Friends’ Prep girls win NI mini hockey finals

The team members L - R: Back Row: Laura Bell, Gracie Lamont, Sophie Kidd, Mikayla Kyle, Lucy Stewart and Aoife Fisher. Front Row: Sofia Hortiguela-Conn, Mariellla Mackey, Ellen Jack and Isabella Monaghan.
The team members L - R: Back Row: Laura Bell, Gracie Lamont, Sophie Kidd, Mikayla Kyle, Lucy Stewart and Aoife Fisher. Front Row: Sofia Hortiguela-Conn, Mariellla Mackey, Ellen Jack and Isabella Monaghan.

Friends’ Prep Girls’ Hockey team wrote its way into the history books by winning the McCloy Cup on Thursday April 14.

This is the first time, since the inception of the competition in 1989, that Friends’ Prep has won the title.

It is only the fourth time in 27 years that the competition has been won by a Lisburn school – Pond Park PS were winners in 1992 and 1994 and Harmony Hill PS in 2015.

The competition runs each year with the top 24 teams from the province gaining qualification from regional tournaments entered by approximately 200 primary schools.

Finals day is hosted at Lisnagarvey HC and is a much anticipated event in schools’ sporting calendars.

Friends’ started the day well in the group stages, with wins against Dromore PS, Antrim PS, Strathearn Prep and draws against St Brigid’s PS and Waringstown PS.

This placed them first in their group and allowed them to proceed to the Cup competition.

The afternoon group stage brought two decisive wins against Donaghmore PS and Rathmore PS securing a place in the semi-finals.

In the semi-final, Friends’ were drawn against St Brigid’s PS once again and they played superbly to win this time, by a 3 – 1 margin.

The final pitched the girls against an accomplished team from Methodist College and in a closely contested match, the score remained 0 – 0 at full time.

A period of extra time began and both teams fought hard to secure the ‘golden goal’.

After three minutes of sustained pressure, Friends’ captain, Sophie Kidd rocketed the ball home with a tremendous strike to bring the game to a winning conclusion for the local side.

The win was much to the pleasure of the large contingent of Friends’ supporters, the girls themselves and their proud coaches, Michelle McMillan, Clare Monteith and Alison Johnston.