The Royal Belfast Academical Institution

1st XI Win Herbie Sharman Trophy

1st XI Win Herbie Sharman Trophy

The week before half term, the 1st XI took part in the All-Ireland Schools Hockey Championship in Cork, a tournament for the top sixteen teams in the country. They were drawn in a group with Kings Hospital (Dublin), Sutton Park (Dublin) and Ashton High (Cork).

The first opponents in our group were Kings Hospital and in a closely fought game, RBAI conceded a second goal with thirty seconds left to lose 2-1. Even though it was a tight game the team were bitterly disappointed in the result as they knew they didn’t perform to their full potential.

The next morning it was another tough battle against the tournament hosts Ashton High School. Infront of a large home crowd, Ashton took the lead going into halftime, but a strong second half performance saw us come out 4-3 winners. Two hours later and we played our final group game, comfortably beating Sutton Park 6-0. Unfortunately, Kings Hospital didn’t drop any points in their remaining group games and so we finished 2nd in our group.

This put the team into the semi-final of the Herbie Sharman Trophy, along with the other three group runners up. Here RBAI were drawn against St Andrews College (Dublin) and another solid performance meant that the team controlled most of the game running out 2-1 winners. Wesley College (Dublin) was victorious in the other semi-final meaning that the two teams would face each other in the final in what would be both teams fifth game in three days.

Understandably the game was a bit scrappy to begin with, but we came to life after going 1-0 down. After that, the team offered much more of an attacking threat and equalised within a few minutes. In the second half we scored two more goals to lead 3-2 going into the final few minutes, but unfortunately conceded an equaliser with the last hit of the game from a short corner, meaning the Trophy would be decided by penalty run ins. Even though conceding at the very end was a blow, the players never let it affect them and approached the shootout with an admirable calmness. Callum Ullah was the hero of the shootout saving three of the four run ins he faced, resulting in a 3-1 win, and the boys were more than happy to celebrate lifting the Herbie Sharman Trophy for the first time! Well done to all that where involved.

1st XI Win Herbie Sharman Trophy
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