The Marlay derby in recent times might normally take centre-stage but Corinthian and Three Rock Rovers’ match-up this Saturday takes on more of a dog-fight persona this time around.
First impressions this term saw Rovers romp to a 4-1 win but closer inspection saw one of the more bizarre games, the reds battering the Rovers’ 25 in the first half before succumbing to four second half goals on the counter amid a rainstorm.
But they can look at this mid-table battle with optimism. Chris Pelow missed the first game but is back while international duty shears Rovers of Peter Blakeney and Michael Maguire.
Rustiness could be a factor as the oft-quoted date of October 30 is Three Rock’s last outing in all competitions. Again, Jody Hosking awaits a debut and David Storey comes closer to a return from injury.
It’s a vital tie if either side is to rekindle their IHL ambitions with Railway’s work-rate continuing to notch up the points.
They take their 2011 road-show to Monkstown with a doubt over flicking behemoth Peter English but an away win can potentially lift the Park Avenue side into an automatic IHL place.
Glenanne and Fingal’s tempestuous relationship faces another trial though the airport club will sniff an opportunity with Joe Brennan and Gary Shaw unavailable.
David Bane began the year in rude health last week while Adrian Sweeney will hope his pace can upset the Glens’ rejigged backline.
But the Tallaght men, particularly in the first half against Pembroke, showed enough to suggest their squad has the depth to absorb such changes.
Timmy Hill and his cohorts will hope to reel in YM, using their never-say-die attitude to frustrate a side who raided Belfield with a bruising 8-2 win earlier this term. Their match takes place at the unusual time of 4.45pm, getting clearance to play outside the regular 12pm to 3pm window. Pembroke will hope to avail of any slip-ups when they travel to Weston.
The Chiefs hand Aengus Stanley a debut while Paul Tuthill and Dan Needham are the key threats for Gareth Borland’s men. Trinity and Avoca wait in the wings for any bum notes from the current table-toppers, travelling to Suttonians and Navan, respectively.
The refixed Irish Junior Cup round one games will also be played on Saturday while group three of the National Indoor Trophy sees Railway and Three Rock as the fancied sides to make it through to the playoff weekend over Avoca and Trinity.
Men’s Leinster Division One (Saturday): YMCA vs UCD, 4.45pm, Alexandra College; Weston vs Pembroke Wanderers, 2pm, Griffeen Valley Park; Corinthian vs Three Rock Rovers, 1pm, Whitechurch Park; Glenanne vs Fingal, 2.30pm, Glenanne Park; Monkstown vs Railway Union, 1pm, Rathdown
Men’s Leinster Division Two: Navan vs Avoca, 12.30pm, King’s Hospital; Rathgar Chiefs vs Clontarf, 2.30pm, High School; Suttonians vs Dublin University, 1pm, Sutton Park
Men’s Irish Junior Cup, Saturday: Railway Union vs Kilkeel, 3pm, Park Avenue; Bandon vs Fingal, 2.30pm, Bandon GS; Monkstown vs Raphoe, 3pm, Rathdown; Banbridge vs Belfast Harlequins, 1pm, Havelock Park; Mossley vs UCC, 2.30pm, The Glade; NICS vs Antrim, 4pm, Stormont; Clontarf vs Pembroke, 4.15pm, Mount Temple; South Antrim vs Cork Harlequins, 2pm, Laurehill Sportszone; North Down vs Newry, 1pm, Comber Leisure Centre; YMCA vs Dublin Uni, 2pm, Claremont Road; Glenanne vs Instonians, 12.30pm, Glenanne Park; UCD vs Annadale, 2.30pm, Belfield; Lisnagarvey vs Cookstown, 2.30pm, Hillsborough; Corinthian vs Armagh, 2.30pm, Whitechurch Park
National Indoor Trophy, Group 3 (all at Loughlinstown Leisure Centre): Railway Union vs TRR, 10am; Avoca vs Railway Union, 11am; Trinity vs TRR, 12pm; Trinity vs Railway Union, 1pm; TRR vs Avoca, 2pm; Trinity vs Avoca, 3pm