Ulster giants Cookstown, Lisnagarvey and Annadale have been handed a massive incentive to win this Saturday’s rescheduled Irish Senior Cup ties ... a home draw in the quarter-finals.
Cookstown go to Dublin side Fingal in a delayed second round game and if they win they will have home advantage in their bid to reach the last four of world hockey’s oldest knock-out competition.
At the moment, it’s not sure who they would meet in the quarter-finals — the winners of this Saturday’s much-delayed first round tie between Raphoe and Banbridge still have to go to Cork Harlequins in the second round, this game being pencilled in for February 28, the same day as the other three quarter-finals take place.
It’s possible it could end up with Cookstown taking on old rivals Banbridge in an all-Ulster quarter-final, but there’s a lot of hockey to be played first before that becomes a reality.
Garvey and Annadale meet this Saturday in the second round in what is a repeat of last week’s Podium Premier League game which the Hillsborough side won 2-1.
Whoever wins the cup game will host either Corinthian or Railway Union from Dublin at home for a place in the last four.
Railway Union are currently being coached by former Irish international Paul Cooke, from Ulster club Instonians.
Leinster giants Three Rock Rovers and Glenanne could meet head-on, although Ulster sides Bangor and Senior One leaders North Down are hoping to put a spanner in the works, while cup holders Pembroke Wanderers — the only team currently through to the last eight — await the winners of the Mossley and Civil Service game.
Irish Senior Cup quarter-finals (February 28): Mossley or Civil Service v Pembroke Wanderers, Bangor or Three Rock Rovers v North Down or Glenanne, Lisnagarvey or Annadale v Corinthian or Railway Union, Fingal or Cookstown v Cork Harlequins or Raphoe or Banbridge.