hockeyRainey Endowed School VS Banbridge Academy

The Rainey girls arrived at Grosvenor, after all of the training, hard work and run up matches they finally had reached the Junior Cup Final of 2014. This was to be the school’s 7th Junior Cup final in 7 years and the team were delighted to continue the tradition made in the past years and get to the last two schools out of the 44 Ulster schools that enter. Although Banbridge had reached 3 Junior Cup Finals in the history of the cup they had yet to win it while Rainey have their name on the cup 6 times, more than any other school in Ulster.

However, the girls knew the challenge that faced them this year was going to be very difficult as Banbridge were the clear favourites, with both Irish and Ulster players and having dispensed of other strong hockey schools convincingly. But, the Rainey girls were courageous, starting the match really well defending in numbers and even created good attacking chances from the midfield of Cara Brown, Alex Burns, Lauren Mulholland and Sarah Thompson. In the first half Andrea Hegarty and Ellie Montgomery worked tirelessly up front, with Andrea coming close to scoring but her shot going just wide of the right post. Unfortunately Banbridge after consistent pressure on the excellent Rainey defence of Charlotte McKinlay, Abbie Speers, Zoe Crooks, Sarah McGuckin and goalkeeper Victoria Cousley were awarded a short corner which they dually put away through Irish U16 player Katie McKee. The Rainey girls were not put off and continued to give their best but Banbridge again won a short corner with McKee finding the net minutes before half time. After a positive half time talk and the fresh legs introduced up front of Kathryn Glendinning and Ellen Campbell, the Rainey Junior team were ready to go again.

However, another Banbridge short corner shortly after the first half started gave Banbridge a 3-0 lead. The spectators might have thought the game was over but not the Rainey girls who showed great fighting spirit and continued to give their very best and were rewarded with a short corner with 5 minutes to go. Their strong short corner routine was successful with an Ellen Campbell slip to Cara Brown on the penalty spot, who made no mistake in slotting it away to put Rainey on the score sheet. The girls continued to play well right up until the last whistle although the score was to remain 3-1 to Banbridge. While the girls were very disappointed, the school, coaches, parents and supporters are all really proud of this fantastic team who have won 20 out of 21 matches this season, the Derry and Antrim League, and are now Ulster Schools Silver medal winners. Really well done to all the team and squad an amazing season!

Captain Andrea Hegarty, Victoria Cousley, Katie Rose Thompson, Abbie Speers, Sarah Thompson, Zoe Crooks, Sarah McGuckin, Lauren Mulholland, Alex Burns, Cara Brown, Ellen Campbell, Kathryn Glendinning, Betty Scott, Charlotte McKinlay, Ellie Montgomery, Lauryn Heaney and Emma Scott.

sarah mcguckin defends alex burns Ulster Schools Junior Cup Final. between Banbridge Academy and Rainey Endowed. rainey clear defence