On the women’s side Munster sides will be hoping home comforts will work to their advantage this weekend in IHL 1 and 2. After a fruitful weekend in the North last weekend Catholic Institute host Old Alex in Rosbrien. The return of Naomi Carroll has bolstered the front line with Laura Foley again firing in the goals this season. Harlequins also had a strong showing last weekend taking a point from Belfast Harlequins before losing by the narrowest of margins to last year’s champions Pegasus. Michelle and Rebecca Barry (not sisters) have stepped up as leaders this season in what is a young squad with plenty of talent. They face Pembroke Wanders in Farmers’ Cross on Saturday. In EY 2 both Munster sides have crunch ties even at this early stage of the season. C of I host Lurgan after their convincing win against NUIG in the last round of games. The evergreen Amy Roberts has been leading the line this season for CI with 5 goals already. Kay Gaffney also poses a real threat at corner time. A win would keep them second in the table and create clear divide in the table. In the Mardyke UCC host Queens University in what is likely to be a high paced game. UCC have a perfect record in Munster with their one defeat in EY 2 coming against run away group leaders Ards. UCC will be without Christina Dring but with Aoife Collins, Miah Phealan and Lauren Ryan scoring freely of late, they will pose a real threat in the final third.
In the women’s Examiner Cup Bandon will be unbackable favourites against Limerick. Katie Desmond has been in top form in the midfield with Oliva Roycroft banging in the goals up front. Waterford and Ashton meet for the second week in a row in the same venue. Ashton’s front line has been firing this year with Tracey Johnson and Emma O’Sullivan linking up well – Ciara O’Toole also poses a real threat with her drag flicking ability.
On the men’s side its the first round of the Peard Cup. The pick of the ties is between the much improved UCC against Harlequins. The Summer additions have seen UCC improve greatly this season with Simon Dring, Sam Lilburn and Evin McLure impressing. For Quins they have made a solid start to the season. Talisman Julian Dale has hit form in recent weeks with the like of Jack O’Meara and John Hobbs keeping the goals out the other end of the pitch. Bandon will be expected to have too much firepower for Catholic Institute with Fionn O’Leary currently top scorer in Munster while Waterford host C of I for the first time in close to a decade.