HOCKEY: Rainey Endowed make decent start in Kilkenny

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Rainey Endowed made a decent start to their Kate Russell Cup all Ireland championship campaign in Kilkenny yesterday.

After a scoreless draw with a strong host team. the Magherafelt side beat Connacht champions Salerno 3-1.

Betty Scott got two of the goals with her younger sister, Gabi, also on the scoresheet as the Ulster champions finished the day joint top.

Rainey complete their programme today when they face Leinster champions Loreto Foxrock (9.30am) and Munster side Mount Mercy (2pm).

Meanwhile In the women’s Ulster Premier League it continues to be an exciting battle between Queen’s and Lurgan for the title.

Lurgan cut the gap to five points with two games in hand after defeating Portadown 5-0 midweek with goals from Penny Joyce, Olivia Gibson, Sarah McClure, Jo Wilson and Carly Johnston.

Dungannon are looking good for third place as they are now six points ahead of Ballymoney - who have two games in hand - following a 2-0 win over Ulster Elks, courtesy of goals from Sarah Armstrong and Leanne Cassels.

Tonight Portadown will be hoping to bounce back from that Lurgan loss when they face Money while Elks host Randalstown and Lurgan are at Mossley.

Tomorrow there is just one top fight game down for decision as Queen’s go to North Down, who remain at the bottom of the table.

In the men’s Ulster Premier, Instonians have a crucial game tonight away to Kilkeel after which the title could be decided. If Inst were to win then Bangor - who beat Portadown 5-0 during the week - are the champions.

Any other result and it goes down to the wire when Kilkeel play Bangor on Monday night.