Railway line up tilt at sixth Jacqui Potter title in nine years against Old Alex

Railway Union will look to remain the dominant force in the Jacqui Potter Cup as they bid for their sixth success since 2011 on Sunday against Old Alex.

In total, Sunday sees four female Leinster finals up for deicision with Railway contesting three of them – four including their men in the Neville Davin Cup final – with the highlight the Jacqui Potter Cup decider against Old Alex.

Railway won in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018, showing their penchant for the competition. Alex, meanwhile, last won the title in 2010 and will be underdogs after two league defeats to the Park Avenue side during the EYHL campaign.

The cup, though, usually sees panels forced to go without their central international players and so Sarah Hawkshaw may have to sit this one out.

Earlier in the day, Railway II take on Loreto II in the Jacqui Potter Shield and the Sandymount club’s Under-16s are in the Junior Jacqui Potter Plate.

Muckross are going for three in-a-row in the Junior Cup when they meet Pembroke.

On Saturday, the current top five meet the bottom five in the women’s EY Hockey League as leaders with plenty of intrigue over each of the major issues.

Shirley McCay is a doubt for Pegasus’ Irish Hockey League trip to Old Alex on Saturday The 31-year-old Ulster talent coach had 11 stitches inserted in a nasty head wound sustained when she was accidentally struck by a ball during last week’s win over Ards and is undergoing concussion protocols.

She missed Saturday’s 3-2 win over Loreto which saw Pegasus leapfrog the Dubliners to go top of the table. Pegasus captain Michelle Harvey said: “It was a solid team performance. Even though we went 1-0 down early on our heads didn’t drop and we responded with a goal shortly after. We played with discipline and desire and the whole squad played well right until the final whistle.

“We are taking each match as they come and treating each like a final.”

The Belfast side will face an Old Alex side for whom Lisa Jacob has returned in recent weeks to make an impact and they can be reasonably content with their debut season in the EYHL with 16 points on the board.

Loreto, now in the chasers’ role, face a tough trip to Belfast Harlequins as they look to bounce back from that defeat to Pegasus. Niamh Small has missed the last couple of weeks for the Beaufort side but Nicci Daly has been in typically elusive form to cause problems.

Railway Union need to get their playoff push back on track when they face UCD in a derby encounter with Niamh and Michelle Carey and Nina Heisterkamp facing their former club, as will Holly Jenkinson, Hannah de Burgh Whyte and Kate Lloyd.

Cork Harlequins and Pembroke are in the dice for fourth place and will hope for no slip-ups against the bottom two.

Quins have won three of their last four games to move into fourth with Emily O’Leary, Michelle and Rebecca Barry combining brilliantly with Emma Barber becoming a strong leader.

Railway Union’s 2018 Jacqui Potter Cup winners. Pic: Adrian Boehm

They were caused plenty of problems in the first half of the season at home against Muckross, particularly on the counter, and so they will take nothing for granted in Donnybrook.

Likewise, Pembroke host Ards at Serpentine Avenue after a 4-3 battle in November. Sinead Loughran, Orla Macken and Gillian Pinder give them real dynamism in midfield.

In EYHL2, Queen’s and Trinity are on the brink of the semi-final spots from Pool 1. Clodagh Fullston scored twice for Trinity either side of Sophie Maleady’s effort to record a 2-1 result in midweek against Corinthian, strengthening their hold on second place.

If they win at UCC, Trinity will move to the brink of the last four while Queen’s will do likewise if they win their home tie against Corinthian.

At Rosbrien, Catholic Institute’s game with Monkstown has been postponed due to a water-logged pitch. Lurgan versus Dungannon is a dead rubber.

Women’s weekend fixtures (Saturday unless stated)
EY Hockey League: Belfast Harlequins v Loreto, Deramore Park, 2.30pm; Muckross v Cork Harlequins, Muckross Park, 1.30pm; Old Alexandra v Pegasus, Milltown, 1pm; Pembroke Wanderers v Ards, Serpentine Avenue, 2.30pm; Railway Union v UCD, Park Avenue, 2.30pm

EYHL 2, Pool 1
Wednesday: Corinthian 1 (S Maleady) Trinity 2 (C Fullston 2)
Saturday: Queens University v Corinthian, Malone Playing Fields, 2.30pm; UCC v Trinity, Mardyke, 2pm
Pool 2: Catholic Institute v Monkstown, Rosbrien, 2.30pm; Lurgan v Dungannon, Lurgan Junior HS, 2.30pm

Munster Division 1: Cork Church of Ireland v Bandon, Garryduff, 2pm

Sunday 17th March 2019
Leinster Jacqui Potter Cup final: Old Alexandra v Railway Union, Grange Road, 4pm
Jacqui Potter Shield Final: Railway Union II v Loreto II, Grange Road, 2.30pm
Jacqui Potter Junior Plate final: Old Alexandra v Railway Union, Grange Road, 10.30am
Junior Jacqui Potter Cup final: Muckross v Pembroke Wanderers, Grange Road, 12pm

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