MEN’S HOCKEY: Instonians ease into Kirk Cup final with 5-2 win over Belfast Harlequins

Nigel McCullough (match T/O) and Raymond Hughes (men's fixture secretary) inspect the pitch and call off the first of yesterday's Kirk Cup semi-finals between Mossley and NICS at Shawsbridge, Belfast
Nigel McCullough (match T/O) and Raymond Hughes (men's fixture secretary) inspect the pitch and call off the first of yesterday's Kirk Cup semi-finals between Mossley and NICS at Shawsbridge, Belfast

Instonians booked their place in the final of the Kirk Cup with a devastating display against Belfast Harlequins on Sunday.

Inst stormed to an emphatic 5-2 victory over their rivals to progress to the Boxing Day showpiece.

Andrew Coulter bagged a clinical brace for Instonians goals with James Dowling, Steven Kelso and William Robinson also on target.

Andrew Smythe and Tom Brann replied for Belfast Harlequins but they would prove mere consolations.

The scoreline was 1-1 at half-time with Smythe replying to Dowling’s opener before Instonians eased into a 4-1 lead.

Kelso restored Inst’s lead to make it 2-1, before Robinson scored a penalty stroke to extend the lead.

Coulter made it 4-1 but Belfast harlequins proved their fighting spirit with Brann scoring from a penalty corner.

Coulter grabbed his second and Instonians fifth from a penalty corner to complete the win.

Sunday’s opening semi-final between Mossley and NICS at Shawsbridge failed to beat the weather.

The game was postponed because following severe rain in the morning.

However, the second semi-final was able to go ahead at the same venue as conditions improved later in the day.

And fans were treated to seven goals and an entertaining clash which saw Inst book their place in the final.

Banbridge beat Cookstown in last year’s Boxing Day decider.