Hockey – Ulster Super League Final

On the afternoon of Friday 25th November Grosvenor’s 1st XI girls’ hockey team was unfortunate to lose out narrowly to Larne Grammar School in a hard-fought final of the inaugural ‘Ulster Super League’ Cup. 

The match, contested at U.U.J., saw 110 Grosvenor pupils, as well as numerous teachers and parents, make the journey to Jordanstown to support their team, taking on a Larne G.S. team against which they have contested a number of close matches in recent times.

Grosvenor began the final well and, after ten minutes, their quick passes and clever runs saw left wing Jess Sayer put the team ahead with an opportunistic finish, giving her team a 1-0 lead which they maintained until half-time.

Despite this promising opening, however, Larne began the second half with renewed determination and put significant pressure on the GGS defence throughout. Despite such consistent pressure, Grosvenor’s well-drilled defence performed commendably to clear many balls and attempts on goal; despite this, however, with just one minute and twenty seconds remaining until the final whistle, Larne managed to equalise as they, agonizingly, placed the ball in the back of the GGS net to force extra-time.

An extra-time period of five minutes each way resulted which, with neither team managing to add to their goal tally, was followed by penalty flicks – probably the most cruel way to determine the outcome of a match.

Team captain Hannah Blair stepped up to take the first flick, and, despite enormous pressure, scored. Following this the side’s outstanding goalkeeper, Emma McDowell, succeeded in saving two of Larne's attempts although, with Grosvenor unable to add any more scores to their total and Larne scoring from three of their efforts, LGS eventually prevailed at the end of a titanic tussle. 

Many congratulations to Larne on their victory although huge credit must also go to each member of Grosvenor’s squad, all of whom performed superbly throughout the entire competition, as well as their dedicated coach Mrs Hunter, without whose direction and motivation the team would not have performed so well.

We now look forward to following the team’s fortunes throughout the remainder of the season and, in particular, in the their Schools' Cup campaign, which commences at the end of November.

Grosvenor player Claire McKane in action during the final of the 'Ulster Super League' against Larne Grammar School on the afternoon of Friday 25th November. 

Team captain Hannah Blair competes for the ball during the final against LGS.

Right wing Holly Brannigan in full flight during the first half of the encounter.