Elks, Railway and Hermes look to maintain perfect Hockey League start
Champions Pegasus in danger of falling well off the pace as they face Cork Harlequins
Ulster Elks’ Gemma Frazer: made her senior international debut for Ireland against Scotland: Photograph: Rowland White/Presseye/Inpho
After a month long break the EY Hockey League resumes tomorrow with Ulster Elks, Railway Union and Hermes all looking to make it four wins out of four after their perfect starts to the campaign.
Hermes will be the most confident of the trio, their opponents at Booterstown Greenfields, the Connacht champions who they beat 12-0 in the Irish Senior Cup last weekend. Elks and Railway, though, have more testing tasks, away to UCD (fifth) and Ards (fourth), respectively.
The top three in the 10 team league will qualify for the end-of-season Champions Trophy, and if one of them also wins the Irish Senior Cup, fourth would be good enough to make it through to the semi-finals.
With 15 matches still to go, Pegasus, last season’s club champions, will hardly be panicking just yet.
But with only one point from their opening three games, leaving them second from bottom of the table, they could do with getting back on the winning track. Cork Harlequins, their hosts tomorrow, will be intent on ensuring that doesn’t happen just yet.
For 15 of the Irish squad the Hockey League games will complete a testing week, one that saw them take on Scotland in three internationals in Glasgow.
The series ended all square, a win each after the first game ended in a draw. Gemma Frazer (Ulster Elks) and Elena Tice (Loreto) both made their senior debuts in the series. Hockey League – Saturday: Cork Harlequins v Pegasus, Farmers Cross, 1.30; Ards v Railway Union, Ards Leisure Centre, 2.30; Hermes v Greenfields, Booterstown, 2.30; UCC v Pembroke Wanderers, The Mardyke, 3.0; UCD v Ulster Elks, Belfield, 3.45.