Hockey: Hitman Jermyn earns Irish recall

Cork Church of Ireland hitman John Jermyn will make a late charge for the Rio Olympics after earning a recall to the Ireland squad for the first time in over three years.

Jermyn, Ireland’s top goalscorer of all time with 87 goals in 155 appearances, was yesterday named in a 23-man panel to take on Great Britain in three uncapped matches in Bisham Abbey next week.

The 34-year-old Leeside man hasn’t featured for the national side since scoring in a 2-1 semi-final loss to hosts Argentina in the Champions Challenge I in December 2012. He subsequently took time out from the national panel and after enduring a run of injuries as Ireland’s stock rose with qualification for the Olympics for the first time in 108 years and a first European bronze medal, his chances of breaking back into the setup looked slim.

But Jermyn exploded into this year’s campaign with three hat-tricks in C of I’s opening five EY Hockey League games as they surged to the top of the table, prompting the club’s Twitter account to remind followers that he had “not retired yet”.

C of I’s form has gone off the boil since then - they haven’t won since October and face a vital clash at home to Three Rock Rovers tomorrow as they bid to avoid relegation — but a couple of wins could see them make a tilt at the play-off places. Just nine points separate fourth-placed Rovers and basement side Annadale with four rounds left; C of I men two points above them in ninth.

It’s a huge weekend for C of I’s second string too as they take on Monkstown in the Irish Junior Cup final, a first appearance in the showpiece game since their memorable 5-1 win over Pembroke in the 2009 decider.

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