Great start as Friends’ hockey squad qualify for Irish Schoolboys’

Friends' School 1st XI Boys' Hockey squad sponsored by SERE Motors are competing in the Irish Schools' Championships this weekend.
Friends' School 1st XI Boys' Hockey squad sponsored by SERE Motors are competing in the Irish Schools' Championships this weekend.

The Friends’ 1st XI Hockey team, sponsored by SERE Motors, have so far had an excellent start to the 2015/16 season.

They are unbeaten, have qualified for the Irish Schoolboys’ and are in contention for a McCullough Cup semi-final spot.

This fine run of results is even more impressive considering seven of last year’s starting team left school for university at the end of last season.

The season began brightly with a friendly win over Sullivan and a resounding victory over Grosvenor.

In the McCullough Cup Friends’ and Wallace played out a 3-3 draw

Since then Friends’ have gone on to defeat Campbell and Banbridge Academy Second XI to reach the top of their group.

Victories over Methodist College and Regent should ensure qualification for the semi-final.

In the Irish Schoolboys’ Friends’ had to go through an arduous qualification process. Victories over Campbell and RBAI and a draw with Cookstown ensured Friends’ topped the group to take their place in the 34th Championships.

Wesley College will be favourites to take top spot in the group but Ashton and Regent will also provide tough opposition. Friends’ are hoping that their team spirit and set pieces will help cause an upset.

The basis of Friends’ success so far has been their frugal defence marshalled by captain and Irish U18 goalkeeper James Milliken.

His brother Matt has also gained representative honours and will be playing for the Ulster U16 side in November.

The goals have come in the form of penalty corner expert James Brown and poachers Cyril Varghese and Niall Magee but it is a genuine team effort in every match.

The team are thankful to the support of the school and local clubs and would also like to thank SERE for their kind sponsorship this year.