Revenge is in the air for 2nd XI
When Banbridge Academy Boys’ Hockey 2nd XI took the pitch in the final of the Prior Shield just before Christmas, they were brimming with confidence and looking forward to their first silverware in 3 seasons. Coaches Farson and Stewart has worked through all the plays and the boys were ready for victory. But alas a cup shock was on the cards. Defensively minded Regent House dug-in hard and stopped the free-scoring Academy getting on the scoresheet despite dominating the match and creating many goal-scoring opportunities. The game went to a shoot-out competition and the under-dog came through much to the shock of the Academy boys.
With that defeat hard to take, the 2nd XI didn’t realise that they would get their change for revenge so quickly. The draw has thrown up a trip to Regent House in the first round of this season’s Ulster Schools’ Dowdall Cup. The DMF Contracts sponsored side will look to take some of their chances this time and not give Regent any chance of victory.
The team have been in sparkling form for most of the season. Captain Benjamin Logan has seen his side win 7 and lose 3 matches pre-Christmas but a recent 4-0 demolishing of Friends’ shows that the team are on good form. Matthew McClimmonds and Samuel Megaw will marshal the defence with Logan, Matthew Anderson, Christian Fee, Harry Farson and Jamie McArdle providing strength and flexibility from midfield. But its up-front that this team really excels. Alex Jordan, Josh McAdam, Ross Scott and Eli Baxter all score goals for fun and the competition between them is as intense as that with any opposition.
The match will be played at Regent House on Saturday 2nd February with a 10:30am hit-off. Selection will be the hardest task for the coaches as there are many players putting themselves in the frame for a place in the team. The squad will be chosen from:
Ross Stewart, Elliott Haw, Matthew McClimonds, Samuel Megaw, John Scott, Evan Calvert, Josh Gibson, Christian Fee, Jamie McArdle, Benjamin Logan, Harry Farson, Matthew Anderson, Ben Ingram, Josh McAdam, Alex Jordan, Ross Stewart, Eli Baxter, Oren Shimmons, Jonathan Cartmill.
Friends’ School awaits Academy in Richardson Cup
The Banbridge Academy Boys’ Hockey Under 15 side have been hard at it over the exam period preparing to try and right the wrong after last season’s first round exit from the cup. They face Friends’ School in the first round of this year’s Ulster Schools’ Richardson Cup and hope to continue their excellent run of results against the Lisburn school, having already beaten them 1-0 and 3-2, and drawn 3-3 this season. The squad under the guidance of Mr Miskelly has great talent with many of the players gaining valuable senior experience this season.
The school has an unparalleled history in this competition stemming right back to its origins in 1949 and more recently winning 10 back to back titles from 2001 – 2010. This is always a strong indicator of attitude and ability and Captain Charlie Keery will be hoping to avoid last season’s disappointment when they dominated against Regent House but lost 1-0 to a breakaway goal. Their defensive abilities will be crucial with keeper James Finlay and defender Luke Watt needing to be at their best if they are to keep out a fiery Friends’ attack.
At the other end of the pitch, goalscoring hasn’t been a problem for this attacking side as they have scored over 50 goals in 14 matches this season. Cody Large will be a marked man so will depend upon Charlie Rowe and Louis Rowe to get him the time and space he needs to launch one of his famous back-hand missiles. With Large’s potency from penalty corners, the team will look to cash-in on as many set-plays as possible. The Rowe twins cute forward play will put fear into any defence and Seb Best’s recent mature performances will hopefully drive the team to victory.
Preparations have been extremely positive and the squad will finely tune the patterns before the battle at Friends’. The game starts at 2:30pm on Tuesday 5th February and the squad would be delighted to see a hearty supportive crowd to push on the Academy Richardson Cup squad.
