Cork Harlequins – Women’s EY Hockey League preview

Cork Harlequins
Last season: 3rd EY Hockey League, Irish Senior Cup finalists, Munster Senior Cup winners, EY Champions Trophy semi-finalists

Coach: Stephen Dale (8th season)

Players in: Julia O’Halloran (Railway Union), Emily O’Leary (Ulster Elks), Emma Barber (UCC), Alex O’Grady (UCC),
Players out: Niamh Sexton (Lock Haven University, USA), Dale Burkley (retired)

Overview: An influx of 10 new players last season was always going to be difficult for Stephen Dale to integrate. A third place finish in the EYHL and an Irish Senior Cup final showed real progression for the Cork side.

Emma Buckley and her Cork Harlequins’ corner defence. Pic: Adrian Boehm

With minimal player turnover, they will be hoping to add even greater consistency in the coming term. Cliodhna Sargent, who missed the second half of last season is expected to return after having her first child. Quins will be looking for both her and Roisin Upton to build a strong partnership after only getting to play one game with each other last season.

Julia O’Halloran returns to her home club after a number of years in Dublin and will be a major addition. Elsewhere, Quins will look to Naomi Carroll and Rebecca Barry to lead the attack.

Irish U-18 starlet Caoimhe Perdue will be hoping to build on an impressive first season with Quins along with Michelle Barry and Ingrid Burns. Emma Barber and Alex O’Grady have joined from UCC whilst both Emily O’Leary (Ulster Elks) and Rachel Hobbs (childbirth) are back in the mix for Quins.

The team will be captained by Irish International Yvonne O’Byrne and they look well set to push for the playoffs once again and, possibly, for silverware.

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