Battle royale at Park Avenue as Railway Union and Hermes show down in the biggest match of the women’s EY Hockey League season to date.
The Booterstown club have run up four wins from four against sides in the bottom half of the table but can anticipate a huge tussle from Railway who are also unbeaten to date.Anna O’Flanagan has been in irresistible form so far, scoring 14 times in just five games so far this season with two hat tricks and one haul of six goals to her name.
She heads up an attacking line that also features Naomi Carroll and Nikki Evans, supported by Chloe Watkins and Liz McInerney and Eimear Horan.
It makes for a busy day for Railway’s back line with Emer Lucey and Orla Fox set to have their hands full, hoping to lay a base from which they can release Emma Smyth and her young cohorts.
Pembroke against UCD is another eye-catching Dublin derby, an important tie for both as they seek to keep in touch with the leading trio who currently occupy the playoff places.
Keith Crawford’s side have had a mixed bag of results, losing both their home games but winning twice on the road. They will look to reverse that trend against a UCD side that picked off a good point last week against the Ulster Elks and will look to start putting together a winning run having already played the top three in their first four games.
The Cork derby between Cork Harlequins and UCC sees many former team mates line out against each other. Olivia Roycroft and Miriam Crowley both shone last weekend for Quins in their win over Pegasus and will look to continue that form against their alma mater.
Of UCC’s stock, Antonia McGrath, Alex O’Grady, Niamh O’Leary and Claire O’Sullivan are all formerly of Harlequins.
Ulster Elks have added South African international Erin Hunter to their roster but she will not arrive in time for this weekend’s tie with Ards at Jordanstown. She is more likely to be in the country for the Irish Senior Cup second round date with Corinthian.Pegasus and Greenfields will look to get their first win of the campaign under their belts when they meet at Queen’s.
In Leinster’s division one, all eyes will be on Muckross Park where the two perfect records after five rounds will come head to head. It means Nicci Daly will line out against her former club Loreto for Muckross in what should be a high quality battle.
The Beaufort club were boosted in midweek with the news that Sarah Evans, Lauren O’Leary, Sarah O’Loughlin and Jessica McGirr have all been called up to the Leinster Under-21 line-up.
That side is predominantly made up of players from the student clubs with six players from Trinity and UCD included. The Trinity half dozen take on Rathgar on Saturday morning.
Avoca and North Kildare will look to land their first win of the season while fourth plays fifth when Corinthian take on Glenanne at Whitechurch Park. Old Alex host Genesis in the other tie of the day.
Women’s EY Hockey League (Saturday): Pembroke v UCD, 2pm, Serpentine Avenue; Cork Harlequins v UCC, 2.30pm, Farmer’s Cross; Pegasus v Greenfields, 2.30pm, Queen’s University; Ulster Elks v Ards, 2.30pm, Jordanstown; Railway Union v Hermes, 4pm, Park Avenue
Leinster Division One: Trinity v Rathgar, 11am, Santry Avenue; Corinthian v Glenanne, 1.15pm, Whitechurch Park; Old Alex v Genesis, 1.30pm, Milltown; Avoca v North Kildare, 2.30pm, Newpark; Muckross v Loreto, 2.45pm, Muckross Park
Irish Junior Cup, first round
Saturday: Trinity v Railway Union, 4.15pm, Santry Avenue; Ulster Elks v UCD, 4pm, Jordanstown; Loreto v Hermes, 3pm, Beaufort; Corinthian v Glenanne, 2.45pm, Whitechurch Park; NICS v North Down, 2.30pm, Stormont; Pegasus v Old Alex, 2.30pm, Queen’s; Portadown v Lisnagarvey, 2.30pm, Portadown; Pembroke v Asthon, 12pm, Serpentine Avenue
Sunday: Bandon v Randalstown, 12pm, Bandon GS
Leinster Under-21 panel: Anna Richardson (Avoca); Sally Campbell, Sarah Patton (Hermes); Jessica McGirr, Lauren O’Leary, Sarah Evans, Sarah O’Loughlin (all Loreto); Anna Roopnarinesingh, Vanessa Winn, Hannah McDermott (all Old Alexandra); Laura Hanlon (Pembroke Wanderers); Ailish Long, Carolyn Crampton, Cliona McCullough, Lauren Thomas, Rachel O’Brien, Sara Quill (all Trinity); Emma Duncan, Millie O’Donnell, Rachel Gray, Sara Twomey, Sorcha Clarke, Clodagh Cassin (all UCD).
Coaches: Chris Tyrrell and Keith Crawford. Manager: Michelle Heming.