Commiserations to Wallace High School Girls 1st XI Hockey, who came close to reaching the Schoolgirls' Cup Semi Final for the second year running recently - succumbing to a late goal against Ballyclare High School at Lisnagarvey Hockey Club.
The team went into the game with real belief after a great run had taken them to the quarter final with victories over some great teams. It was a nervous start for the team, however, with goalkeeper Anna Jones in inspired form to keep Wallace in the game, before finally being beaten by a clinical strike to give Ballyclare a slender lead.
Wallace soon came back into the ascendancy, dominating possession and territory for the rest of the first half and much of the second, and improving their speed to the ball. The pressure resulted in five penalty corners in the second half, and the pressure paid off, with captain Jo Leathem levelling the scores with fifteen minutes remaining.
The pressure continued but there was no way through the resolute Ballyclare defence. With just two minutes remaining, Ballyclare scored the winning goal - a heartbreaking end to the game, particularly for Anna Jones, Jo Leathem and Nikki Millar, Year 14 leavers who really led by example. Wallace coach Maggie Hunter will have 13 of the players back for another go next year as they bid to win the Schoolgirls' Cup for the first time.
Commiserations to the team, but also huge congratulations on a fantastic cup run! We look forward to following the girls' progress in next years competition.