The EY Hockey League is one of the first European leagues to awake from its winter slumber this weekend, returning with a bang as the top two lock horns at Rathdown.
Lisnagarvey go to Monkstown with a four-point lead but will have revenge in mind; their sole defeat in the opening nine encounters was a humbling 5-2 home reverse at the hands of the Dubliners.
’Town are reigning national champs and won the last three truncated Irish Hockey Leagues before the competition went full-time this season. Peter Caruth may miss out through illness but Kyle Good, Gareth Watkins and keeper David Fitzgerald are just some of the other decorated internationals in their side.
Elsewhere, the intrigue lies in who will emerge from mid-table. Cork Church of Ireland, in sixth, fly the flag for Munster but have gone off the boil since winning their first three games to emerge as front-runners, and have not won since October 11.
They face a resurgent Glenanne who, in South African international Shannon Boucher, have found a quality goalscorer. C of I will hope talisman John Jermyn can recover from a leg injury.
In the ladies EYHL, Ulster Elks face Cork Harlequins, two sides looking to arrest poor runs. The Elks have lost four on the bounce and have dropped to seventh. Quins are one place above them but with a game extra played.
Hermes still lead the pack by 12 points from second-placed Railway and few will expect them to drop points at eighth-placed Ards. UCC go to Railway Union.
Domestically, the tie of the weekend sees UCC visit Bandon again in a table-topping men’s Division 1 clash
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