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Lurgan and the Harlequins get off to perfect start

By John Flack

Ulster Premier League champions Lurgan got their bid to reach next season's Irish Hockey League off to a winning start last night when they beat Randalstown 1-0 in the provincial play-off series at Comber Road.

Belfast Harlequins also got their campaign off to a promising start as they defeated Munster side Bandon 1-0 in Pool B at the Merrion Fleet Arena in Dublin.

The top two finishers from each group will progress to the finals weekend.

The overall winners will secure a place in the IHL with the second-placed team needing a win over UCC in a play-off to replace the Cork students in next year's competition.

Lurgan dominated most of last night's game against Town and Charlene Hull grabbed the winner when she coolly converted a penalty corner in the seventh minute.

In Dublin, Harlequins stayed in contention for next weekend's finals after an 18th minute goal from Lucy Geddes gave the south Belfast side their win over Bandon.

Results: Pool A: Lurgan 1 (C Hull) Randalstown 0; Old Alex 2 Glenanne 0; Pool B: Loreto 7 Galway 0; Belfast Harlequins 1 (L Geddes) Bandon 0; Today: Pool A: (Lisnagarvey) Randalstown v Old Alex (4pm); Lurgan v Glenanne (5pm); Pool B: (Dublin) Bandon v Galway (3.15pm); Loreto v Belfast Harlequins (4.15pm); tomorrow: Pool A: Glenanne v Randalstown (2.30pm); Lurgan v Old Alex (2.30pm); Pool B: Bandon v Loreto (2.30pm); Galway v Belfast Harlequins (2.30pm).

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