VIDEO: Friends coach targets future success with young squad

Friends School Lisburn were knocked out in the semi-final of the Ulster Schoolsgirls’ Senior Cup, beaten 3-2 by Sullivan Upper.

We spoke to their coach Lesley Rodgers after the full-time whistle and she was delighted with her side’s effort, safe in the knowledge she’ll have almost an identical squad to choose from next season.

Friends line up for Wednesday's semi-final. Pic: Rowland White / Presseye.

Friends line up for Wednesday's semi-final. Pic: Rowland White / Presseye.

Her girls had gone oh so close to reaching the season finale this time round and will surely have a good chance to go one better next year.

They had been ahead twice during the game at Lisnagarvey’s Comber Road.

Rosie Henderson converted a penalkty corner to give Friends the early advantage before Zara Malseed levelled with the first of her hat-trick for Sullivan.

Friends restored their lead in the 20th minute with a superb goal, Beth Ravey dashing into the circle and finding Shannon Atkinson who scored with ease.

But Sullivan captain Malseed hadn’t finished yet and she blasted home a penalty corner in the 42nd minute for the equaliser.

Two minutes later she completed her treble, this time scoring with an excellent solo effort after a good advantage from the umpire had allowed her to proceed despite an infringement.

Nonetheless, the Friends girls had done their school proud with a great Cup run.

Friends squad: Sara McGucken; Anna McDermott; Rachel Barnes; Chloe Howes; Shannon Atkinson; Shannon King; Beth Ravey; Amy Brown; Rosie Henderson; Sophie Reid; Holly Beckett subs: Sara-Jane Jamieson; Rachel Foreman; Zoe Carruthers; Leah Black; Robyn Coulter;Alex Dugan;Caragh Milligan.