The Ulster Schoolgirls’ Super League, now in its third year, has reached the quarter-final stage after a busy season so far.
With 20 of the top teams competing in Tier A in four sections and 16 teams competing in Tier B, it has seen 28 matches played within five weeks either side of the U16 and U18 inter-pros. In Tier A last season’s Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup winners Rainey Endowed topped section 1 with four wins, followed closely by dark horses of the competition Victoria College on nine points.
Rainey have an impressive array of representative players once again this season and will certainly be hoping to go one further this year and win the League trophy, having put out the holders Ballyclare HS in the first match of the season.
Section 2 has been won by last year’s cup runners-up and Irish champions from 2017 Banbridge Academy, who look strong again this season with Irish U18 player Nadia Benallal impressing in midfield. The runners up were Belfast Royal Academy who will face Omagh Academy on Wednesday afternoon at Campsie Playing Fields.
In section 3 former League winners from the first year of the competition in 2016, Royal School Armagh topped their section for the third year in a row, with Irish U18 player Olivia Berry, club team mate of Nadia Benallal, playing a vital role for the school team. Strathearn School pipped Friends’ School Lisburn to finish runners-up and a place in the quarter finals.
Section 4 has been topped by Omagh Academy, another team showing impressive results this year, winning all of their matches. It was a close battle for second, with Wallace HS edging out Sullivan Upper and Lurgan College.
The quarter final draw puts Rainey v Strathearn, Banbridge v Wallace HS, Royal Armagh v Victoria, Omagh v BRA. All matches to be played on or before 10th November, with first named team having home advantage.
In Tier B, last years winners Bloomfield Collegiate squeezed through in a tough section, with Limavady GS just one goal behind to finish in second place. Cambridge House edged out Carrick GS by a single goal in section 2 and are rewarded with a home quarter final against Limavady GS.
Foyle College got full points with three wins in section 2, hoping to go one further this season after finishing runners-up last year. Glenlola won section 4 with three wins and an impressive 15 goals for and none against!
Tier B draw is as follows: Bloomfield Collegiate v Carrick GS, Foyle College v Grosvenor GS, Cambridge House v Limivady GS, Glenlola v Royal & Prior. The semi-finals for both tiers are to be played back-to-back on Saturday 17th November at Playball, Stormont, with the final at the same venue on Wednesday 21st November.
The standard of Ulster schoolgirls hockey continues to rise with the introduction of this early season competition, which acts as a suitable form of seeding for the prestigious Belfast Telegraph Senior Schools’ Cup which starts later this monthly and culminates with the final in March in front of thousands of supporters at Lisnagarvey.