Pegasus goalkeeper Sharon Moffett will be coming out of semi-retirement on Saturday when she takes over from Ayeisha McFerran for the crucial Ulster Premier League clash with Ards at Upper Malone.
McFerran is currently on international duty as Ireland continue their preparations for the World League 2 tournament, which is being hosted in Dublin from March 14-22.
Yesterday Ireland lost 6-0 to Great Britain after earlier going down 1-0 and 5-2 in the three match warm up series in Bisham Abbey.
Moffett stood aside when Pegasus signed McFerran from Randalstown in the close season although she did play one Ulster Shield game in September.
Since then she has been ever-present as a coaching assistant in the dug out and, on one occasion, took charge of the team when neither Arlene Boyles nor her number two, Ali McNeill, was available.
Moffett, a former Ulster custodian, has also been passing on her vast experience to McFerran in her role as the Pegasus goalkeeper coach but she says she is itching to get back between the posts.
Moffett was in goal almost exactly 12 months ago when Pegasus staged a stunning comeback to beat Ards 5-3 and clinch the title after being 3-1 down after only 17 minutes.
Now, though, it’s a very different scenario as Pegasus simply must win the rematch to keep their already very slim title chances alive in theory at least.
Even a draw wouldn’t be enough as Ards have a vastly superior goal difference so, in that event, only the Ulster Elks would stand any chance of stopping them from adding the League to their earlier Shield success.
A 1-0 win for Ards over the defending champions a few weeks ago, coupled with their subsequent results, has left Naomi Elliott’s side needing just six points from their remaining four games to lift the title.
But Pegasus have been happy with their recent form which has seen them win their Pool in the Irish Hockey League to book their place in next month’s semi finals in Dublin.
“Playing Ards is going to be a tough encounter but we will be hoping to build on some strong performances over the past couple of weeks.” said team captain Stephanie Thompson.
Also on Saturday, the Elks must win at Lurgan to stay in the hunt but if they were to lose and Ards were to beat Pegasus,
then the trophy would go to the Co Down club.
In Saturday’s other top flight game, Queen’s host Ballymoney while during the week ‘Money beat Lisnagarvey 2-1 and two late goals from Sarah McClure saw Lurgan come back from 2-0 down to defeat Belfast Harlequins 4-2 at Deramore.
Armagh and Larne are in action across the border in the Irish Trophy quarter finals as they prepare to take on Galway and Three Rock Rovers respectively.