Decorated Railway and UCD aim to seal IHL semi

Bouyed by their spate of honourees at the IHA Awards, Railway Union will be looking to push through to the semi-finals of the Irish Hockey League along with UCD in Pool A of the women’s Irish Hockey League.

To do so, Railway need a draw or better in Galway against Greenfields while the students will advance with a similar result against Lurgan on home turf.

Railway Union's Emma Smyth won the IHA Player's Player of the Year award Pic: Adrian Boehm

Railway Union’s Emma Smyth won the IHA Player’s Player of the Year award Pic: Adrian Boehm

For Railway, Kate Dillon was named the Irish women’s club player of the year while Emma Smyth landed the Player’s Player of the Year on Friday afternoon at an event when Alex Speers was honoured for 150th international cap.

Speers has missed the past couple of games through a hip injury, including last Monday’s Jacqui Potter Cup final. There, they showed some great approach work but struggled in front of goal. They will hope to avoid the travails that beset them against Trinity while breaking down a defence marshalled by former Unionite Sarah McDonald.

UCD host a Lurgan side that stunned Hermes a week ago while the Booterstown side face Catholic Insititute.

In Pool B, Loreto appear to be getting all their ducks in a line at the right time with Aisling Campion coming back into the fold recently to add to their options. Unbeaten after three games, they travel up to Ballymoney who have yet to register a four-pointer and endured a rare hammering on home turf against Old Alex last weekend.

Ards will be out for revenge against Pegasus having lost out on the Ulster Premier League title 5-3 having led 3-1 at one stage in their title decider.

Old Alex are looking to back up their outstanding 5-1 win over Ballymoney with a big game against Cork Harlequins at Milltown and keep alive their aspirations.

No Leinster involvement in the Irish Hockey Trophy but Pembroke are on the road to Cork Harlequins – one of three meetings between the clubs this weekend – while UCD host Bandon.

Women’s Irish Hockey League (all Saturday)
Pool A:
Greenfields vs Railway Union, 1pm, Dangan; UCD vs Lurgan, 2.30pm, Belfield; Hermes vs Catholic Institute, 3pm, Booterstown

Pool B: Pegasus vs Ards, 1pm, Queen’s; Ballymoney vs Loreto, 2.30pm, Joey Dunlop Centre; Old Alex vs Cork Harlequins, 2.30pm, Milltown

Irish Hockey Trophy, semi-finals: North Down vs Cookstown, 1pm, Comber Road; NUIG vs Cork C of I, 3pm, Dangan

Irish Junior Cup (Sunday), semi-finals: Cork Harlequins vs Pembroke, 1pm, Farmer’s Cross; UCD vs Bandon, 2pm, Belfield

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