Northern Ireland’s Kilkeel Hockey Club has stuck to its principles of not playing on a Sunday, despite pressures to conform.
The club withdrew from the Irish Senior Cup before their quarter-final match against Dublin side Glenanne, which was scheduled for Sunday 24 February.
This has led to them being banned from playing in Hockey Ireland cup competitions next season, although the governing body has not fined them.
The team previously withdrew from the EY Irish Hockey League promotion play-offs on the basis that games were scheduled for Sundays.
There is also a chance that the club will give up major matches in the Irish Hockey League’s second tier competition, and on St Patrick’s Day – which falls on a Sunday this year.
The DUP’s Jim Wells said: “It’s very sad that Irish Hockey seem unable to facilitate people who have commitments on a Sunday. It should have been easy to move the match to a Saturday.”
He added, “when you step back and look at the situation, Christians are being punished for their principles”.