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Steven Redpath hoping to steer Inst to quadruple glory

By Graham Hamilton

Published 20/04/2016

Silver lining: Inst captain Andrew Corry with Kirk Cup
Silver lining: Inst captain Andrew Corry with Kirk Cup

Former Irish international Steven Redpath could end up landing four titles for Instonians in what is his first year as head coach at Shaw's Bridge.

Already Inst captain Andrew Corry has been presented with the Kirk Cup following their 8-2 success in the Boxing Day final against Mossley, and earlier this month Redpath's lads were celebrating again after clinching the Ulster Premier League title with six points to spare.

This weekend it's the completion of the EY Provincial Play-offs from which Inst can book their place in next season's Irish Hockey League, and they also have the Anderson Cup still to come, having already reached the quarter-finals of the knock-out competition.

But Redpath is someone who doesn't count his chickens and knows his squad will have to be at their best against Munster representatives Bandon in Saturday's play-off semi-final at Three Rock's Grange Road ground in Dublin (3pm) to keep their dream of reaching the Irish Hockey League alive.

The second semi-final involves Leinster sides Clonduff and UCD (5pm), with the two winners meeting in Sunday's decider at the same venue (3.30pm).

Instonians qualified for the play-offs as Ulster champions and then went on to win Pool A in the first phase of the Provincial Play-offs last weekend at Lisnagarvey with wins over fellow Ulster side Raphoe (5-0) and Leinster side UCD (2-1) and a draw against Munster representatives UCC (1-1).

They have a realistic chance of winning the second part of the play-offs, particularly with the firepower of players like Stephen Kelso, Alan Patterson and James Dowling upfront and William Robinson in midfield. That has been complemented by the recent inclusion of former Irish international striker Mark Irwin.

If successful over the weekend, Inst would end up replacing relegated Annadale in next season's All-Ireland set-up.

Cookstown, who finished ninth in the IHL, haven't given up hope of retaining their All-Ireland status.

They await the runners-up from the play-offs and will meet them in a one-off play-off the following week to decide the final IHL place next season.

Meanwhile, the automatic promotion place from the Senior League to the Ulster Premier League will be decided tomorrow evening when current leaders Campbellians take on second-placed Queen's at The Dub, with the College old boys needing to avoid defeat to go up.

And we will know two of the Anderson Cup semi-finalists by this weekend, with Belfast Harlequins taking on Bangor tomorrow evening at Deramore and Civil Service hosting Kilkeel on Saturday.

A delayed second round tie between Portadown and Raphoe will also take place on Saturday, with the Donegal side unable to fit the fixture in last week due to the Provincial Play-offs.

Belfast Telegraph

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