If results go their way, Loreto could complete phase one of their league season with a ticket to the end of season EY Hockey League playoffs in their back pocket.
Last Saturday’s 8-0 win over Avoca, in tandem with Old Alex’s 1-1 draw with Trinity, moved them nine points clear of the pack with five rounds to go.Win bright and early on Saturday morning against Genesis – the first of two meetings between the side over the weekend – combined with a draw between Glenanne and Muckross and the Beaufort side will be assured of a top two place in the division.
On Sunday, they meet Genesis once again. This time, it is in the Jacqui Potter Cup semi-final. The last time Genesis were in the final four of the competition was back in 1986 when, coincidentally, Loreto were also the opponent 30 years ago almost to the day. Railway Union face Hermes in the other semi-final at 4pm at Park Avenue as the latter pursue their hopes of a treble.
Genesis come into the tie with their momentum from around Christmas stalling a little in recent weeks after a run of wins. They fell 1-0 last weekend against Glenanne, a second half penalty stroke the decider as Kate O’Connor’s corner shot hit a foot on the line and Sarah Daly potted from the spot.
That win put Glenanne into third, a point ahead of Muckross whom they meet on Saturday in a crunch tie for the playoff places. Nicci Daly, against one of her former clubs, could be a key player.
Trinity will hope they can profit from lost points from the sides directly above them when they host North Kildare. The Kilcock side will hope that last weekend’s first win of the season against Rathgar, via Neassa O’Malley and Shelley Spillane goals, will shake off the shackles.
For Rathgar, it is now mission critical as last weekend’s results have left them four points adrift at the bottom of the table. They travel to Corinthian in one of just two ties remaining against sides in the lower half of the division and so will need to get something from the tie.
Women’s Leinster Division One
Last Saturday: Glenanne 1 (S Daly) Genesis 0; Rathgar 0 North Kildare 2 (N O’Malley, S Spillane); Old Alex 1 (A Russell) Trinity 1 (S Quill); Loreto 8 Avoca 0
Sunday: Corinthian 1 (C McSweeney) Avoca 1 (S O’Brien)
Tomorrow: Genesis v Loreto, 10.15am, St Raphaela’s; Glenanne v Muckross, 12.15pm, Glenanne Park; Trinity v North Kildare, 1pm, Santry Avenue; Old Alex v Avoca, 1.15pm, Milltown; Corinthian v Rathgar, 2.15p, Whitechurch Park
Jacqui Potter Cup semi-finals: Genesis v Loreto, 1.15pm, St Raphaela’s; Railway Union v Hermes, 4pm, Park Avenue