Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Let’s go indoor, says McVicker

Ballymoney’s Lynsey McVicker last night called for the women’s hockey authorities here to seriously consider reintroducing the indoor version of the game here.

Her comments came on the eve of potentially more fixture chaos if some of today’s scheduled Irish Senior Cup games were to fall victim to the weather.

Ballymoney are one of several clubs now resigned to playing most midweeks until the end of the season.

If a team is doing well, like ’Money, then the chances of a fixture backlog increase by definition. They reached the semi-finals of the Winemark Ulster Shield, are still in the Cup and, of course, are one of Ulster’s representatives in the Irish Hockey League. Indoor hockey was scrapped here more than a decade ago after crowds used to pack into venues like the Valley Leisure Centre for the All-Ireland finals.

That version of the game is big business across the water and in most corners of Europe. McVicker’s former Ireland colleague Clare Parkhill played for Bowdon Hightown in last weekend’s English National Finals day in Birmingham which was shown live on satellite television.

"I definitely think it is worth considering reverting back to indoor hockey over here and taking a mid winter break from the outdoor game," said McVicker.

Today’s fixtures: Irish Senior Cup second round: Loreto v UCD, Ulster Elks v Lisnagarvey, Railway Union v Old Alex, Corinthian v Glenanne, Randalstown v Pegasus, Lurgan v Armagh, Ballymoney v Cork C of I, Pembroke v Belfast Harlequins.

Premier League: Victorians v Ards. Senior One: Ballymena v Greenisland, Cookstown v Ballyclare, Civil Service v Omagh, North Down v Priorians.