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Weekend Preview

The line-up for the women's Denman Ulster Shield semi-finals has been completed following a hard-fought 2-1 win for Lurgan over Dungannon in a rearranged final final group game.

Lurgan needed nothing short of victory to deny their hosts a place in the last four for the second year in a row. Jo-Ann Wilson gave Lurgan a 23rd minute lead but Diane Robb levelled two minutes later. Carly Johnston hit the winner six minutes after the break when she converted a penalty-stroke earning Lurgan a semi-final date with Mossley.

Last year's beaten finalists Queen's will face Banbridge in the other semi, with both games being staged as a double-header at Stormont next month. Over the weekend, Queen's and Ulster Elks will be involved in the Irish inter-varsities championship, meaning there are just two Ulster Premier League games down for decision.

Ballymoney will go top if they can avoid defeat against North Down in Comber while champions Lurgan will be hoping to bounce back from an opening defeat by Queen's when they host Rainey.

Three teams are level at the top of the men's Ulster Premier League on six points as Instonians, Bangor and North Down share the top spot. However, with Inst having a day off tomorrow, the two Co Down clubs will have the chance to overtake the Belfast side at the summit.

Bangor will be confident of overcoming Cliftonville while the Comber side will start favourites against Antrim. Belfast Harlequins will be hoping to bounce back from last week's defeat by South Antrim when they host Newry at Deramore. South host Portadown in what should be a close encounter in Lisburn while Kilkeel make Ulster hockey's longest journey when they travel to Raphoe, who lost 5-0 to Quins in their only outing to date.  

Meanwhile, the three-match women's international series between Ireland and Scotland finished with honours even following a 2-1 win for the visitors at Stormont in the final match. Scottish goalkeeper Lucy Camlin, who was born in Co Antrim, prevented the Irish securing at least a draw as she made several fine stops. 

Camlin, who qualifies for Scotland under the three-year residency rule, denied Ulster players Jessica McMaster and Chloe Brown early on before Fiona Bruce netted the opener from a set-piece variation in the 13th minute. Sarah Jamieson made it 2-0 nine minutes later before a terrific diagonal pass by Brown was collected by Gillian Pinder, who forced a corner which she converted herself to reduce the deficit before the break. 

Ireland, with six Ulster woman in the squad, were on top for most of the second-half but were unable to find the equaliser which would have won them the series as former Ballyclare High School pupil Camlin proved unbeatable.

Ulster's Zoe Wilson and Brown were among the scorers as Ireland convincingly defeated the Scots 6-2 in the second game of the three-test series at Havelock Park following a 1-1 draw in Sunday's opener at Stormont. 

The hosts made a dream start and Ards striker Brown, who had come off the bench, set up the opening goal as her clever pass was collected by Naomi Carroll, who rounded a defender before slotting home in the 11th minute.

Three minutes later, it was 2-0 after Gillian Pinder's quick free provided UCD's Emma Russell with the chance and she made no mistake. Four minutes into the second quarter, Queen's striker McMaster showed some excellent stick work to beat three defenders  in a mazy run and Kate Lloyd provided the finish.

Belfast Harlequins star Wilson then made it 4-0 five minutes before the half-time break when she was left with a simple tap-in after the Scottish defence had failed to clear Roisin Upton's penalty-corner strike. The Scots reduced the arrears to 4-1 in the 39th minute, when they were awarded a penalty-stroke which Bruce converted.

Three minutes later, it was 4-2 when Rebecca Condie's drag-flick beat Emma Buckley, who was making her senior international debut in the Irish goal. With three minutes left Ireland made it 5-2 when Aisling Naughton's cross, which was intended for Lloyd, was deflected into the net off the keeper and Brown wrapped things up with goal number six shortly afterwards.

Meanwhile, Ulster schoolgirls' Super league champions Royal School Armagh have been knocked out of this year's tournament at the quarter-final stage. The holders were beaten in a penalty shoot-out by Rainey Endowed after a 2-2 draw in Magherafelt.

In the other quarter-finals, last year's runners up Banbridge Academy defeated Belfast Royal Academy 3-0 and Ballyclare High beat Sullivan Upper 6-1 with the remaining tie, a Lisburn derby between Wallace High and Friends.

The semi-final draw has already been made with the winners of the Lisburn game facing Rainey and Banbridge taking on Ballyclare with both ties to be played on Saturday November 11. The draw keeps alive the possibility of a repeat of last season's Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup final in which Banbridge defeated Wallace 4-0 before going on to lift the all-Ireland title.


Ulster Premier League

Belfast HQ v Newry 2.30pm @ Deramore
Cliftonville v Bangor 2.30pm @ CIYMS
North Down v Antrim 4.00pm @ Comber LC
Raphoe v Kilkeel 2.30pm @ Royal & Prior
South Antrim v Portadown 2.30pm @ Friends’ School


Senior One

Omagh v Ballyclare (7.30pm)

Ulster Premier League

Lurgan v Rainey (2.30pm)
North Down v Ballymoney (2.30pm)

Senior One: 

Knock v Priorians (4pm)
Lisnagarvey v Armagh (2.30pm)
Raphoe v Ballymena (4pm); 
Victorians v CI (4pm)

Ulster Hockey UnionPhone: 02890 701417Email:
Copyright © 2012 Ulster Hockey.  Photos courtesy of Rowland WhiteDeveloped by ecom