The 2018/19 season started at the School Games in Loughborough (30th August to 2nd September) with the Boys and Girls U18’s representing Ulster. The girls won gold with 4 wins, scoring 14 goals – Nadia Benallal and Olivia Berry scored 3 goals each, to sit at the top of the girls goal-scorers table, with 2 English players. The boys won 2 and drew 2 matches, scoring 13 goals and took the silver medal. Oliver Kidd topped the boys leading goal-scorer table, with 5 goals.
Congratulations to both squads, and coaching/support staff, on such a successful tournament. Thanks also to Chris Harte, immediate past President UHU, who attended on behalf of Ulster Hockey, after missing last year’s event through illness.
Over the weekend of 31st August/1st September, Banbridge HC officially marked the opening of their new pitch with a series of hockey-based events. All sections of the club were represented over the 2 days. Banbridge Ladies 1st XI played an Ulster President’s Squad (Ulster Juniors) and Banbridge Men’s 1st XI also played a President’s XI.
Many thanks go to Ann Rosa, Vice President of Hockey Ireland and past President of Ulster Hockey, who attended the event, as I was at a wedding.
The boys interpros were played in Cork 14-16th September at Garryduff. Congratulations to the U18 boys who played a superb last game on Sunday to claim back the title back from Leinster! The score was 4-0 (Kidd 2, Wylie 2). Thanks to Adam Louden, Zach McClelland, Andrew Johnston and Raymond Geddis for all their work with the squad over the last number of years. Thanks also to Steven Redpath, physiotherapist.
In the U16 decider on Sunday, Ulster lost 2-1 to Leinster in a thrilling game, and finished second in the tournament. Thanks to Peter Caruth , Shirley McCay and Hannah Walker for all their work with this squad.
The girls U16/18 interpros were played at Three Rock Rovers, Dublin 21-23rd September and I enjoyed the weekend catching up with old hockey friends and watching the skills on the pitch. The U16’s beat Munster 1-0 in their final game on Sunday but finished 2nd overall after conceding only one goal, unlucky to lose out to a very strong Leinster team. Congratulations to the 14 new U16 caps – they were presented with a pin to mark the occasion. Thanks to Joel, Carolyn, Alex and Sharon for all their hard work with this young squad.
The U18’s were very unlucky to lose out on the final day to Leinster on a sudden death shoot out – the Ulster girls led until the final hooter when Leinster were awarded a PC and scored! This took the game to a shoot out – score was even after the first 5 run-ins……Sudden death and victory to Leinster.
Thanks to Robbie, Shirelle, Julie, Louise and Tim for all their input. Thanks also go to Cheryll, physiotherapist, for both squads.
We must also say thanks to Shirley McCay for her input all weekend, and also to our Ulster umpire colleagues Emma Douglas and Narges Ebrahimapour, and Eamonn McFerran Umpire Manager.