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Academy boys can follow our lead: Orla

By Graham Hamilton

Banbridge Academy threw down the gauntlet to their male counterparts when they won the Belfast Telegraph Senior Schools' Cup final, beating Wallace High 4-0 at Lisnagarvey yesterday.

It was the first time that the school lifted aloft the trophy in a competition now in its 110th year, and skipper Orla Thompson says it's now up to the boys to win their equivalent, the Burney Cup, later this month.

The Academy girls have long lived in the shadow of the boys who have numerous Burney Cup, McCullough Cup and all-Ireland trophies to their name, but this is the first time the girls have won a major title.

"It's up to the boys to follow in our footsteps for a change," said captain Orla.

"They play their semi-final next Wednesday and it would be great if they go on and win the competition outright, so that both trophies could be at our school for the first time in its history.

"Regards our final, it was a great all-round team effort and it's great when it all clicks.

"But Katie McKee was superb, and it was a great hat-trick she scored.

"A big thank you to our coach who has worked hard with us and finally it has all paid off."

Coach Neil Madeley was over the moon too and joined the girls in a circle afterwards. He took off his cap and threw it onto the ground in celebration.

"I am absolutely delighted," he said. "The girls put in the work and they have got their reward.

"We'll all have a nice meal together at Sintons to celebrate, and then it's back to the hard work as we now prepare for the all-Ireland series, which will be in Banbridge."

Wallace High skipper Jane Kilpatrick was naturally gutted at the scoreline, yet her team didn't perform all that badly.

"Banbridge were excellent on the day, and good luck to them in the Kate Russell all-Ireland series," she said.

Belfast Telegraph

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