No matter what Loreto do, three could become two in the women’s Leinster division one title race on Saturday afternoon should Railway Union get the better of Pembroke in the Dublin 4 derby.
Railway, though, are still very much in the box seat with Kate Lloyd their key player in a seven-game winning streak in the domestic league which has wrested the advantage away from UCD.
Her form, along with that of Jean McDonnell, Zara Delany and Kate McKenna will give McKinnon a happy dilemma on the return of his international strikers Alex Speers and Nikki Evans as he attempts to accommodate a cornucopia of options up front.
Just three goals have been conceded in that run of form, making it a daunting proposition for Pembroke to overcome – especially after a 6-0 pre-Christmas result.
But they still have pressing needs as a result for Three Rock Ladies against Corinthian means they are not wholly out of the woods.
Nonetheless, Justin Sherriff has worked minor wonders this term with a side made up almost entirely of players new to division one hockey after a string of players moved on. Away form has also been more of their forte, seven of their eight points coming on the road, while Jilly Collins has provided an extra lively presence since returning from her travels.
Loreto’s challenge will hope to be maintained with victory over Old Alex at Beaufort, a side who will face a decision how to manage their young contingent of Erika Hinkson, Hannah McDermott and Emily Beatty in the wake of an intense Kate Russell campaign.
Should they nab a win, though, they will guarantee they avoid the IHL wildcard playoffs, taking fourth place with a game to spare.
As such, it is Geoff Walker’s side’s last chance to avoid the playoff – which will be with North Kildare – as a loss confirms the bottom rung of the standings. Glenanne, meanwhile, will sniff a result against Trinity who are without Jessie Elliott.
Women’s division two could be decided on Monday night should Loreto overcome UCD and Pembroke fail to pick up full points against Old Alex.
Women’s Leinster Division One: Glenanne vs Trinity, 12.30pm, St Mark’s; Corinthian vs Three Rock Ladies, 2.15pm, Whitechurch; Loreto vs Old Alexandra, 2.30pm, Beaufort; Railway Union vs Pembroke, 2.45pm, Park Ave
Division Two: Newbridge vs Railway Union, 11am, St Mary’s, Naas; Hermes vs North Kildare, 1pm, St Andrew’s; Old Alexandra vs Pembroke, 1.15pm, Milltown; Genesis vs Corinthian, 2.30pm, Belfield
Monday: Loreto vs UCD, 7.45pm, Beaufort