Hockey: Cork Harlequins gear up for Pembroke clash

Cork Harlequins will hope to add some consistency to a rollercoaster EY Hockey League campaign when they host Pembroke Wanderers on Saturday.

Stephen Dale’s side’s fortunes have taken on a distinct pattern since November, after two wins with a pair of defeats. It has seen them yo-yo between third and their current rank of sixth.

Last weekend’s excellent 3-1 success at falling stars Ulster Elks got them back on the horse after defeats to UCC and Railway Union, and another win over Pembroke — who are just a point above them — would catapult them back into top-four contention.

UCC are playing catch-up with two home matches, against the struggling Elks on Saturday and UCD on Sunday. Three points would represent a big return for the students in their battle to avoid the drop.

On the men’s side, Cork Church of Ireland will feel their rotten run must come to an end soon, and a clash away to fellow strugglers Annadale represents a big opportunity.

The ‘Dale are the last side C of I — who led the table after three rounds — defeated back in October on home turf in Garryduff. They’ve since slipped to sixth but are tied on 11 points with Railway Union and Pembroke Wanderers below them; a relegation dogfight looms if they can’t get a result at Lough Moss.

Ashton host runaway leaders Catholic Institute on Sunday. This is a refixed clash after the first encounter was halted midway through due to flooding, as Ashton led 2-1.

Institute have a tough weekend ahead as they also welcome Limerick to Rosbrien for a city derby tomorrow, but a pair of victories would all but secure the title. Bandon meet Cashel New Inn.


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