Hermes welcome back internationals for Ards tie

Second semi-final is repeat of Saturday’s EY league tie when Ulster Elks beat UCD 3-1

Rudi Wortmann: “Ards have grown in the league, and are serious contenders for a place in this final. ” Photograph: INPHO

Rudi Wortmann: “Ards have grown in the league, and are serious contenders for a place in this final. ” Photograph: INPHO

 

Hermes’s drive for a perfect season may have came to an end last Sunday, but coach Rudi Wortmann’s charges are still gunning for the two biggest pieces of silverware left on the agenda – the Irish Senior Cup and the EY Champions Trophy.

His side won the inaugural EY Hockey League last Saturday to land their first title and a European spot.

A day later they were knocked out of the Jacqui Potter Cup at the semi-final stage in a shoot-out with Railway Union to deny them the shot at a quadruple.

Home tie

Naomi CarrollNikki EvansChloe WatkinsSinead LoughranEmma GrayChristine Quinlan

That they drew in normal time with Railway, one of the leading sides, without seven frontline players shows the awesome strength in depth.

Ards, meanwhile, will have to adjust quickly to the outdoor game having represented Ireland in European indoor competition last weekend in Dundee.

Hermes coach Wortmann says it will be a big test despite Hermes being big favourites.

“Ards have grown in the league, and are serious contenders for a place in this final. They might be seen as underdogs but that is not the way we see them, and we will treat them with utmost respect.”

Sticky spell

Ulster

Megan Frazer’s return from injury has been important, as has the form of Shirley McCay, Gemma Frazer and Anna Kozniuk. Rebecca Barry is a doubt after a neck injury ruled her out of recent games.

UCD coach Miles Warren will hope he can learn much from his midweek video analysis to pin-point holes in the Elks’ side that they missed last time around.

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