Ulster Elks defender Shirley McCay is an injury doubt for Saturday’s crucial Premier League clash with Harlequins at Jordanstown.
The Irish international damaged her shoulder in last Friday night’s win over Randalstown and has not trained properly this week.
If she fails to make the Quins game then it will be a blow for Elks coach Ricky Lee and his team but his opposite number Johnny Caren won’t be complaining.
McCay has been a model of consistency this season since moving back to the province from Dublin side Old Alex.
She dovetails perfectly with national team captain Megan Frazer, who is in fine form at the moment having scored two late goals to see of Town last week.
Frazer is the Elks’ leading scorer this season and plays in a more advanced position than her role with Ireland.
“Shirley didn’t train at all on Monday and has been receiving physio on the injury so we will have to wait until later in the week to see if she is fit to play or not.” Lee explained.
With or without McCay It still adds up to a difficult task for Harlequins, who under performed in drawing with Lisnagarvey last weekend.
“Our work rate wasn’t good enough against Garvey although having four girls involved in a schools cup game, with less than 45 minutes to recover, wasn’t ideal.” said Caren.
“The Elks beat us 3-0 last time and we had problems coping with Frazer, who pressed our defence very well but the players concerned have learned from watching the video of the game.”
Caren will be looking for his team to replicate their display of a few weeks ago when they held Pegasus to a 1-1 draw at upper Malone.
Elsewhere on Saturday, champions Pegasus won’t be taking Randalstown lightly in view of the difficulty they had in beating the Co Antrim side in the Denman Ulster Shield semi final.
On that occasion, they had to rely on a last minute winner from Suzanne Ferris to see off a brave challenge from Town.
Leaders Ards should have little difficulty in overcoming struggling Portadown who conceded six goals against Queen’s last Saturday.
Queen’s themselves will be out to avenge last season’s defeat by Lurgan, which clinched the latter a place in the IHL, when the sides meet at the Co Armagh venue.
Lisnagarvey will be hoping they can find their shooting boots after missing a host of chances against Harlequins as they prepare to face an improving Ballymoney side.
In Senior One, leaders Armagh may have to start their game at Banbridge without their schoolgirl contingent as they have a match in Belfast in the morning. It is a repeat of the Senior Cup semi final which Armagh won 1-0.