Robyn and Dawn make a timely return to Elks
Robyn Chambers and Dawn Axon have rejoined Ulster Elks from Pegasus, representing a huge boost for the club ahead of Saturday's crucial EY Irish Hockey League clash with Pembroke Wanderers at Jordanstown.
Chambers, who recently made her senior international debut, decided to take a break from hockey after playing only six matches for Pegasus in her second stint at the club.
But her return to the Elks, along with that of Axon, who has two Irish Cup medals and a European Championship gold in her locker, has come at the perfect time with Saturday's vitally important game looming.
The Elks are currently just three points better off than Pembroke, so with the two forwards back in the fold, they will be confident of securing only their second win of the campaign.
It has been a dramatic fall from grace for the Newtownabbey team, who have lost the bulk of the squad that did so well in the last two seasons, but with Chambers and Axon back on board they will be hoping for an upturn in fortunes.
Ireland's most capped female international, Shirley McCay, who is assisting Elks boss David Menaul as player-coach, insists she's enjoying the role despite an indifferent start to the season.
She said: "It has been hard but when you lose the number of players we have, we knew it wasn't going to be easy. There are not many points separating the bottom half of the table, so if we can get a couple more wins under our belts it will help."
Belfast Harlequins won't find it easy away to Loreto while the Pegasus and Ards clash is also important, with both trying to stay in touch with the leaders.
In the Ulster Premier League, there's one game tonight as Randalstown face North Down and on Saturday leaders Ballymoney travel to Banbridge while champions Lurgan take on Portadown in a Co Armagh derby.
Meanwhile Royal School Armagh gave themselves a boost ahead of their Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup campaign when they lifted the inaugural schoolgirls Super League trophy with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Banbridge Academy at Lisnagarvey.
Orla Thompson netted the opener but Armagh's Hannah Irwin levelled matters early in the second half and then Lauren Wright grabbed the decisive goal.