Markethill High School students secured an inaugural Ulster boys’ hockey crown with success in the Taylor Cup.
Derby delight arrived with victory against Portadown College on a 5-1 scoreline in Armagh.
Kyle Marshall provided the perfect start with an early finish off Jordan Wright’s pass. Marshall doubled his tally to cap a neat exchange with Joshua Black before the break.
Marshall’s hat-trick finish helped Markethill recover from a Portadown College goal after the interval and the on-song player pushed his personal tally to four before the captain, Wright, closed out the scoring.
“This success has been a long time coming,” said Robbie McMinn, the Markethill High School boys’ PE teacher. “This is a superb group and is certainly my best coaching achievement.
“This season marked the school’s sixth in the competition and the bar is now set for the teams that will follow.
“Previously, boys have won the Ulster Indoor title and reached the Richardson and Ferris cup semi-finals.
“Last year we lost the Taylor Cup final by 3-2 against Portadown College.
“We reached the final this year with wins over Ballyclare, Ballycastle and Wellington College.
“It is a fantastic success and one to be enjoyed by everyone connected to the school, plus we have 12 members of the squad available next year so that is encouraging.”
Craigavon Senior High School finished with Northern Ireland under 16s’ honours across the boys’ volleyball and girls’ hockey.
Mid-Ulster league-and-cup glory was secured by the girls’ under 15s’ hockey squad. The boys’ under 16s won football’s Mid-Ulster league prize and Craigavon girls also picked up honours in tug-of-war.