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.

Women's Irish Hockey League
Inaugural season2008–09
AdministratorHockey Ireland
No. of teams10 (Division 1)
10 (Division 2)
Country Republic of Ireland
 Northern Ireland
Most recent
Most titlesUCD (3 titles)
Railway Union (3 titles)
Level on pyramid1 and 2
Relegation toSenior provincial leagues
Domestic cup(s)Irish Senior Cup
International cup(s)Women's Euro Hockey League
Official websitewww.hockey.ie


Inaugural title

The league was first played for during the 2008–09 season.[1] 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.[2]

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.[3][4][5] They won further titles in 2011–12 and 2012–13.[6][7] 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.[8][9] 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.[10][11][12]

New format

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.[13][14][15]

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.[16][17] 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.[18][19] UCD subsequently completed a treble when they also won the EY Champions Trophy after defeating Hermes-Monkstown in a penalty shoot-out.[20][21][22] The 2017–18 season saw UCD retain the league title. Having already won the Irish Senior Cup, UCD also completed a double.[23]

Division 2

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.[24][25][26]

2019–20 teams

Division 1

Team Home town/suburb Home pitch
Belfast HarlequinsBelfastDeramore Park
Catholic InstituteLimerick
Cork HarlequinsDouglas, County CorkHarlequin Park
LoretoRathfarnhamLoreto High School Beaufort
MuckrossDonnybrook, DublinMuckross Park College
Old AlexMilltown, DublinAlexandra College
Pembroke WanderersSandymountSerpentine Avenue
Railway UnionSandymountPark Avenue
UCDDún Laoghaire–RathdownUCD Sports Centre


Division 2

Pool A
Team Home town/suburb Home pitch
CorinthianRathfarnhamSt Columba's College, Dublin
Cork Church of IrelandCork
Dublin UniversityTrinity College, DublinSantry Avenue
LurganLurganLurgan Junior High School
NUIGNUI GalwayDangan Sports Centre
Pool B
Team Home town/suburb Home pitch
ArdsNewtownardsLondonderry Park
GreenfieldsGalwayDangan Sports Centre
MonkstownDún Laoghaire–RathdownRathdown School
Queen's UniversityQueen's University BelfastThe Dub
UCCUniversity College CorkThe Mardyke



Season Winners Score Runners Up
2008–09Loreto[2][note 1]Hermes
2009–10Railway Union[3][4][5]4–0Cork Harlequins
2011–12Railway Union[6]Loreto
2012–13Railway Union[7][note 2]Loreto
2013–14UCD[12]Railway Union
2014–15Pegasus[9][29]1–1 [note 3]Loreto
2017–18UCD[23]n/aCork Harlequins[32]
2019–20null and void (season abandoned due to coronavirus pandemic)[35]
2020–21not played due to coronavirus pandemic
  1. Loreto won 2–1 after penalty shoot-out
  2. Railway Union won after a penalty shoot-out
  3. 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.[14][15] The winners of the EY Champions Trophy qualify to represent Ireland in the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup.[36][37]

Year Winners Score Runners Up
2017UCD[20][21][22]1–1 [note 1]Hermes-Monkstown
2018Loreto[39][40][41] 2–1Cork Harlequins
2018-19Pegasus[42] 1–1[note 2]Loreto
  1. UCD won 3–0 after penalty shoot-out
  2. Pegasus won 4–2 after penalty shoot-out



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  33. Belfast Telegraph
  34. Hockey Ireland
  35. Hockey Ireland Coronavirus (COVID-19) UPDATE No. 4 – 9 April 2020
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  42. Hockey Ireland