Women's Irish Hockey League
The Women's Irish Hockey League is a field hockey league organised by Hockey Ireland that features women's teams from both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The league was first played for during the 2008–09 season. It replaced the All-Ireland Club Championships as the top level women's field hockey competition in Ireland. Since 2015–16 the league has been sponsored by Ernst & Young and, as a result, it is also known as the EY Hockey League. The league has previously been sponsored by the ESB Group and Electric Ireland.
|No. of teams||10 (Division 1)|
10 (Division 2)
|Country|| Republic of Ireland|
|Most titles||UCD (3 titles)|
Railway Union (3 titles)
|Level on pyramid||1 and 2|
|Relegation to||Senior provincial leagues|
|Domestic cup(s)||Irish Senior Cup|
|International cup(s)||Women's Euro Hockey League|
The league was first played for during the 2008–09 season. Loreto, with a team that included Nikki Symmons, Lizzie Colvin, Hannah Matthews and Alison Meeke, won the inaugural title. In the league final they defeated a Hermes team that included Nicola Evans, Anna O'Flanagan, Gillian Pinder and Chloe Watkins. Loreto won 2–1 in a penalty shoot-out, becoming the first team in the world to win a title with the new one-on-one format.
Railway Union dominance
During the first five seasons Railway Union emerged as the strongest team, winning three titles in fours seasons. In 2009–10, with a team that included Cecelia and Isobel Joyce, Emer Lucey, Nicola Evans and Kate McKenna, Railway Union won their first title. They won further titles in 2011–12 and 2012–13. Pegasus have initially emerged as the strongest team from Northern Ireland. After winning their first title in 2010–11, they added a second in 2014–15. Ayeisha McFerran was a member of their 2014–15 title winning team. UCD won their first title in 2013–14 with a squad that included Katie Mullan, Gillian Pinder, Deirdre Duke, Nicola Evans, Anna O'Flanagan and Emily Beatty.
Between 2008–09 and 2014–15 the league used pool stages and play-offs to determine the league champion. Teams were divides into two pools with the winners and runners-up in each pool then qualifying for the semi-finals. The league title was then decided by a final. Teams continued to play in their respective provincial leagues and qualified for the next season's national league via their position in the provincial league. However, for the 2015–16 season the league was reorganised. The pool stages were abandoned and replaced with a full league programme consisting of 18 rounds of home and away matches. In addition the play-offs were effectively replaced by a new competition, the EY Champions Trophy. Furthermore, the clubs no longer entered their senior teams in provincial leagues.
With a team that included Anna O'Flanagan, Chloe Watkins and Nicola Evans, Hermes won the 2015–16 title. They also won the inaugural EY Champions Trophy. The 2016–17 season saw UCD claim the league title in dramatic fashion as Elena Tice scored two penalty corners to inflict a first league defeat on Hermes-Monkstown. The result saw UCD overtake Hermes-Monkstown on the final day of the campaign. The result also saw UCD win their second trophy in six days, adding to the Irish Senior Cup. UCD subsequently completed a treble when they also won the EY Champions Trophy after defeating Hermes-Monkstown in a penalty shoot-out. The 2017–18 season saw UCD retain the league title. Having already won the Irish Senior Cup, UCD also completed a double.
The 2018–19 season saw the introduction of a Division 2. The new division revived the original format of the league. It uses pool stages and play-offs to determine the Division 2 champion and which teams get promoted to Division 1. Division 2 teams will continue to play in their respective provincial leagues.
|Team||Home town/suburb||Home pitch|
|Belfast Harlequins||Belfast||Deramore Park|
|Cork Harlequins||Douglas, County Cork||Harlequin Park|
|Loreto||Rathfarnham||Loreto High School Beaufort|
|Muckross||Donnybrook, Dublin||Muckross Park College|
|Old Alex||Milltown, Dublin||Alexandra College|
|Pembroke Wanderers||Sandymount||Serpentine Avenue|
|Railway Union||Sandymount||Park Avenue|
|UCD||Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown||UCD Sports Centre|
- Pool A
|Team||Home town/suburb||Home pitch|
|Corinthian||Rathfarnham||St Columba's College, Dublin|
|Cork Church of Ireland||Cork|
|Dublin University||Trinity College, Dublin||Santry Avenue|
|Lurgan||Lurgan||Lurgan Junior High School|
|NUIG||NUI Galway||Dangan Sports Centre|
- Pool B
|Team||Home town/suburb||Home pitch|
|Greenfields||Galway||Dangan Sports Centre|
|Monkstown||Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown||Rathdown School|
|Queen's University||Queen's University Belfast||The Dub|
|UCC||University College Cork||The Mardyke|
|2009–10||Railway Union||4–0||Cork Harlequins|
|2019–20||null and void (season abandoned due to coronavirus pandemic)|
|2020–21||not played due to coronavirus pandemic|
- Loreto won 2–1 after penalty shoot-out
- Railway Union won after a penalty shoot-out
- Pegasus won 4–2 after a penalty shoot-out
EY Champions Trophy
In addition to introducing a new format, the 2015–16 season also saw the introduction of the EY Champions Trophy. The top three placed teams from the league and/or the winners of the Irish Senior Cup all qualify for the end of season competition. The winners of the EY Champions Trophy qualify to represent Ireland in the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup.
