Friends’ School enjoyed one of their most successful seasons in recent history with two Ulster cups and semi-final appearances galore.
This, coupled with the fact that they are one of the few schools to be able to field 3 teams at senior level, demonstrates the strength of hockey in the school.
The highlights for the school were undoubtedly the successes of the 2nd XI and the U14s.
The 2nd XI, under the captaincy of Ryan Davidson, triumphed in the McCullough Cup by defeating neighbours Wallace in the final after winning against Methody and cup favourites Sullivan in previous rounds.
The most pleasing aspect of this was the improvement throughout the year as pre-Christmas the 2nd XI didn’t emerge from their group in the Prior Shield. Much hard work under the coaching of Drew Campbell and Andy Cameron facilitated this progress.
The U14s won their cup for the second year in succession, with a relatively straightforward cup run.
The victory over Regent in the final qualified them for the All Ireland John Waring trophy and in this they finished runners up to a strong Dublin High School team.
This was the first competitive defeat for this team in two years. A number of this team have already played for the school 1st XI and many more will surely follow in the near future.
The other teams all fell at the semi-final stage but it was a great achievement to get that far.
The U15s have now got to three semis throughout junior school and lost narrowly on every occasion.
Special mention should go to the SERE sponsored 1st XI who showed remarkable consistency throughout the year and reached the semi-finals of both Ulster cups, losing narrowly to Sullivan on both occasions.
The 2015/16 season was supposed to be a transitional year with seven of the starting eleven leaving the previous year. However, under the outstanding captaincy of Ireland schoolboy James Milliken, they defied the odds and had a very successful year. Special credit should go to all the Year 14 who led by example in their final year and offered much to hockey in school.
While hockey in school has finished for the year a number of boys are training with Ulster development squads in the hope of playing in the Inter-pros next year.
Thanks are due to the parents and coaches who give so much of their time, and sponsors SERE and Moore’s Caravans for their financial support.