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Lisnagarvey left angry by process used to decide European places

 

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Jonny Bell

Jonny Bell

�INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Jonny Bell

LISNAGARVEY and Pegasus have been handed tickets to Europe next season following a decision by Hockey Ireland's Competitions' Committee in light of the Covid-19 pandemic which halted the sport across the country.

The call was made after the top flight Irish Hockey League was declared null and void last month.

In arriving at their decision, the sport's governing body have allowed both Ulster clubs the opportunity to represent Ireland in Europe next season as they would have this year had the leagues not been cancelled.

However, Lisnagarvey are disappointed at the ruling as they feel, as runaway IHL leaders when the competition was called off, they should have been placed in the more prestigious European slot rather than the lower-tier.

Instead, Dublin side Three Rock Rovers will retain their place in the European Hockey League as the authorities had, by definition, no option but to disregard the voided placings.

Garvey's Ireland defender Jonny Bell disagrees with the initial premise.

"Other leagues in Europe used different criteria for deciding European spots, for example using the placings at the half-way stage or using a points-per-game percentage when the competitions were called off rather than voiding them completely," he explained.

"The provincial league placings across Ireland were decided on a percentage basis even though they had, in most cases, more games left unplayed than the IHL when they were stopped due to the virus."

Pegasus have no such issues as they will be competing at the highest level possible, having won the IHL play-offs this time last year - like Three Rock men - and retained their place as a consequence.

Belfast Telegraph