Loreto and Hermes explore all options

Loreto and Hermes will give themselves every chance to lock swords tomorrow in what could prove an explosive battle as the top two fight for the right for the Christmas number one spot.

As of Friday afternoon, Loreto’s Beaufort base is frozen and will be subject to a pitch inspection on Saturday morning to confirm playability.

Should the frost leave it unusable, though, the clubs have agreed to switch to St Andrew’s if it is playable, keeping the 3pm start time as both clubs are keen to adding to their backlog of post-Christmas fixtures.

To that end, Hermes managed to get in a tie with UCD last Saturday which returned them to the top of the pile, though it came at the cost of Audrey O’Flynn who will sit out this weekend with an ankle injury.

With Lisa Jacob, Jenny Burke and Aine Connery in tow, Hermes bring the most expansive forward line to date to the party but face the meanest defence thus far in Leinster competition.

Hannah Matthews and Aisling Campion have been key figures in conceding just once domestically while Nicci Daly and Niamh Small have conspired to inspire up front.

For Hermes, it will conclude their pre-Christmas programme as their Sunday Jacqui Potter tie with Three Rock Ladies has been postponed. Loreto, though, tackle Bray on Sunday without the services of their international contingent.

With one or both set to drop points, Railway Union and UCD aim to pick up some of the slack at Park Avenue though the students will be smarting with another fixture in the midst of their exam timetable.

Old Alex are another side looking to close the gap as their young troops have Bray in their sights at Milltown with a win potentially moving them into the top three dependent on results elsewhere.

Trinity, meanwhile, will hope to build on their last outing – a 4-2 success over Bray in late November – when they welcome a Glenanne side with whom they share eighth place.

David Bane’s side found a heretofore unforeseen scoring touch while both sides have a reasonably strong physical presence and the battling qualities to make this a feisty affair.

Both start their Jacqui Potter campaigns against division two opposition on Sunday with Trinity playing in the first round against Our Lady’s while Glenanne play Pembroke II in the second phase.

Pembroke head up the mountain to Corinthian in Saturday’s other game for what could be Karen Hales’ last run-outs before the influential Cork woman moves to Germany. A win there can lift them a place should Bray not get a result at Old Alex.

Women’s Division One, Saturday: Old Alexandra vs Bray, 1.15pm, Milltown; Corinthian vs Pembroke, 2.45pm, Whitechurch Park, Railway Union vs UCD, 2.45pm, Park Avenue; Loreto vs Hermes, 3pm, Beaufort; Trinity vs Glenanne, 3pm, Santry

Jacqui Potter Cup, Sunday:
Round One:
Trinity vs Our Lady’s, 11.30am, Santry
Round Two: Glenanne vs Pembroke II, 3pm, St Mark’s; UCD vs Muckross, 4pm, Belfield; Loreto vs Bray, 4pm, Beaufort
Off: Hermes vs Three Rock Ladies

Women's Leinster Senior Div 1