A SHOWDOWN between defending cham- pions Pembroke Wanderers and Glenanne in Ballsbridge is the pick of Saturday's Irish Senior Men's Hockey Cup second-round draw.
The arch Leinster rivals met in last year's semi-finals, with Pembroke only nicking victory on sudden death penalty strokes -- a typical result for matches between these two teams. In the final, Pembroke beat Cookstown 6-0.
Should Glenanne bow out, the 2007 title-holders will have had only one outing in this year's competition after receiving a bye into the second round. They won't give up easily against a team they know inside out. Pembroke hammered 14 goals past hapless Bangor in the opening Irish Cup round a fortnight ago, but were pushed hard by a spirited UCD in the Leinster League a few days later. Both teams were in action at last weekend's Irish Hockey League, with Pembroke, the defending champioins, beating visitors Cork Harlequins 3-0 in their second-round Pool A tie. Key players included Alan Sothern and Justin Sherriff.
In Pool B, Glenanne held on for a 4-3 victory over Three Rock Rovers after a lively and fractious match at Grange Road. Two second-half goals from drag flick specialist Stephen Butler proved critical after earlier scores by Graham Shaw and Shane O'Donoghue.
Three other Leinster teams have Irish Senior Cup home draws this weekend. Corinthian host Cork C of I at Whitechurch, Three Rock Rovers play Ulster champions Cookstown at Grange Road, while Alsaa is the venue for Fingal's match against Lisnagarvey, currently topping Group B in the National League. Monkstown and YMCA both travel north for their matches against Raphoe and Kilkeel respectively.
In women's hockey, Hermes face Railway Union in Sunday's quarter-finals of the Jacqui Potter Leinster Cup. Last year, these sides played in the final. Glenanne and Corinthian meet in the only other all-Division One tie.
Railway Union and Monkstown have qualified for the inaugural National Indoor Hockey Trophy weekend on February 6-7. They proved too strong for tournament newcomers Glenanne II and Suttonians in last weekend's round of Group C matches.
Defending women's champions Galway also progressed after beating Loreto and drawing with Corinthian in Group A. In Group B, Hermes finished on top followed by Old Alexandra, while Railway Union and UCD progressed from Group C.