The battle of the two Leinster division one 100 percent records takes centre stage on the women’s scene as Pembroke and UCD showdown at Serpentine Avenue on Saturday.
Keith Crawford’s side have won all four of their games to date this season – three league and one Senior Cup tie – by a single goal and come into the tie with plenty of inside knowledge to draw on.Caroline Hill has been an excellent addition to the Dublin 4 side this term while Kate Collins-Smyth and Orla Macken were also part of the students’ IHL winning panel last term.
Their strength remains in the defence with Laura Gray and Sarah Clarke bolstering an already strong line-up, joining Katie O’Byrne and Claire Mulcahy in front of Irish international Stella Davis.
As such, this tie will give a good measure of how much they have pushed on since last season’s Irish Senior Cup final. Jeamie Deacon will continue to balance her rugby commitments with Blackrock College RFC – with whom she scored 13 points last Sunday – and UCD.
To that end, the students have been bedding in new faces like Anna Roopnarinesingh, Orla Patton and Sara Twomey to good effect but they will be concerned at the volume of cards accrued in the last two weeks in back-to-back against Ards. Should that trend continue, Pembroke will sniff in chance in the second half.
Hermes’ free-scoring ways come up against Glenanne’s teak-tough defence in Tallaght fresh from their hugely impressive 3-0 IHL win over Railway Union.
After an opening day loss to Pembroke, the Booterstown club have run up 16 goals in three games with Caitriona McGilp and Audrey O’Flynn netting four times each, showing their danger from play and set pieces, respectively.
For the Glens, they will hope to get Audrey McCormack going to create the chances for sharp-shooter Clare Shillington.
Loreto, meanwhile, host a Trinity side has had yet to fully hit their stride, scoring just once in four outings this season. Defensively, they look a tricky team to break down with Carolyn Crampton impressing between the posts as they snaffled a draw against Railway but were unable to break through against Old Alex more than once.
The Beaufort side will be boosted by Lizzie Colvin’s return after over a year out with a cruciate injury as she makes her tentative steps back into first team hockey.
The U-18 interpros mean both Corinthian and Railway Union’s tie and the tussle between Old Alex and North Kildare are postponed.
In division two, Avoca coach Jonathan Cole will be hoping to get one over his daughter Molly who be playing for Genesis in their top of the table clash in division two. Both sides have three wins from three so far this season.
Rathgar and Hermes II will be aiming for a first win while UCD II and Pembroke II meet in a rematch of last year’s Irish Junior Cup.
Muckross’s date with Old Alex II has been pushed out to next Wednesday as a result of the two club’s respective involvement in the U-18 inteprovincials while Loreto II take on Railway Union II.
Women’s Leinster Division One (all Saturday: Glenanne v Hermes, 12.15pm, Glenanne Park; Pembroke Wanderers v UCD, 12.30pm, Serpentine Avenue; Loreto v Trinity College, 12.45pm, Beaufort
Ladies Division Two: Rathgar v Hermes II, 12.30pm, The High School; Avoca v Genesis, 2pm, Newpark; Loreto II v Railway Union II, 4pm, Loreto Beaufort; UCD II v Pembroke Wanderers II, 4pm, Belfield UCD