The women’s EY Hockey League’s early phases feature another series of intriguing ties with Pembroke’s second away day to Ulster in succession a highlight.
Pegasus won’t be taking Pembroke lightly as they expect to welcome back Irish international Emily Beatty, who missed the weekend defeat to Belfast Harlequins.
Although they lost the game at Deramore 2-0, the Leinster team gave as good as they got for most of the 70 minutes and created more chances but found home keeper Marianne Fox in inspired form.
Harlequins, with World Cup heroines Zoe Wilson and Lizzie Colvin in their side, are also on the road and will be hoping to make it two from two when they take on Railway Union as they bid to avenge a 3-2 defeat at Park Avenue last season.
Wilson scored one of the goals and provided an assist for the other in Saturday’s win over Pembroke and will be an important cog in the midfield along with Colvin.
Railway are next on their agenda and featured All-Ireland winning Dublin ladies footballers Kate McKenna and Molly Lamb in their squad last weekend while Sarah Hawkshaw made an instant impact after four years at University of Massachussets.
Ards, who drew 0-0 with Muckross on Sunday, will hope to do better than in their last meeting with UCD, who were 7-1 winners at Londonderry Park in the corresponding game last season.
UCD coach Miles Warren saw enough in their performance last weekend against Pegasus to be pleased with – despite defeat to Pegasus – to suggest they can have a say at the top end of the EYHL table this term.
New arrivals Michelle and Niamh Carey, Suzie Kelly, Nina Heisterkamp and Charlotte Cope means a vastly changed side while there is the prospect of Hannah McLoughlin and Ellen Curran joining the party to give them plenty of quality to work with.
Harlequins host Old Alex, both looking to bounce back from an opening day defeat. Lorna Bateman and Becky Maye shared the goalkeeping duties for Quins last weekend, getting a half each as they adjust to life without Emma Buckley.
Alex suffered a torrid first 25 minutes in the top tier last week when they conceded three times against Railway Union but showed enough quality after that to suggest they can cause problems.
Emma Russell, Lisa Jacob, Fiona Connery and Pam Smithwick all have international experience while Spanish import Paula Pena looked lively.
Loreto have moved their home games to the new water-based back pitch at Three Rock Rovers at the far end of the Grange Road for this campaign. Muckross are the first visitors with Sarah Scott coming up against her former club.
She was content enough with her side’s performance against Ards but a little disappointed not to find the finishing touch. Whether they can muster chances against the Beaufort side, though, is another matter.
In the Irish Senior Cup, Glenanne and Trinity meet in a Dublin derby in the first round while UCC against Ballymoney could be an interesting prospect on Sunday. There are also several Irish Hockey Trophy ties on the agenda.
EY Hockey League (Saturday): Ards v UCD, 4pm, Londonderry Park; Cork Harlequins v Old Alex, 2.30pm, Farmers’ Cross; Loreto v Muckross, 1pm, Three Rock Rovers; Pembroke v Pegasus, 2pm, Serpentine Avenue; Railway Union v Belfast Harlequins, 3pm, Park Avenue
Irish Senior Cup, first round (Sunday): Corinthian v Banbridge, 3pm, Whitechurch Park; Glenanne v Trinity, 1pm, St Andrew’s; Ulster Elks v Genesis, 1pm, Jordanstown; UCC v Ballymoney, 12pm, The Mardyke
Irish Hockey Trophy, first round
Saturday: CI Ladies v Lisnagarvey, 1pm, CIYMS; Raphoe v Rainey, 1pm, Royal & Prior
Sunday: Ashton v Mossley, 2.30pm, Ashton School; Avoca v North Kildare, 3.30pm, Newpark; Belvedere v Clontarf, 2pm, Ballincollig; Kilkenny v Cork C of I, 1.30pm, Kilkenny College; Waterford v Weston, 3pm, Newtown