Ulster’s Under-18 girls lifted the gold medals at the UK School Games after a decisive 1-0 win over England in Loughborough on Sunday.
The boys narrowly missed out on making it a double gold as they finished a very creditable second after posting two wins and two draws in their four matches.
Banbridge Academy’s Nadia Benallal scored the all-important goal for the girls after nine minutes to give Robbie McMinn’s side a shot in the arm ahead of this month’s inter-pro title bid.
The Ulster coach said: “To score 14 goals in four games and concede only one was some achievement.”
“My target before the tournament was a medal of some description but we upped that at our first team meeting to gold.
“We identified some things we needed to do to achieve that and the girls implemented what was required.
“The girls get on really well and there’s a real togetherness in the squad and they were encouraged to play with a smile on their faces.
“It’s a brilliant achievement for them and Ulster hockey to have won gold after a long process which began in May.”
Ulster’s boys didn’t go home empty-handed after finishing with a set of silver medals following a 3-3 draw with Scotland.
They came from 3-1 down to salvage a point with late goals from Stephen Hamill and Oliver Kidd after an earlier strike by Troy Chambers.
Coach Adam Louden said: The boys played really well over the course of the tournament.”
“They showed real courage throughout especially in fighting back to take points from 4-2 down with 15 minutes left in first game against England Red to draw 4-4 and again against Scotland to come back from 3-1 down with five minutes to play to draw 3-3. Overall it was a successful trip.”
Thursday: Ulster 4 (T Chambers 2, O Kidd 2) England Red 4
Friday: Ulster 2 (H Scott, T Chambers) England Blue 1; Ulster 4 (O Kidd 2, H Scott, S Wylie) England White 1
Saturday: Ulster 3 (T Chambers, S Hamill, O Kidd)) Scotland 3
Thursday: Ulster 4 (G Ross, N Benallal, O Mullan, M Dougan) England Red 0
Friday: Ulster 4 (N Benallal, K Craig, O Mullan, O Berry) Scotland 0
Saturday; Ulster 5 (C Beggs 2, O Mullan, N McIvor, M Dougan) England White 1
Sunday: Ulster 1 (N Benallal) England Blue 0