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Garvey, Cookstown and Pegasus given cup hope

 

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Michelle Harvey

Michelle Harvey

Michelle Harvey

Lisnagarvey and Cookstown men along with Pegasus ladies have been given fresh hope that they may yet have a chance of competing in the concluding stages of the 2019-20 Irish Senior Cup.

Hockey Ireland have confirmed that there has been no decision taken as to whether or not the sport's blue riband competition will be played to a finish before the start of the new season but it hasn't been ruled out.

Back in April, after the Irish Hockey Leagues had been declared null and void and the domestic leagues deemed to have been finished due to the Covid-19 pandemic, tentative provision was made for the various all-Ireland knockout competitions to continue at a later date as long as they had reached the semi-final stage at least.

However, in the interim, there had been rumours circulating among the clubs concerned that the competitions would be cancelled with the Irish Senior Cup, second-tier Irish Hockey Trophy and third-tier Irish Hockey Challenge all affected.

But such speculation has proved unfounded and there remains a possibility the tournaments will be concluded in the gap between the end of the close season and the scheduled start of the new campaign.

The scenario is, of course, dependent on government guidelines concerning any return to play and the coronavirus being kept under control but there are at least encouraging signs at present.

Hockey Ireland issued the following update this week: "The statement from April 9 still stands as there has been no update on a return to competition. Therefore, the Cups Competition Committee has been unable to make a decision yet.

"The decision will largely depend on how the country moves through the (government) phases in the upcoming weeks. Where the opportunity to play these matches does not present itself, they will be cancelled."

Lisnagarvey and Cookstown have reached the semi-final stage of the premier competition and are due to face Glenanne and UCD respectively, keeping alive the chance of an all-Ulster showpiece.

Pegasus are a step further ahead and have already reached the final in which they were due to meet UCD at the tail end of last season when proceedings were prematurely called to a halt.

Captain Michelle Harvey said: "It would be fantastic to start the new season with an Irish Senior Cup final and we will be working hard to build on where we left off in 2019-20.

"The circumstances and timing would be different but it would be equally thrilling to play in it."

Belfast Telegraph