While Irish coach Sean Dancer finalises a schedule for the squad for the coming months – with a trip to South Africa in January already being mooted – his players will be able to focus on club duty for now, with most of those who missed the start of the Hockey League campaign expected to return this weekend.
A week after opening the defence of their title with a 1-0 win away to Railway Union, Pegasus, who are hoping to have Shirley McCay back in action, will enjoy home comforts for their double-header against Munster sides this weekend. Catholic Institute are their opponents on Saturday, before they take on Cork Harlequins on Sunday.
Old Alexandra and Pembroke Wanderers were the only other teams to pick up wins last Saturday, and both face fellow Dublin sides this weekend. Alexandra meet Muckross and Railway Union on Saturday and Sunday respectively, while Pembroke’s opponents are Railway and UCD.
The students, who drew away to Cork Harlequins in their opening game, start their weekend against Loreto, runners-up to Pegasus in both the Hockey League and Champions Trophy last season. Loreto will be looking to kickstart their campaign after losing to Pembroke last weekend.
Belfast Harlequins, who, like Pegasus, face Catholic Institute and Cork Harlequins in their double-header, will be without the honeymooning Liz Colvin. However, they are hopeful of Bethany Barr being available for the games after a back problem ruled her out of the defeat to Alexandra, a game in which her twin Serena played.
HOCKEY LEAGUE - Saturday: Belfast Harlequins v Cork Harlequins, Deramore Park, 2.30pm; Pegasus v Catholic Institute, Belfast High School, 2.30pm; Railway Union v Pembroke Wanderers, Park Avenue, 2.30pm; Loreto v UCD, Beaufort, 2.45pm; Muckross v Old Alexandra, Muckross Park, 3.15pm.
Sunday: Belfast Harlequins v Catholic Institute, Deramore Park, 1pm; Loreto v Muckross, Beaufort, 3pm; Old Alexandra v Railway Union, Milltown, 2.30pm; Pegasus v Cork Harlequins, Queens, 1pm; UCD v Pembroke Wanderers, Belfield, 2.30pm.