Belfast Telegraph Schools' Cup: Katie bags a hat-trick as Bann shatter their Schools' Cup jinx
Banbridge Academy 4 - Wallace High School 0
Katie McKee became the first girl to score a hat-trick in a Belfast Telegraph Schools' Cup final for over a decade as Banbridge Academy beat Wallace High 4-0 in yesterday's decider at Lisnagarvey.
The diminutive midfielder was expected to be the star of the show and that's exactly what she was, dictating much of the play, creating chances and scoring three well-worked goals.
It was the first time in the competition's history that the Academy won the trophy, and they certainly did it in style.
There were two contrasting styles, with Banbridge not afraid to pass the ball around while Wallace were often dangerous on the counter-attack with their direct running.
But for all Wallace's hard work, they couldn't break down the Academy defence and indeed didn't test the Bann goalkeeper until three minutes from time by which stage they were already trailing by four.
The early stages of the match saw a shower of rain, and then out came the sun which sparked a lovely double rainbow right over the Garvey pitch.
And, right on cue, McKee found the proverbial pot of gold with a goal worthy of gracing any match.
She collected a pass, drifted past two defenders and, turning her stick onto the reverse, hammered the ball into the roof of the net, giving keeper Nakhita Dowie no chance.
Earlier, she had a mazy run along the byline but no one was there to finish off, and then she sent a penalty corner over the bar.
And Sophia Mount had a chance to make it two but deflected wide a cross from her skipper Orla Thompson.
Five minutes into the second half, McKee got her second with a neat penalty corner variation which saw her shoot low to the net from the centre circle.
And Gemma Hassan made it three after 50 minutes when she finished off a penalty corner at the back post.
Finally, McKee completed her hat-trick with a solo effort four minutes from time - she picked up a wayward pass, skipped past three defenders, rounded the goalkeeper and slipped the ball into the net from a tight angle.
Wallace's one effort on goal saw Emma Whan come close but keeper Alice Winson blocked the shot.
McKee said: "We've made history for the school, because it's the first time the trophy comes to Banbridge in the 110-year history of the competition."
But which of her goals did she like best?
"It has to be the first one," she said. "It doesn't always come off when you take the shot on the reverse, but it just flashed into the top corner of the net.
"But all goals are good!"
It was obviously disappointing for Wallace to lose so heavily, but skipper Jane Kilpatrick can take some degree of consolation in the fact that she was their outstanding player.
Both her and Jasmine Kirkwood weren't afraid to attack the Academy defence but just couldn't find a way past a composed Ellen Reid at the back.
BANBRIDGE ACADEMY: Alice Winson, Holly Hanna, Clare Liggett, Sophie Mount, Emma Gregson, Charley Brush, Gina Woods, Rebekah Dougan, Sarah-Jane Corry, Orla Thompson, Lauren McGaw, Nadia Benallal, Gemma Hassan, Ellen Reid, Rebecca Huey, Katie McKee, Rebecca Spence.
WALLACE HIGH: Nakhita Dowie, Alex Patterson, Anouk Morwood, Rebecca Ayerst, Harriet Matchett, Alyssa Jebb, Jane Kilpatrick, Jasmine Kirkwood, Emma Whan, Rachel Houston, Emma Coalter, Bethany Dumican, Sophie McKee, Holly McClure, Anna Curragh, Megan Bell, Rachel Steele.
Umpires: Linda Johnston, PJ Whyte.