Elks captain Emma set to face former club in cup showdown
Emma Quinn will be hoping to put one over her former team-mates when Ulster Elks take on Lurgan in an Irish Senior Cup second round tie at Jordanstown either tonight, weather permitting, or on Saturday.
The Elks captain won an Ulster Premier League medal with Lurgan three seasons ago when she was a schoolgirl at Banbridge Academy but she is now continuing her studies at Ulster University.
Since she joined the Elks, they have unfortunately suffered a fall from grace, having been relegated from the Irish Hockey League last season.
Before that they won consecutive Irish Senior Cups and a gold medal in Europe but a loss of key players, including Irish internationals Megan Frazer and Shirley McCay along with Canadian star Anna Kozniuk, hasn't helped their cause.
Frazer is now coaching the Elks while she recovers from a long-term injury while McCay joined Pegasus at the start of the season and Kozniuk has gone home to north America.
So Quinn knows that the Lurgan game will be a tough assignment with UCD awaiting the winners on Saturday, which is the reserve date for tonight's encounter if it falls victim to the weather.
She said: "After a turnover of 30 players from our top two teams in the past two years, it has been a period of rebuilding and consolidating for us. We are playing good hockey but need to improve and be more clinical in the circle.
"The game against Lurgan will be a good test and will let us see how we are progressing in our restructuring.
"Our coaches Megan and Joel Cathcart are bringing new ideas and concepts and we are growing and adapting all the time."
On Saturday, Pegasus should become the first Ulster team to reach the semi-finals as they will be expected to see off Leinster side Old Alex in Dublin.
Belfast Harlequins face a more difficult test against IHL rivals Pembroke Wanderers at Deramore as they aim to repeat last year's 2-0 league win over the same opponents.
The big Ulster Premier League game sees Dungannon, who trail leaders Ballymoney only on goal difference, travel to Belfast to face Queen's who are defending a 100% record with games in hand.
There's one top-flight game on Friday night when a win for Ballymoney at Portadown would see the Co Antrim side go three points clear at the top.