All Ireland Hockey League: Instonians & Belfast Harlequins into promotion finals

Jenna Watt of Belfast Harlequins
Jenna Watt scored Harlequins' first goal in their 3-1 win over Randalstown

Ulster sides Instonians and Belfast Harlequins have reached the Irish Hockey League Promotion finals with the opportunity of earning a place in next season's All Ireland League.

Instonians beat Munster side Bandon 3-0 in the men's play-off semi-final and will face UCD in Sunday's decider.

In the women's IHL Harlequins defeated Ulster rivals Randalstown 3-1 and will now take on Leinster champions Loreto.

James Dowling's hat-trick helped Ulster champions Instonians beat Bandon.

UCD defeated Clontarf 2-0 in Saturday's other semi-final and the winners of Sunday's match-up will replace relegated Annadale in the men's All Ireland League.

The losers get a second chance by playing the side that finished 9th in the IHL this season, Cookstown, in a one-off promotion/relegation game next Sunday.

Belfast Harlequins women's team dominated their semi-final with Randalstown from the first whistle with Jenna Watt getting them off to the perfect start with a goal after only 15 seconds.

Lucy Geddes made it 2-0 before half-time following a brilliant run from Katie Larmour and the Harlequins forward added a second soon after the interval with Larmour again the provider.

Randalstown pulled a goal back from Megan Quinn's deflected effort.

Loreto saw off this season's Ulster champions Lurgan by the same score line. Lurgan started brightly but couldn't convert some early chances and Loreto, who boast a number of current Irish internationals, went ahead with their first serious attack of the game when Niamh Small pounced on a loose ball.

Just before half-time, Carly Baker made it 2-0 and Hannah Matthews killed off the tie early in the second half from Loreto's only penalty corner of the game. Carly Johnston pulled one back for Lurgan late in the game.

The winners of Sunday's final gain automatic promotion to the IHL replacing Greenfields who finished bottom and were relegated.

The losers will get a second chance in the promotion/relegation play-off next weekend when they face UCC, the side that finished ninth in the IHL.

Top Stories