The 154-times capped Irish senior women’s skipper, a teacher at Laurel Hill Coláiste in Limerick, opted earlier this week to link up with Ger O’Carroll’s side after three seasons with the Munster champions, Harlequins.
Cregan, who has been recovering from a knee operation and has yet to play club hockey this term, insisted it was not a decision she took lightly.
“My decision to move was a very difficult one and one that I thought long and hard about,” she said.
“I have had three fantastic seasons with Harlequins, who have been hugely supportive of my hockey career, and for that I will always be truly grateful.
“Unfortunately, full-time employment and full-time training with the Irish squad have made it difficult for me to continue commuting to Cork for weekly training sessions.
“My commitment to the Irish squad is set to increase two fold over the coming months in the lead up to the World Cup qualifier (in Chile in April), and in order for me to be in the best shape for this tournament, I need to maximise the quality of my training and my ability to recover.”
Cregan will not be in harness for Institute’s Irish Hockey Trophy quarter-final trip to Knock, where they will head with confidence after turning over Cork C of I away from home last week.
The latter will look to bounce back with a league win at Waterford, while Bandon meet basement side UL for the second time in seven days. Ashton are the other Munster side in IHT action, hosting Wexford in the last eight.
Meanwhile, UCC are in for a busy weekend of battles with Cork Harlequins in the Munster men’s league.
Neil Welch’s students meet both Quins B and Quins A on consecutive days, with the former clash a must-win as they seek to make up ground on free-scoring Bandon – who host C of I B.
Champions C of I A, currently 11 points clear with many other clubs having played up to four games less, should add to their tally as they welcome Catholic Institute to Garryduff.
Two men’s Irish Senior Cup ties frozen off last weekend take place in Ulster, with Mossley hosting Annadale and Banbridge visiting Instonians.
In Leinster, Corinthian can extend their lead with a victory over relegation-threatened UCD.
Irish Senior Cup: Mossley vs Annadale (The Glade, 1pm); Instonians vs Banbridge (Shaw’s Bridge, 1pm). Munster Div 1: Bandon A vs C of I B (Bandon Grammar, 12pm); UCC A vs Cork Harlequins B (Harlequin Park, 2.30pm); Cork C of I A vs Catholic Institute A (Garryduff, 3pm); Sunday: Cork Harlequins A vs UCC A (Harlequin Park, 1.30pm); Leinster Div 1: Corinthian vs UCD (St Columbus, TBC);
ESB Irish Junior Cup: Belfast Harlequins vs Loreto (Deramore Park, 1pm); ESB Irish Hockey Trophy: Portadown vs Three Rock Ladies (Edenville, 2.30pm); Ashton vs Wexford (Ashton School, 2.30pm); Knock vs Catholic Institute (St Colmans School, 1pm); Greenfields vs Galway (TBC). Leinster Div 1: Glenanne vs Pembroke Wanderers (Glenanne Park, 3pm) Munster Div 1: UL vs Bandon (UL, 1.30pm); Waterford vs Cork C of I (Newtown School, 12.30pm).