Raymond eyes more hockey success
Ulster Branch president Raymond Hughes is bracing himself for another busy, and hopefully successful, weekend.
Already the province has landed the Senior and Under 18 inter-provincial titles, with the Under 16s runners-up, and this weekend there is optimism that the Under 21 and Juniors titles will also come north.
Ulster are hosting the Juniors at Lisnagarvey today and tomorrow and Raymond will be there to watch a series with which he has a special fondness, having played much of his hockey at this level in his earlier days.
“I had hoped to take in the Under 21s in Dublin too, but the rescheduling of that series, following the postponement earlier in the season, means there is a bad clash.”
Coach Stephen Watt and assistant Mark Irwin have a strong Under 21 squad, with all of the 18 players regularly competing at Premier League level.
Indeed four of them - Cookstown’s David Ames and Colin Donaldson, Lisnagarvey’s Jason Lynch and Annadale’s Peter Caruth - are already senior internationals.
The series is being staged at Three Rock’s ground in Dublin tomorrow, and being squeezed into the one day, with Ulster taking on Munster at 1.45pm and Leinster at 5pm.
The Juniors, coached by Paul Harvey and Richard Sholdis, face Munster today, and Connacht (10am) and Leinster tomorrow (3pm), with the tournament dinner at the Holiday Inn this evening.
Two of the Podium Anderson Cup quarter-finals take place this afternoon, with Annadale going to Senior One title favourites Kilkeel and Instonians going to Bangor.
Cookstown’s game at Banbridge and Lisnagarvey’s game against North Down have been rescheduled due to these clubs having players involved in the Under 21 inter-provincial series tomorrow.
There are also five Senior One games listed for today.