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Ulster sides target super start at Festival of Hockey

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Super: Shirley McCay, Neal Clendinning and Ann Rosa help launch the new Super Nines competition

Super: Shirley McCay, Neal Clendinning and Ann Rosa help launch the new Super Nines competition

Super: Shirley McCay, Neal Clendinning and Ann Rosa help launch the new Super Nines competition

Ulster Hockey launches its new season this weekend with its first Festival of Hockey taking place at Lisnagarvey, Banbridge's Havelock Park and Banbridge Academy.

It will be played under the Super Nines format, with 16 men's teams taking part in the Anderson Cup, brought forward from the tailend of the season, and eight women's teams taking part in the new McCausland Rankin & Light Cup.

The Anderson Cup sees the 10 Premier League teams and the top six Senior One teams compete in four groups of four with the winners going through to the semi-finals and the runners-up through to the Plate competition.

Men's competition

Group A (tonight, Lisnagarvey 6.30pm to 10pm): Garvey Goose, Mossley Bulls, Bangor Buccanneers, Service Storm (Civil Service).

Group B: (tomorrow, Havelock Park, 10.00am to 4.00pm): Banbridge Bears, Kilkeel Sharks, Newry Knights, Queen's Scholars.

Group C (tonight, Lisnagarvey 6.30pm to 10pm): Cookstown Mavericks, Harlequins Hornets (Belfast Harlequins), Raphoe Rebels, South Antrim Stingrays.

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Group D (tomorrow, Havelock Park, 10.00am to 4.00pm): The Stones (Instonians), Portadown Panthers, North Down Warriors, Dale Dragons (Annadale).

Women's competition

Group A: Pegasus Flyers, Lurgan Hawks, Ulster Elks and Harlequins Hornets.

Group B: Ballymoney Belles, Randalstown Ravens, Queen's Scholars and the Orange Avengers (Ards).

Both groups will be at Banbridge Academy tomorrow from 10am through to 5.30pm. Sunday's action, all at Havelock Park, starts with the men's Plate semi-finals at 11am and 11.35am.

The final is at 1.20pm, followed by the women's semi-finals at 12.10pm and 12.45pm with the final at 3.15pm.

The men's Anderson Cup semi-finals are at 1.55pm and 2.30pm with the final showdown rounding off the festival at 4pm.


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