the IJC action, with Cork C of I women’s tie with Limerick potentially providing the most intrigue. C of I’s 2-1 loss to Cashel/New Inn was the shock of the season so far last weekend and with three losses from four they badly need a victory to reignite their IHL qualification hopes. Conversely, Limerick have been flying, pushing Ashton and UCC close before hammering Fermoy last weekend.

Cashel will get the biggest test of their credentials so far as they visit the champions Cork Harlequins, while Catholic Institute are due to travel to UL but the struggling Limerick students continue to have doubts over their ability to field a team.

Ashton posted their second win of the campaign, doing all the damage in the first half against Fermoy before batting away a slew of penalty corners to comfortably win 3-0.

UCC, fresh from a superb IHL win over Ballymoney, will provide a bigger test for Graham Catchpole’s charges with sisters Rebecca and Amy-Kate Trevor lining out on opposite sides.

Ashton’s men complete their pre-Christmas league schedule with a clash with Cork Harlequins, while UCC hope they can take the lessons learned from their recent losses into their clash with Catholic Institute.

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