October has proven as busy as September but in a really good way!
I have been to visit CI to watch the senior ladies play Portadown, as well as watching the new Club KV v North Down at Malone Playing Fields. I’ve even umpired a premier ladies and senior cup match in my spare time!
The Crowne Plaza All Ireland Boys Championship was hosted in Belfast 24th-26th October at three venues – Queens, Shawsbridge and Deramore – eight of the sixteen teams to qualify for this stage of the trophy were from Ulster. Banbridge Academy got to the final to play for the Tasmanian Trophy where they lost narrowly 1-0 in a very exciting game to Newtown School from Waterford. This is the first time Newtown has got through the regional qualifiers, and their senior boys are now All Ireland Schools Champions. I attended all three days and hosted a dinner on the Thursday evening – I’m delighted that Ann Rosa, Vice President of Hockey Ireland, and Finbarr Kelleher, Munster Branch President, could attend.
Thanks to the Schools Committee for the organisation of the tournament, Raymond Hughes TD, all the umpires, and the clubs/schools for the use of the fabulous facilities.
Unfortunately, in a diary clash, the inaugural June Smith Trophy for U15 schoolgirls was played in Kilkenny, and the Ulster representatives were Rainey Endowed. I’m delighted to report that Rainey beat Loreto Kilkenny 2-1 in the final and returned home as All Ireland Junior Champions.
On the way to the Raphoe HC 45th Anniversary Dinner and Awards Night on 27th October, I watched the Ballymoney v Lurgan premier League match – Lurgan came out on top 3-2.
Where to next???