Hermes on Pembroke revenge mission

Hermes and Pembroke’s second league meeting of the season is the highlight of a full weekend of women’s Leinster division one, the first one for three weeks.

First time around, Pembroke nabbed a narrow 1-0 win on the opening day of the season over the Booterstown club, the start of a chain of three wins on that scoreline.

Pembroke's Katie O'Byrne and Hermes' Aisling Naughton Pic: Deryck Vincent

Pembroke’s Katie O’Byrne and Hermes’ Aisling Naughton Pic: Deryck Vincent

Since then, Keith Crawford’s side have played out a series of close ties but have yet to win in the league since early October.

They remain defensively excellent with Stella Davis between the posts a star performer but they have half the goals of the other teams in the top half of the table – seven from six outings.

Hermes, meanwhile, have plenty of bite in their forward line these days with Caitriona McGilp providing a feisty presence, combining well with Aine Connery and Aisling Naughton.

Audrey O’Flynn, however, has taken a break from the game in recent weeks, meaning they are shy one of their key defenders one of the strongest corner flickers in the country.

In terms of pushing for one of the Irish Hockey League places, this is an important tie on a weekend which could see rivals push on.

Part of Railway Union’s early season troubles saw them draw 0-0 with Trinity on home turf as they got off to a slow start. Momentum has been building since then, capped by their Irish Senior Cup win over UCD.

Eimear Clarke and Georgina Spillane are among a number of youngsters being guided into the team with Heisterkamp and Carey sisters also playing a part at different stages this term.

They meet a Trinity side with two wins in-a-row under their belt and look to have gelled well when at full strength though Niamh Sweeney and Anna May Whelan are doubts in the wake of their win over North Kildare.

If they are to push for an IHL place, it is the kind of game Trinity will need to land some points from to sustain a challenge.

Glenanne and Old Alex will look to reignite their push for a place in the top half when they meet in Tallaght on Saturday afternoon.

Loreto’s unbeaten run will be put to the test by Corinthian at Beaufort but they need to find a source of goals having only scored in one of their five completed matches to date.

Before the rains came against Hermes, though, they showed their ability to mix it and they will look to make things difficult.

With UCD on a 100pc winning record and North Kildare yet to garner a point, their meeting at Belfield looks set to go only one way but the Kilcock side may view this as a shot to nothing.

Sunday sees the first tranche of Jacqui Potter Cup second round matches with six division two sides hoping to progress. Rathgar face the toughest task, travelling to Hermes.

Women’s Leinster Division One: Glenanne vs Old Alex, 1pm, Glenanne Park; Trinity vs Railway Union, 1pm, Santry Avenue; UCD v North Kildare, 3pm, Belfield; Loreto v Corinthian, 4pm, Beaufort; Hermes v Pembroke, 4.15pm, St Andrews

Division Two: Muckross v Railway Union, 2.45pm, Muckross Park; Genesis v Rathgar, 1pm, St Raphaela’s; Loreto II vs UCD II, 1pm, Beaufort; Pembroke II v Old Alex II, 2pm, Serpentine Avenue; Hermes II v Avoca, 2.30pm, St Andrews

Jacqui Potter Cup, second round (Sunday): UCD II v Avoca, 1.30pm, Belfield; Glenanne v Loreto II, 3.30pm, Glenanne Park; Hermes v Rathgar, 4pm, Booterstown; Pembroke II v Railway Union II, 5pm, Serpentine Avenue

Women's Leinster Senior Div 1