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Dungannon and North Down make big step up

By Staff Reporter

Dungannon and North Down Ladies have been promoted to the Ulster Premier League following a restructuring process brought about by the expanded Irish Hockey League which will be introduced next season.

Top flight champions Ards, runners up Pegasus and the Ulster Elks have all confirmed that they will be taking up their invitations to play in the new season-long 10-team IHL format along with teams from the other three provinces.

Therefore they won't be taking part in the local Premier League next season leaving three additional places, one of which will be filled by Senior One champions Armagh.

Ulster Hockey has informed the clubs concerned that there will be no relegation from the top flight and the teams that finished second and third in the second tier will also go up.

It's a rapid rise through the ranks for Dungannon who will be playing Premier hockey for the first time after successive promotions while North Down have been there before.

"We are delighted to be returning to the Premier League after a decade away and it has been a tremendous effort from everyone involved," said North Down captain Laura Clarke.

"We have been consistent but it will be tough."

TONIGHT: International: Ireland v Italy (Mossley, 7.30pm).

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