Weather permitting, midweek could provide a couple of twists in the women’s and men’s division one title races as well as posing a tough tester for Suttonians in their pursuit of the division two crown.
Hermes and Loreto on Tuesday night (8.15pm, Belfield) is a vital fixture with a win for either side returning them to at least a share of first place in the rankings. The Beaufort side will be without Lizzie Colvin, Nicci Daly, Louisa Healy, Niamh Small and Nikki Symmons due to international commitments in England.
No such problems afflict Hermes as Emma Gray and Niamh Atcheler were not included for this away trip though Jenny Burke is a doubt due to illness while Chloe Watkins may be rested again as Leaving Cert pressures are factored in.
How they bounce back from the Pembroke cup defeat – relinquishing the title after a four-year reign – on Sunday is vital. Prior to that, Eric Fintelman had enjoyed a 100pc record in all competitions since taking over before Christmas with the side accruing nine straight league wins.
UCD are down to play Trinity in a reprise of last week’s colours fixture on Wednesday night in Belfield with the visitors desperately needing goals if they are to challenge for fifth spot.
On the men’s side, Pembroke can close the gap to two points on Corinthian, with a game in hand, should they get past the challenge of YMCA on Wednesday night (7.30pm, Serpentine Avenue). The toll of three games in five days may be a factor but the elite level training of much of the panel means they are used to such schedules in international tournaments.
Nonetheless, YM are fresh from a free weekend and gunning for points to secure an IHL berth and appear the form side in the mid-table wrangling. A recent 4-0, midweek cup defeat at the same venue provides Trevor Dagg with food for thought.
Suttonians and Dublin Uni will tussle on Tuesday night in a fixture reverted to Santry from the adopted home at Grange Road in an effort to beat the frost. Sutton, especially will hope to avoid a further back-log with five games in a 15 day period currently in store.
That glut of fixtures has led to them withdrawing from Leinster Junior trials with Saturday week’s Irish Hockey Trophy tie against Belfast Harlequins a pressing concern. Bray travel to Navan on Wednesday night, too.
Women’s Division One:
(Tuesday): Hermes vs Loreto, 8.15pm, Belfield
(Wednesday): UCD vs Trinity, TBC
Men’s Division One:
(Wednesday): Pembroke vs YMCA, 7.30pm, Serpentine Avenue
Men’s Division Two:
(Tuesday): Dublin Uni vs Suttonians, 7.30pm, Santry
(Wednesday):Navan vs Bray, 8pm, King’s Hospital