Bromell and Cregan lead Institute’s charge

It’s squeaky bum time for many in Irish hockey this weekend as a slew of league titles and cups are up for grabs across the country.

It’s Munster Senior Cup day down south, UCC are among those in search of national silverware while both the Leinster men’s and women’s Division One league titles will be won tomorrow.

Catholic Institute are gunning for a ‘double double’ as they again look to add a cup to the league title they won with such ease. The Limerick girls, with Elaine Bromell and Eimear Cregan forming an experienced spine, will be hot favourites against Cork Harlequins in tomorrow’s clash, one of four cup finals at Garryduff (12.30pm).

Quins were a stubborn opponent before losing 5-2 in last year’s decider and should have Cliodhna Sargent back in tow after her Olympic qualification exploits with Ireland. The curtain-raiser will be the Munster Senior Plate final between UCC and Cork C of I.

The men’s senior final brings together Munster’s best two teams for the first time in a couple of years as Cork Harlequins meet Cork C of I (2.30pm).

C of I have the upper hand psychologically and in terms of momentum, having handed Quins 4-1 defeats both home and away in their last two clashes, the St Stephen’s Day Peard Cup final and a league encounter last weekend.

The gate from this clash will be donated to the Friends of Chris Pelow Fund, set up to help the 24-year-old former Corinthian and Ireland A man who was forced to have the lower half of one of his legs amputated in Australia last week.

Further afield, UCC again go chasing Irish Hockey Trophy glory as they meet Donegal outfit Raphoe in Sunday’s final at Belfield (3.30pm), one of four national cup finals at the UCD venue.

Neil Welch’s side reached last year’s decider only to be ousted 2-1 by South Antrim, but they have returned this year with a stronger panel and saw off South 3-2 in the semis.

Meanwhile, Monkstown are gunning for their first Leinster men’s title in 30 years, needing just a point at home to second-placed Glenanne. But a Glens victory would see them retain the title.

Monkstown then face into a Mills Cup final 24 hours later against Pembroke Wanderers, a clash of the last two winners.

The women’s title race will also go to the wire, Railway Union needing to defeat Hermes to be sure of the title. A loss for Mick McKinnon’s side, coupled with victory for second-placed UCD away to Old Alex, would see the students leapfrog them.


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