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- "Railway Union look to extend run". www.irishtimes.com. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
- "Loreto Hockey Club v Railway Union - Electric Ireland Irish Hockey League Women's Final Photos". www.sportsfile.com. 5 May 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
- "Irish Hockey League crowns champions". www.fih.ch. 2 May 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
- "Pegasus smash and grab their second women's IHL title as Loreto rue missed chances". www.hookhockey.com. 12 April 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
- "EYHL - About". www.hockey.ie. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
- "UCD – Women's Leinster Division One". www.hookhockey.com. 19 September 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
- "UCD v Railway Union - Irish Senior Women's Hockey League Final Photos". www.sportsfile.com. 6 April 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
- "Tight-knit women's IHL groups set for big showdowns". www.hookhockey.com. 28 November 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
- "Women's national league set for engaging first stanza". www.hookhockey.com. 25 September 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
- "EY Hockey League to continue to raise standards on club and international stage". www.ey.com. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
- "Anna O'Flanagan and Emma Gray drive Hermes to glory". www.rte.ie. 1 May 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
- "Pumped-up Hermes take inaugural women's EY Hockey League title". www.irishtimes.com. 1 May 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
- "UCD – Women's EY Hockey League preview". www.hookhockey.com. 28 September 2017. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
- "Hockey: UCD Crowned EY Hockey League Champions". www.sportsnewsireland.com. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
- "UCD v Monkstown - Women's EY Hockey League Photo". www.sportsfile.com. 28 April 2018. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
- "UCD Ladies hockey team take Champions Trophy to seal season treble". www.ucd.ie. 2 May 2017. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
- "UCD Win EY Champions Trophy For Historic Treble". www.hockey.ie. 30 April 2017. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
- "UCD retain their Irish Hockey League title in style". www.irishtimes.com. 22 April 2018. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
- "Division Two of Irish Hockey League to be launched in 2018/19". www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk. 10 August 2017. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
- "IHL2 groups and season's schedule laid out for 2018/19". www.hookhockey.com. 7 July 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
- "The season starts here: Women's EYHL2 to provide bridge between national and regional leagues". www.hookhockey.com. 29 September 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
- "EY Women's Irish Hockey League". www.hookhockey.com. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
- "Beaney bashes Pegasus to All-Ireland double". www.hookhockey.com. 1 May 2011. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
- "Pegasus v Loreto - Irish Hockey League 2015 - Women's Final Photos". www.sportsfile.com. 12 April 2015. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
- "Tice strikes twice to snatch EY title for UCD". www.hookhockey.com. 9 April 2017. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
- "Hockey: UCD Crowned EY Hockey League Champions". www.sportsnewsireland.com. 9 April 2017. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
- "Cork Harlequins – Women's EY Hockey League". www.hookhockey.com. 27 September 2018. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
- Belfast Telegraph
- Hockey Ireland
- Hockey Ireland Coronavirus (COVID-19) UPDATE No. 4 – 9 April 2020
- "Ireland confirm their 2018 European qualifiers!". eurohockey.org. 2 May 2017. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
- "Loreto – Women's EY Hockey League". www.hookhockey.com. 27 September 2018. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
- "Loreto Win EY Champions Trophy". www.hockey.ie. 6 May 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
- "Loreto come from nowhere to take EY Champions Trophy". www.irishtimes.com. 6 May 2018. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
- "Joy for Loreto as Harlequins come up short once more". www.irishexaminer.com. 7 May 2018. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
- Hockey Ireland