Fantastic Day for the girls at the NI finals
The girls represented Mid Ulster in the NI Finals today at Lisnagarvey. This is the highlight of the school’s hockey calendar when the top 24 school teams in Northern Ireland come together to fight it out for the title. The girl’s section looked to be quite a daunting line up. Maralin had been placed in a section with Harper’s Hill, Ballyclare, Kesh, Antrim and Friends Prep. The morning was spent with the girls playing all the schools in their section. From the start, the team was totally focused and played some beautiful hockey. As the morning progressed Maralin had clocked up 3=0 wins against Harpers Hill, Ballyclare and Kesh and also beaten Antrim 4-0. This just left Friends Prep, last year’s NI title holders. After a hard fought match, the girls conceded their first goal of the day and finished the morning with a 1-0 defeat. The top 3 teams from every section went through to the cup playoffs and the bottom 3 teams went through to play for the plate. Maralin went through to the cup play offs as second seed of their Section. Each seeding then met another two schools to play for the semi final places. The girls were drawn against Mossley and Bready. Maralin played Mossley first and although they had some chances, the game finished 0-0. The girls then played Bready straight after their first match. Maralin poured pressure on Bready for the entire game but found it very difficult to score as their opposition had all 6 players defending and the ball was being fouled repeatedly, resulting in one free hit for Maralin after another with the same outcome. After constant shots at goal, Maralin finally scored and the match finished at 1-0. This left the girls having to watch helplessly as Mossley took the pitch again to play the unrested Bready. To go through to the semi finals, Maralin needed Mossely to win by no more than 1-0 but unfortunately the game finished at 3-0.
The girls were gutted not to have made it to the semi finals but could certainly hold their heads high after an outstanding day of hockey. 14 goals for and only 1 against. Mossley ended up going on to win the whole competition and be crowned NI champions which was bitter sweet for our team who had drawn with them in the play offs. A day of what ifs for our girls today sadly but it has been a pleasure to coach these girls throughout the year, week after week and watch them develop their skills and begin to gel as a team. The girls go to their last fixture of the season on Friday as they travel to Ferris Park to play in the league play offs against Waringstown, Seagoe, Dromore, Abercorn, Edenderry Portadown, and Armstrong . This will be a fitting way for them to end the season.
Thanks must go to Paul Rainey and Sandra Kilpatrick who have helped to coach the girls each week and to Mrs. Guy who has helped us organise events and supported through fixtures. A special mention to our trusty supporters who have travelled far and wide to cheer us on throughout the season. It has been great to have such a supportive group of parents.