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Erin arrives in time for Ulster Elks' Irish Senior Cup quest

By John Flack

The Ulster Elks' new South African signing Erin Hunter will make her debut on Saturday when the Jordanstown side continue their defence of the Irish Senior Cup at Corinthian in Dublin.

The 23-year-old international defender is due to arrive in the province this evening and so will have plenty of time to recover from the long journey.

Hunter will be a like-for-like replacement for former Canadian international Stephanie Jameson, who was a central figure in the Elks defence before she returned home shortly after last season's Cup final.

The Elks lifted the famous trophy for the first time in the club's history last April when they defeated Hermes 1-0 in the final.

Last weekend turned out to be a disappointing one for Ricky Lee's side who managed just one point from two IHL games in Dublin.

Team captain Gemma Frazer, who scored an outstanding equaliser against Hermes, says her team will learn from what was their first loss as they prepare for a return trip south.

"We don't know too much about them, but we have friends in the hockey fraternity in Dublin, so we will be doing our homework before the game," said Gemma.

"Like all Leinster teams, they will be well organised and hard to break down and we know we will have to produce a good performance to beat them.

"As well as having Erin in the squad, we will also welcome back Shirley McCay, whom we missed at the weekend."

In another game between an IHL club and one from the Leinster League, Ards host Trinity College and will be hoping to bounce back from Sunday's 4-1 defeat by Pembroke.

Meanwhile Dungannon will lay on the red-carpet treatment for IHL champions Pegasus, but they don't want to end up red-faced like North Down in the first round after a 13-0 drubbing.

Randalstown will have their work cut out against former all-Ireland champions and Cup winners UCD,. but Harry McNeill's side have been boosted by Sunday's 4-2 Denman Ulster Shield semi-final win over Premier League leaders Harlequins.

Lurgan, who lost 2-1 to Queen's in the other semi-final, entertain Railway Union, who will be favourites to progress while Ballymoney travel to Dublin to face Muckross in the other tie involving an Ulster side.

With former Ireland striker Nikki Parke in good form as she proved with a hat-trick in the weekend 5-1 win at North Down, the Co. Antrim team will be hoping to spring a surprise on the former Cup winners, who are sitting third in the Leinster League.

Belfast Telegraph


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