Shirley McCay forced to sit out UU's Chilean Cup bid
Shirley McCay has been ruled out of the Ulster University squad which will defends its Irish Inter-varsities title in Cork at the weekend but the Jordanstown outfit have found a more than adequate replacement.
Ards striker Chloe Brown has been called up to the squad which must be exclusively made up of bona fide UU students, unlike in other competitions where they play as the Ulster Elks.
Ireland's most-capped player McCay, with 209 international appearances under her belt, has been rested for the weekend event which involves up to four matches in three days.
"We are taking a measured approach to the inter-varsities and although we would obviously like to have Shirley playing, it's going to be a long season for us and we have taken that into consideration," explained UU captain Gemma Frazer.
In the wake of their historic Irish Senior Cup triumph, the Elks are representing Ireland in Europe next year, several weeks after the scheduled end of the EY IHL season in April.
McCay has had a busy summer with virtually non-stop hockey due to Ireland commitments at the World League 2 tournament which was quickly followed by the European Championships.
However, Brown should be fresh after missing out on the abortive Olympic qualifying bid and then taking time out due to a knee injury after playing for Ireland at the Euros.
The tournament is split into two tiers - UU, UCC and DCU while Queen's are pooled with UCD and Trinity, with the top two in each section progressing to Sunday's semi-finals.
At Ulster Premier League level, the top match sees Randalstown, who are four points off the pace, taking on Lisnagarvey, who are a further point behind.