Royal School Armagh are the 2023 Belfast Telegraph Girls Senior Cup Champions

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On International Women’s Day 2023, The Belfast Telegraph Girls Senior Cup 2023 culminated in a fiercely contested match between Royal School Armagh and Strathearn School. Ahead of the match the team respected #InternationalWomensDay by doing the IWD pose based on the theme #EmbraceEquity. The match, held at the Stormont’s Playball Pitches, was a testament to the skill and sportsmanship of both teams.


The first quarter of the game was a tight affair, with neither team able to score. In the second quarter, RSA broke the deadlock with a short corner goal by number three, Rhianna Gillespie, giving them a one-goal lead heading into the second half. Strathearn School tried to rally back in the third quarter, but RSA’s defence held firm. RSA secured the win in the dying seconds of the third quarter with another short corner goal, this time from number four Joni Cunningham. Strathearn School tried their best but couldn’t put a dent in the 2-0 lead of RSA and the game ended RSA 2, Strathearn School 0.


Ulster Hockey CEO Marc Scott congratulated both teams on a fantastic game, saying, “It was a close battle, and both teams fought hard. All credit to our champions, Royal School Armagh, on their victory. I’d like to say a thank you to our sponsors Belfast Telegraph, and Paul Ferguson for coming down to help present the trophy. Thank you to all the organisers and staff for putting on a great day. We can’t wait to do it all again next year.”

The RSA captain, Anna McKew, expressed her gratitude to the Strathearn School team for a great game and thanked the umpires and Ulster Hockey. She also thanked her coaching staff and team for their hard work throughout the season, saying, “Thank you for a really great season and a lot of hard work, but we finally got there!” she continued, “I can’t believe it. Our hard work finally paid off. That moment of lifting the trophy with the girls around me – no feeling can compare to that,” beamed the Armagh skipper.


“Unfortunately we came up just short last year, but we kept most of the same team and this year we won Superleague and now that we’ve won the Cup, last year is now firmly in the past and we are now champions.”


“But the work isn’t over, we now have Kate Russell coming up and we have our sights set on that. We won Superleague and we’ve now won the Cup, so this is just another step to add for this team and we’re eager to win all three.


“We can do it one more time.”

Strathearn School’s captain, Niamh Hatfield, was proud of her team’s achievement of reaching the final. She hopes that their efforts will inspire the younger members of the team to keep pushing and win the final in the future, saying, “It was amazing to see everyone who came out and watched us. I think we did inspire them and made them all proud because we had more girls than we’ve ever had out watching us today.”


The match was a thrilling display of skill and sportsmanship, enjoyed by all who attended. The organisers are grateful to all the teams, supporters, and sponsors who made the event possible. Congratulations to Royal School Armagh on their victory.

Royal School Armagh Team

1        Jessica GEORGE [GK]

2        Lucy FERRIS

3        Rhianna GILLESPIE

4        Joni CUNNINGHAM

5        Beth MONAGHAN

6        Ellie STEVENSON

7        Chloe MCBRIDE

8        Ellie EDWARDS

9        Anna MCKEW [CAPT]

10      Scarlett TAYLOR

11      Annie CUNNINGHAM

12      Hannah SMITH

16      Niamh SMITH

17      Gabriella MOORE

18      Grace MCCOOL

19      Daisy NICHOLSON

31      Vicky CUPPLES [GK]

Coaches and Staff

 Greg Thompson

 Sarah Welshman

 Sam Shepherd

 Jareth McCready


Strathearn School Team

1        Eva RALSTON [GK]

2        Sophie HOEY

3        Ruby REBBECK

4        Jess RYAN

6        Niamh HATFIELD [CAPT]

7        Lucie MCNAUGHT

10      Karis HAMILTON

11      Rhiannon DAVIES

12      Connie HANNA

16      Emmy THORNTON

17      Erin MCCLURE

19      Georgia THORNTON

20      Anna KIRK

21      Sarah TWEEDIE [GK]


28      Kate HUNTER

30      Mac EAGER

Coaches and Staff

Sally Young

Naomi Grundie

Ali Scott

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