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Barr twins delighted to join 'family club' Harlequins ahead of new IHL season


Joining forces: Bethany and Serena Barr will both be playing for Harlequins in the new season after two years apart
Joining forces: Bethany and Serena Barr will both be playing for Harlequins in the new season after two years apart

By John Flack

Belfast Harlequins have pulled off a major coup by signing the Barr twins, Bethany and Serena, for the new EY Irish Hockey League season.

The Ireland duo, who can play in a number of roles, have returned home from Dublin and Nottingham respectively where they were studying.

It's a huge boost for Phil Mills' side, having earlier lost World Cup silver medallist Zoe Wilson, who has returned to her former club Randalstown as player-coach.

In her place, Harlequins have now gained two more current internationals to add to Lizzie Colvin, who was also a World Cup runner-up last year, and Gemma Frazer.

The Barrs' hockey careers are now back on parallel lines, much to their delight, after spending two years apart playing for UCD and Beeston respectively.

Previously they were team-mates at Lurgan and Liberty Flames, during a four-year spell when they were on a valuable hockey scholarship in the United States.

In the interim, they both made their senior international debuts on a trip to Chile last January and they now have a combined caps tally of 21.

Bethany enthused: "Both Serena and I are very excited about the move to Harlequins and we are really looking forward to getting to play together again at club level next season.

"We both knew we wanted to be playing with an IHL side and Harlequins seemed like a family club that we would love to be a part of.

"Last year they welcomed me to train with them during the latter part of the season when I had to move away from Dublin up to Belfast for work.

"They made me feel right at home despite the fact that at that point I was still playing for UCD.

"Harlequins therefore seemed like the right choice for both Serena and I as we want to be part of building something and be able to contribute to the team.

"We look forward to the season starting and getting to train with all the girls, and we look forward to seeing how the season pans out."

Quins coach Mills said: "We are delighted that Bethany and Serena have decided to join the club.

"They are both very strong players with broad experience so they will bring a lot to the squad and I think they will fit in very well."

Today: Women's international: Ireland v Scotland (Stormont, 3pm).

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