Reduced women’s schedule as Interpros take centre-stage

With the U-18 and U-16 interpros taking place in Stormont, the domestic Leinster women’s division one programme is reduced to three games.

Six players now ply their club trade with Old Alex with Laura Gray and Emma Russell now first team regulars and so they have a well-received postponement for their tie against Trinity.

It leaves what look to be three mis-matched ties on paper with IHL contenders UCD, Hermes and Loreto facing sides from the lower end of the division – Pembroke, Glenanne and Three Rock Ladies, respectively.

For Loreto, the return of the Grange Road derby could be a tricky one against a Three Rock ladies side who have shown a willingness to pack their defence.

Alex found proceedings difficult at Grange Road while Glenanne were kept to a blank last time round as Eimear Fitzsimons and Claire Fitzpatrick have been particularly solid.

But the Beaufort side have plenty of firepower – Nicci Daly and Cathy McKean already with three goals to their name this term – to pick from and inside knowledge from Nikki Symmons who has been helping with the coaching with Three Rock.

Youngster Laura Delany, though, is one who will not feature until after Christmas as she links up with the Irish women’s cricket team. Glenanne will lose the services of Claire Shillington and Mary Waldron in due course for the same reason but they are still around for the visit of Hermes who introduced Miriam Crowley to good effect in the IHL, the Irish striker scoring her first for the club.

The Glens are also without emerging star Jennifer Rynne but have the work-rate and home turf in their favour.
UCD will aim to retake top spot in the division when they host Pembroke as red-hot Anna O’Flanagan aims to add to her half-dozen of goals since switching to the club.

Railway and Corinthian have a weekend off having brought their fourth scheduled game forward a couple of weeks as both were handed an Irish Senior Cup bye.

It suited both clubs as Kate Dillon and Holly Jenkinson from Railway and the reds’ Colm Blennerhassett are all involved in the Leinster U-18 coaching setup.

They travel north seeking to win back the title for the first time since 2007 while the U-16s are hoping to bridge a six year gap.

Women’s Leinster Division One: UCD vs Pembroke, 1pm, Belfield; Glenanne vs Hermes, 3pm, St Mark’s; Three Rock Ladies vs Loreto, 4.45pm, Grange Road; Old Alex vs Trinity postponed
Division Two: Corinthian vs Pembroke, 12.45pm, Whitechurch Park; Railway Union vs Hermes, 1.15pm, Park Avenue; Newbridge vs UCD, 2.30pm; Loreto vs Old Alex, North Kildare vs Genesis both postponed

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