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Caruth is taking hectic schedule in his stride


By Graham Hamilton

Annadale player/coach Peter Caruth is hoping his injury nightmare is well and truly behind him as he prepares for a significant week during which he will feature in four games inside eight days.

The striker has been troubled by ankle injuries over the past two years which cost him his place in the Ireland team for March's World League 2 tournament at Stormont and August's European championships in Amsterdam.

But a couple of operations later and he's firmly back in the groove again and national coach Craig Fulton has included him in a 20-strong squad for two games next week against European champions Netherlands at Arnhem which is the start of the build-up towards next year's World Cup finals in India.

Before he flies off to the Dutch city, Caruth takes his Annadale team to Dublin on Saturday for a tricky EY Irish Hockey League clash against the Monkstown club where he spent a couple of seasons.

And on his return from the Netherlands it's straight into preparing the Dale for an Irish Senior Cup second round tie against Dublin YMCA at Strathearn the following Saturday.

The Green Machine take on the Netherlands, who are finalising preparations for the World League finals, on Tuesday and Wednesday but both will be uncapped games.

Fulton is taking a mix of youth and experience, but is handicapped by injuries to Banbridge duo Eugene Magee and Johnny McKee, while Lisnagarvey's Paul Gleghorne only returned to action last week and wasn't considered.

Jonathan Bell (Garvey), Chris Cargo and John Jackson are among those either unavailable or rested, as is Glenanne's Shane O'Donoghue while Michael Watt announced his retirement just over a week ago.

It brings the Ulster contingent down to six but Fulton welcomes back Three Rock Rovers striker Mitch Darling for the first time since the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Meanwhile Saturday's other IHL games sees Banbridge bid to end a run of defeats against current leaders Glenanne at Havelock Park while Cookstown take on Three Rock at Steelweld Park in what is a dress rehearsal for the following week's Irish Senior Cup tie.

The big game in the Ulster Premier League sees unbeaten teams Instonians and Kilkeel meet at Shaw's Bridge while leaders Bangor go to Portadown tomorrow evening.

Finally, a new date has to be arranged for the first Kirk Cup semi-final between Kilkeel and Instonians which was orginally planned for this evening.

IRELAND (v Netherlands): Matthew Bell, Michael Robson, Sean Murray, Neal Glassey, Matthew Nelson, Peter Caruth (Ulster); Mark Ingram, Luke Madeley, Stuart Loughrey, Sam O'Connor, Lee Cole, Darragh Walsh, Stephen Cole, Kirk Shimmins, Jeremy Duncan, Alan Sothern, Mitch Darling (Leinster); David Harte, Conor Harte, Julian Dale (Munster)

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