One of the two perfect records in the women’s EY Hockey League will come to an end on Saturday as the competition’s two big guns to date this season meet at the Merrion Fleet Arena.
Hermes-Monkstown and Cork Harlequins meet at the south Dublin venue following five consecutive wins a piece in the marquee competition with a glut of international talent set to be on display.Quins have been bolstered by Roisin Upton in the past week following her arrival from the US where she was finishing up her college commitments with the Uconn Huskies.
She made her debut for Quins last Saturday and followed up with a maiden Irish call a few days later. The Limerick native gives the Cork side a strong presence in defence and midfield to add to their international talent pool that contains Rebecca Barry, Yvonne O’Byrne, Cliodhna Sargent and Naomi Carroll.
The latter missed the Scotland series through injury, sustaining five stitches above her eye in the win over Belfast Harlequins.
For Hermes-Monkstown, their winning run has been relentless but the margins have been much tighter, grinding out single goal wins in each of their last three league ties.
Third meets fourth at Belfield where UCD’s hot run of form has them just two points off top spot following a very fruitful start to the season. Katie Mullan and new arrival Emma Russell have provided six goals each in all competitions to give them a great attacking edge, one which Pegasus will need to be wary of.
Pegs – in fourth – have six points worth of ground to make up and are looking for their first league win since September 25.
The Ulster side are at the head of a very congested mid-table with Railway Union and Ards on six points, Loreto on five while a win for either Ulster Elks or Belfast Harlequins would see them move into the mid-table spots.
Ards travel across Belfast to Deramore Park, looking to add to their run of two wins in succession. Loreto host Pembroke who will be looking to finally get off the mark. Railway Union host the Ulster Elks.
Women’s EY Hockey League (all Saturday): Hermes-Monkstown v Cork Harlequins, 1.30pm, Merrion Fleet Arena; Belfast Harlequins v Ards, 2.30pm, Deramore Park; Loreto v Pembroke, 2.30pm, Beaufort; UCD v Pegasus, 2.50pm, Belfield; Railway Union v Ulster Elks, 4.15pm, Park Avenue