Two Limerick friends will be cast in the unfamiliar role of opponents as Cork Harlequins host Ulster Elks in the new-look EY Hockey League.
Rebecca Barry and Katie Campbell were born less than a year apart and their sporting lives have long dovetailed, first at Limerick and then Catholic Institute hockey clubs, as well as lining out for the same Munster representative teams and playing underage Gaelic football for Limerick. The end of their schooldays saw Barry head for America for a fruitful four years with the University of Richmond Spiders, while Campbell continued to star for Institute as well as spending time playing in Holland.
But with Barry now in Belfast with the Elks and Campbell commuting to Cork to try her hand at Ireland’s new national league, they will be on opposite sides at Harlequin Park today (1.30pm).
Quins’ need for a win is more pressing having lost 2-0 at Railway Union first up while the Elks beat Pembroke 3-1, but the Leesiders may again have to plan without their totem Cliodhna Sargent and lkeeper Emma Buckley.
Another of the Institute diaspora, Naomi Carroll, now leads an all-Irish international forward line at Hermes, who take on Ards in the tie of the round in the women’s competition.
UCC make their home debut in the competition with Railway set to provide a far sterner test than Greenfields, who the students dispatched 4-0 in Galway last weekend.
The Dubliners won 6-1 on their last visit to the Mardyke but College will be hopeful of a closer encounter this time. Cork C of I’s men could make it two wins from two if they can win on the road at Glenanne, who were chastened by a 4-1 loss to Three Rock Rovers last week. C of I beat Cookstown on the same scoreline with John Jermyn notching three of those.
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