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IHL games postponed AGAIN but progress made with umpires

By Graham Hamilton

Hockey Ireland’s marquee competition, the EY Irish Hockey League, will not get off the blocks for a second week after all this Saturday’s games were postponed last night.

A conference call between the Hockey Ireland Board and the Irish Hockey Umpires’ Association executive committee on Tuesday evening saw both parties reach agreement regarding the payment of expenses for IHL umpires and their development support, although neither have yet revealed the amount agreed.

But although a second meeting was arranged for October 1 to discuss Irish cup competitions and the implementation of a four-year umpire plan, the umpires have declined to offer appointments until these matters are thrashed out.

And with no appointments forthcoming, the governing body had no option but to pull the plug on all IHL games for a second successive week.

That means all five women’s IHL games are off as well as the one scheduled men’s game.

The weekend’s Under-16 and Under-18 inter-provincials at Three Rock’s Grange Road ground in Dublin are unaffected, while all provincial games — the men’s Kirk Cup and Linden Cup and the women’s Ulster Shield and Ulster Cup in Ulster — go ahead as normal.

Hockey Ireland confirmed the position, adding: “As a result of this latest impasse the IHL Working Group has reluctantly followed the same position as last week... that we will not proceed with the IHL matches this weekend.”

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