Raphoe have been dealt a huge blow, as they will be without their star defender, Matthew Lecky, for at least six weeks.
With only two minutes remaining in last weekend’s game against Instonians, Lecky went in for a simple tackle and got caught up with the other player and somehow dislocated his shoulder.
It could not have been worse news for the newly promoted County Donegal side, as they not only rely on the Ulster Under 21 player in defence but he is also lethal from penalty corners.
As Raphoe captain, Ian McGonnigle, explained, “It is a massive loss for us, as we have some crucial games coming up, starting with Annadale tomorrow.
“Matthew broke his collar bone about two years ago and was back to his best. Now this, which will see him sidelined for at least six weeks.
“It’s really bad for us, we are not carrying a squad of 18 players but 14 and we can’t afford to be without him as he one of our best defenders. He also takes our penalty corners which means that we will have to go back to the drawing board.”
In a recent game against Lisnagarvey, Lecky was one of the best players on the pitch and if he had continued to put in superb performances, it would have been only a matter of time before the former Irish Under 18 captain would have been getting called into the Irish senior squad.
This week Raphoe are off to Kirk Cup finalists Annadale, who are only one spot above them on goal difference.
Conor Roberts returns for Dale after missing the Kirk semis.
Game of the day is at Steelweld Park, where Cookstown welcome premiership leaders Banbridge. The Reds have a full strength team and they will be aware that Bann will be looking to bounce back after their shock exit from the Kirk Cup last Sunday.
Bann are missing, Dane Ward, Frazer Mills and young Johnny McKee, who has glandular fever.
Instonians have only one injury worry over Matthew Johnston for their game against Civil Service. Service are missing Gareth Grundie and Peter Johnston and they will be hoping that they can avoid another heavy defeat this week.
Mossley travel to Kilkeel with an under-strength side. Mark Moreland and Jason Hill are at a wedding and Leigh Young is away on business. Kilkeel also have a couple of concerns, as Colin Holmes has not recovered from an illness and Gareth Russell has an elbow injury.
Second placed Lisnagarvey, travel with a full strength squad to Belfast Harlequins, who are missing Luke McClelland and Callum Lees.
Senior One leaders North Down will be out to consolidate their position at the top of the league, with a win against visitors Antrim.
Portadown should secure three points against bottom of the table Cliftonville and Newry should follow suit against Queens at the Dub.
In the other games, a share of the spoils is expected as South Antrim welcome Bangor and PSNI host Campbellians.