Under 14 Ferris Cup Squad travel to Regent in opener
Banbridge Academy Boys’ Hockey Under 14s will be hoping to get their cup campaign off to a slick start as they travel to Regent House in the first round of the Ulster Schools’ Ferris Cup. The side, coached again this year by Mr Cordner, has made great progress in many departments and will be hoping to repeat the huge victory over the Regent boys from earlier in the season.
The boys will want to continue their consistent strong performances this season and hope that goalkeeper Conor Part is rarely troubled. The defence is ably marshalled by Joshua Moles and with Tom Hamilton, Simon Ferris and Morgan Murphy alongside him, they are a strong unit which builds many of the team’s attacks.
Newcomers Tommy Dobson and Spencer Collie have been a revelation since joining the squad. Dobson has dominated many midfielders of greater stature this season and is a star of the future. His control of the midfield has allowed Collie to get forward and score with ease. The energy Collie brings to every game is infectious and rubs off on all those around him. Thomas Cunningham, Lewis Cousins and Ben Farson command the wider areas of midfield with Jake Rainer linking the midfield and attack. Matthew McKee has scored 25 times since September and the others up-front of Ben Pollock and Daniel McHugh regularly chip in with their fair share of goals.
The game will be played as part of the cup double-header at Regent next Saturday, with a 9:15am hit-off. The team are anxious for a long cup run as they look ahead to an exciting European trip later in the year to Germany and the Netherlands.
Squad to be selected from:
Conor Part, Denver Golbey, Joshua Moles, Tom Hamilton, Morgan Murphy, Matthew Stevenson, Simon Ferris, Aaron Baxter, Tom Clarke, Murray Corkin, Tommy Dobson, Lewis Cousins(c), Ben Farson, Thomas Cunningham, Jake Rainer, Matthew Spence, Lukas Moles, Matthew McKee, Spencer Collie, Ben Walker, Ben Pollock, Josh Brownlee, Daniel McHugh, Conor Doyle, Adam Trimble.
Bannister begins at home to Sullivan
The Banbridge Academy Boys’ Hockey Under 13A side have been superb from the first match of the season. They are undefeated after taking on the best from both North and South this season. They have a style of play reminiscent of much senior sides as they try and play with the Banbridge ethos of passing, attacking hockey. Coach Mr Walker is delighted with the progress the team is making as they prepare to start their Ulster Schools’ Bannister Bowl campaign at home to Sullivan Upper.
The team is ably led by skipper Matthew Stevenson who runs the defence and frequently becomes an attacking option. Fellow defenders Caleb Briggs and Aaron Baxter form a solid base, leaving goalkeepers Denver Golbey and Calum Clement rarely challenged. The midfield is as solid as it comes at this level. Matthew Spence, Lukas Moles and Ben Walker demonstrate their superb energy levels as they dominate teams week after week, scoring as many goals as the attackers between them. The forward line led by Josh Brownlee puts the fear into every school, no matter which of Daniel Reid, Jonah Lutton, Elijah Carr or Adam McKee play alongside him. Captain Stevenson possesses a drag flick and variation from penalty corners rarely seen at U13.
The Banbridge lads defeated Sullivan 3-0 earlier in the season but they are not a team to be underestimated. While the Academy have scored 76 goals in just 15 games, including huge 8-0, 12-0 and 7-0 wins since Christmas against Grosvenor, Methody and Friends’, they know that this is a cup match where they are the favourites so they must be ready for a rear-guard approach from the Holywood men.
This team tasted success last April at the Oxford Hockey Club Tournament and they will be keen to add more silverware this season. The Bannister Bowl match takes place at home on Monday 11th February at 2:30pm – all support welcome.
Denver Golbey, Calum Clement, Matthew Stevenson, Aaron Baxter, Caleb Briggs, Joshua Cash, Tom Brown, Noah Lutton, Matthew Spence, Lukas Moles, Ben Walker, Jonathan McCrum, Josh Brownlee, Adam McKee, Daniel Reid, Jonah Lutton, Elijah Carr
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