‘Lady Luck didn’t shine’ on Academy girls in semi-final

Sarah Russell scored for Bann in the narrow semi-final defeat. Pic: Presseye
Sarah Russell scored for Bann in the narrow semi-final defeat. Pic: Presseye

Banbridge Academy girls hockey coach Neil Madeley said ‘Lady Luck didn’t shine’ on his side as the girls lost 2-1 to Sullivan Upper in the semi-final of the Ulster Senior Schoolgirls’ Cup last week.

For the second season in a row, Banbridge Academy girls hockey team fell at the hands of Sullivan, having lost out in the final last year.

The Holywood school netted a second half winner to see off the Academy 2-1 in the semi-final and set up a final showdown with Methody on Wednesday 2nd March at Lisnagarvey’s Comber Road.

Bann’s Sarah Russell had netted an equaliser after Katharine Hill had made it 1-0 to Sullivan at half-time.

Madeley commented: “To get to the semi-final of the Senior Schoolgirls’ Cup is a good achievement. It’s just unfortunate we didn’t get through to the final.

“We’ve been competing well, but Sullivan took their chances and we were left to rue a couple of missed opportunities,” Madeley added.

“We are still a work in progress and now we must gather ourselves up and get back on track.

“The nucleus of this team will be together next year.

“The girls have worked hard over the past season and there’s been a great lift for girls hockey in the school.

“The boys have done brilliantly, and the girls are trying to aspire to their level.

“It’s just unfortunate that they couldn’t make it to the final.

“There’s some good work going on with the younger girls sides,” Madeley added. “The under 14’s are still in their cup, building on the good work started by Bruce McCandless and taken on by Brad Logan.

“If we can build from the bottom then I reap the rewards higher up. There seems to be a greater buzz about girls hockey at the school,” the coach commented.

“There’s a fine line between winning and losing. Unfortunately, Lady Luck didn’t shine on us.”