Fresher’s week done and dusted, UCD and Trinity endure a double-weekend to get their season up-and-running, facing their league openers on Saturday before facing each other in their back match on Sunday in Santry.
For the Trin, they will hope to be a banana-skin for an understrength Railway Union who have to deal without several regulars this weekend.
Isobel and Cecelia Joyce’s international cricket commitments rule them out; Emer Lucey is still involved with Ballyboden St Enda’s senior camogie championship run while Nikki Evans has an ankle injury and Hannah de Burgh-Whyte is also out.
Emer Dillon’s work commitments have seen her retire from the game while Julia O’Halloran is a doubt, too, in the wake of her knock whilst scoring her fourth last time out against Bray.
David Bane’s side, now in his fifth year at the helm, have shown strong base in recent years but, goal-shy up front, they need to start finding the target to push on for the top five.
Alice Ward and Hayley O’Donnell make their debuts but Galway duo Irene Gorman (Erasmus) and Orla Callanan (Greenfields) have moved on.
Student rivals UCD begin their campaign with a home tie against Glenanne at Befield as Johnny Harte looks to remould a team which no longer enjoys the services of Kerry McComish and Lisa Jacob to Hermes.
Irish internationals Niamh Atcheler and Chloe Watkins can be seen as direct, high quality swaps and the fruits of last week’s recruitment drive may yet bear the odd gem.
Brenda Flannery could make her first appearance in the Leinster league since her move from Greenfields for whom she held the midfield pivot role alongside Dora Gorman in the club’s successive Connacht titles.
They face a Glenanne side who were stubborn in defence for the early stages against Loreto last week with Susan Byrne, Kate O’Connor and Louise Kennedy to the fore.
They could make life tricky for the Belfielders as they begin a new era after Mary Logue’s fine couple of seasons.
Perhaps the most intriguing tie in relation to the top of the table will be Hermes’ game with Old Alex. Sinead and Aine Connery are now available for the St Andrew’s hosts after their St Lachtain’s camogie commitments ended at the Kilkenny county final stage last weekend.
They add to the glut of talent accumulating at Hermes but they face a tricky Alex side who have considerably added to their wealth of ability in the summer.
Pembroke and Bray, meanwhile, will aim to get off the mark at Serpentine Avenue with former Monkstown club mates – and school’s rivals at St Andrew’s and Newpark in the late 90s – Justin Sherriff and Cliff Bailey lock clipboards.
Leinster Division One:
Saturday: UCD vs Glenanne, 1pm, Belfield; Pembroke vs Bray, 1pm, Serpentine Avenue; Hermes vs Old Alex, 1.15pm, St Andrew’s; Loreto vs Corinthian, 2.30pm, Beaufort; Trinity vs Railway Union, 3pm, Santry
Sunday: Trinity vs UCD, 3pm, Santry