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Armagh girls to appeal after axe from top flight

By John Flack

Armagh Ladies have been relegated from the Ulster Premier League after failing to fulfil their fixture at Lurgan at the weekend.

All the results from their previous 15 games have been declared null and void and the league table adjusted accordingly.

By conceding their match with Lurgan, Armagh unwittingly broke the rules which clearly state that such a course of action will result in the concerned club's withdrawal from the league.

Armagh, who were unaware of the consequences, are in the process of lodging an appeal to Ulster Hockey's Management Board.

Ulster fixtures secretary Anne Shiels explained that she had no option but to enforce the rule.

"The rule states if a Premier League team is disqualified or has refused or failed to play or to complete a league match, it shall be considered to have withdrawn from the league," she explained.

"I was informed by the club on Friday night in a text which stated Armagh have no option but to concede tomorrow's game as they are unable to field a team due to illness and injury.

"I have therefore withdrawn their team and all their fixtures and scores as well.

"Armagh will be permitted to play next season but what league they will be placed in will be up to the competitions committee."

Meanwhile, the EY Irish Hockey League resumes this weekend with crucial double-headers for the three Ulster representatives.

Ards' Irish Senior Cup semi-final win over IHL champions Hermes has given them a chance of making the play-offs as the winners secure a place in the end-of-season series.

However, their priority is to avoid a relegation play-off and they will be looking to striker Chloe Brown to continue her scoring exploits against Cork Harlequins and UCC on Saturday and Sunday. Ulster Elks, who meet Ards in the Cup final later this month, are away to Greenfields before entertaining Railway Union, while Pegasus - also in contention for a play-off - host Railway and then travel to UCD.

Belfast Telegraph

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