HOCKEY: Portadown looking to bounce back after defeat

Zoe Wilson
Zoe Wilson

Portadown ladies will be seeing red on Friday night irrespective of the outcome of their Ulster Premier League clash with Randalstown at the Antrim Forum.

Town’s flame-haired duo of Rachel King and Zoe Wilson will be the players to watch but they won’t be around the club for much longer.

King is heading to Chile to begin a new life while Irish international Wilson will shortly be travelling back to Germany where she plays professionally.

Midweek, former Ulster Under 21 player King scored twice as Randalstown defeated Raphoe 7-0 at the Forum.

On Friday night the Ports will be hoping to bounce back from last Saturday’s 6-1 loss to Queen’s, who are three points behind Town but with four games in hand, as they sit in fourth place in the table.

On Saturday the students take on Dungannon at the Dub but the match of the day is the top of the table clash between leaders Lurgan and second-placed Ballymoney.

At national level, Pegasus face a huge weekend with two fixtures in two different all-Ireland competitions which could define their season.

First up on Saturday, it’s a crucial EY Irish Hockey League game with leaders Hermes-Monkstown at the Dub, followed by an Irish Senior Cup semi-final with Cork Harlequins at the same venue 24 hours later.

Pegasus defender Michelle Harvey has scored three times in the last two games and she insists her team can still make the EYHL play-offs at the first attempt.

“We haven’t given up on the league by any means and we are still aiming to finish as high as possible, taking each match as it comes.” she said.

“At this stage the Cork game is a more immediate way of qualifying for the play-offs, but we aren’t jumping ahead of ourselves.

“Harlequins have been going well this season and both games will be tough but we will be aiming for two wins andp.”

The winners of Sunday’s cup semi will face either UCD or Pembroke in the decider as the two Dublin sides meet in the other tie.

Ards, who are out of the cup, are also aiming to reach the IHL play-offs and they face Loreto tomorrow at Londonderry Park

The other two local sides in the IHL clash head-on as Belfast Harlequins face Ulster Elks at Deramore, with both teams desperate to add to their tally of four points which has left them sharing bottom place in the table.

The men’s IHl resumes on Saturday with Instonians facing Banbridge before playing holders Monkstown in a rescheduled Irish Cup quarter-final on Sunday.

Lisnagarvey host Pembroke on Saturday in the league while, in the Ulster Premier, Annadale and Cookstown have a chance to make up ground on Kilkeel when they play North Down and Belfast Harlequins respectively.