Time is running out for Armagh at the wrong end of the Premier League table and they are unlikely to get much change out of champions Pegasus at Upper Malone on Friday night.
They remain anchored to the foot of the table with only six points and two wins under their belts and just five games left.
The team nearest them, Harlequins, stretched the gap to seven points with last weekend’s win over Ballymoney.
But a 1-0 home defeat against Lurgan for the Deramore side earlier this week at least gives Armagh some hope they can still make the relegation play off spot.
The one saving grace on Friday is that Irish international Emma Stewart is expected to play and her team will be looking for a repeat performance but a different result from the corresponding game a few weeks ago.
Pegasus came away from Ardmore knowing that they had been in a battle and it took a second half goal from Stephanie Quinn to separate the teams.
“We felt we deserved something from that game and we will just keep plugging away - we certainly haven’t given up yet and we’ve no intention of doing so, “ said Orchard County coach Colin Wilson.
That midweek win at Deramore has propelled Lurgan back into contention for a top four place and a berth in the Irish Hockey League. They have leapfrogged Queen’s to go fourth in the table but they have a tough one on Saturday away to leaders Ards.
But with a record level of unpredictability this season as far as results have gone Ards will be taking nothing for granted.
To add to their cautionary approach it took a goal from Janice Vaughan to seal a narrow 1-0 win earlier in the season at Lurgan Junior High School.
Neither Randalstown nor Ballymoney is safe from the threat of relegation adding significance to their meeting at the Joey Dunlop Centre on Saturday.
In theory Queen’s could still finish second bottom and face a relegation play-off even though they are fifth in the table.
on Saturday they take on student rivals the Ulster Elks who are hoping to have former Canadian international Michelle Weber available after a back injury while Queen’s are still without Katie Morris who has knee ligament damage.
There shouldn’t be too much to choose between the two sides as just three points separate them with the Elks having the advantage.
“There is always and extra edge to games with Queen’s because of the student rivalry and we will be hoping to convert our chances better after last week’s draw with Lisnagarvey.” said Elks coach Ricky Lee.