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Colvin relishing her reunion with former club Loreto

 

By John Flack

Lizzie Colvin could scarcely believe it when the EY Irish Hockey League fixture list paired Belfast Harlequins with her former club Loreto for Saturday's opening day of the season.

And in a twist of fate, Quins will travel south, meaning the Irish international star will find herself in the away dressing room at Beaufort for the first time after seven happy years with the Dublin side.

The 27-year-old Ulster woman returned home after completing her studies and landing a job as a lawyer with Belfast firm DWF.

She chose to join Harlequins partly because one of her new team-mates, fellow international Zoe Wilson, also made the switch after splitting her playing duties with Randalstown and German club Harvesthuder last season.

Boosted by their high-profile new recruits, hopes are high that Quins can challenge for a place in the play-offs after only staying up last season by beating Lurgan in a play-off.

Their pre-season has gone well, finishing with a comfortable win over Queen's and a 2-2 draw with IHL rivals Ards.

In those games, Quins had the bulk of the possession after being under the cosh for most of last season's programme.

"It's been absolutely brilliant, the girls have been so welcoming and the practice games have been really good," said Colvin.

"It's been great getting to know them all and how they play nice attacking hockey, with the girls upfront having a lot of pace.

"I couldn't believe it when I heard it was Loreto in our first match but it will be really good to go and play against them."

Pegasus have also been active in the transfer market, signing Ireland's most-capped player Shirley McCay. She will make her competitive debut against Railway Union at Upper Malone.

Ards, who have recruited former Queen's captain Linzi Hamilton, have a difficult opener as they travel to Cork Harlequins.

At domestic level, the Denman Ulster Shield continues tonight with the visit of top-flight newcomers Mossley and Rainey to Banbridge and Portadown respectively.

A further round in the Ulster Shield and Senior Cup takes place on Saturday.

 

WOMEN’S SENIOR FIXTURES

TONIGHT: Ulster Shield: Banbridge v Mossley (7.45pm); Portadown v Rainey (8.15pm); Ballymoney v Dungannon (8pm); Lurgan v North Down (7.45pm)

Senior Cup: Ballymena v Knock (7.45pm)

TOMORROW: Senior Cup: Priorians v Omagh (8.15pm); CI v Garvey (7.30pm)

FRIDAY: Ulster Shield: Mossley v Ulster Elks (6.45pm)

SATURDAY: IHL: Loreto v Belfast H’quins (2.30pm); Cork H’quins v Ards (1.45pm); Monkstown v Pembroke (2.30pm); Pegasus v Railway (2.30pm)

Ulster Shield (2.30pm): B’bridge v Portadown (1pm); B’money v Lurgan; Dungannon v Queen’s; North Down v Randalstown

Senior Cup: Knock v Victorians (4.15pm); Omagh v Ballymena (2.30pm); Ballyclare v CI (2.30pm); L’garvey v Raphoe (2.30pm)

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