Academy sides on the march

THE Academy’s U15 boys made short sharp work of Royal & Prior in the quarter-final of the Richardson Cup with a fine 2-1 victory.

The U15s started very brightly with a well-taken set piece to steady the nerves before James Brown expertly slotted home to double the lead before half time.

The second period saw more free-flowing hockey with the Donegal school content at simply smash and grab-style hockey.

Two superb shots from Peter McKnight and Jake Rowe found the post in good form and young Buchanan was exceptional to keep the score at two.

Captain Sam Green along with Aaron Megaw and Mark Adair dealt well with the crash ball tactic and Glover in goal tipped their best chance over the bar with minutes remaining.

However, the never-lie-down attitude of the visitors eventually produced a clear-cut chance which they capitalised on to make it 2-1.

Nevertheless with no time to even take the pass back, the Academy ended the game happy to make the Cup semi-final which will no doubt see a repeat of last year’s semi away to Sullivan.

The U13 side made yet more progress with a cracking 7-0 win over travelling Markethill.

The game began with Jay Brackenburry pouncing on a turnover hit out and he made no mistake to make it 1-0. Indeed a fine move taking in Charlie Norris, Marcus Murdock, Alex Donnelly and Patrick McNiff set it on a plate for Brackenburry’s second.

The back line of Gibson, Nash, Reid and Montgomery kept the passing at a high tempo and the floodgates opened as Brackenburry grabbed his hat trick, with Joel Reid smashing home from top circle as did Callum Gibson from a rocket set-piece.

Further goals from Donnelly and McNiff left the score at 7-0 and more importantly puts the Academy into the quarter-final of the Bannister Bowl.

The boys know that there will be sterner tests that lie ahead but they passed the ball and moved with a maturity that will delight their hard-working coach, Simon Jess.

The NFU Mutual Banbridge-backed junior sides should be content with their performances. The 15s will now prepare for their semi with a game at 4pm on Friday while the 13s will all be required to train from 1-3pm on Friday at Havelock. Coach Jess will be hoping to further develop set pieces and will be looking to the 15s game for a consistent vein of form.