Banbridge Academy narrowly miss out on schoolgirls’ title

Sophie Mount was on target for Banbridge Academy.
Sophie Mount was on target for Banbridge Academy.

Banbridge Academy had to be satisfied with the runners up spot at the Kate Russell All Ireland Schoolgirls’ Hockey Championship in Dublin on Friday after narrowly failing to lift the title.

The Ulster champions won both their matches and finish the tournament unbeaten after their four matches.

Two draws in their opening two games on Thursday left them with a mountain to climb but the Senior Cup holders failed only on goal difference in their bid to make it two national triumphs in three years.

On Friday, they opened with a 1-0 win over host team St Andrews and then defeated Connacht champions Colaiste Iognaid 3-0 when they needed a six-goal winning margin to take the title.

However, it was Limerick side Crescent Comprehensive who were crowned champions after beating Colaiste Iognaid 6-1 and then drawing 0-0 with Kilkenny College - a result which had thrown Bann a lifeline going into their final game.

But they could only manage three goals against the Connacht side, Nadia Benallal making it 1-0 at the break with a brilliant backhand shot before Ellen Reid and Sophie Mount added two penalty corner conversions in the second half.

Earlier in the day, the Academy were in almost total control against St Andrews but had only Katie McDonald’s fourth minute set-piece strike to show for their efforts.

Meanwhile, Pegasus need just four points from three matches to win the EY Irish Hockey League regulation season and qualify automatically for next year.

A scoreless draw between Loreto and UCD did the Belfast side a huge favour and has left them in a strong position to take the honours.

Pegasus had opened up a seven point gap at the top of the table after an impressive 5-0 win over Belfast Harlequins ahead of Saturday’s game against Cork Harlequins at the Dub.