Determination drives Academy on to success

Jordan tries to Mount an attack for the Academy.
Jordan tries to Mount an attack for the Academy.

Banbridge Academy coach Brian Leslie has paid tribute to his side’s mentality after they earned a Trophy win last week.

Although the 15-0 scoreline indicates a routine win for the locals, Leslie knows the road to success was paved with hard work.

Banbridge Academy celebrate their win. Pics: Presseye / Matt Mackey

Banbridge Academy celebrate their win. Pics: Presseye / Matt Mackey

“The boys are absolutely delighted,” he said.

“We really had to work for the result. Belfast High are a useful side and it was no gimme. I think it was actually our best performance of the year over the whole 70 minutes.

“It was great to see the boys deliver and play so well when it mattered.”

The Academy were almost going into the game without wingers Michael McGaffin and Troy Pinion but both players refused to be ruled out of contention after sustaining injuries in the quarters and semi-finals respectively.

“Last Thursday, they were both out injured,” said Leslie.

“They both did a fitness test and failed it but they asked to be retested on Monday and both passed through to play.

“It was great for them that not only were they able to play but they were so influential in the result.

“When the boys see their captain so keen to play in a final, it certainly does no harm at all.”

Now the coach is hoping the school’s second Trophy win in four seasons will help to fire the team on to higher heights.

He said: “We want to push on to levels up from this and hopefully that wee taste of success will inspire the lads to come in and work hard during pre-season and next year.

“We have a lot of guys coming back again next year and a strong group of Year 13s but this wasn’t a case of building for next year.

“We were playing for now and we have the Trophy to show for it.

“There are so many seasons when you don’t get anything for your efforts so it’s great to get something solid at the end of it all.”