Portadown College First XI make history with Plate win

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Portadown College’s 1st XI hockey squad brought glory to the school by beating Regent House to win the Senior Schools’ Plate for the first time in the competition’s 41 year history.

There was an inauspicious beginning as Sarah Armstrong suffered a worrying cut to her head in an accident during warm-up but despite initial fears, Sarah was able to take part in the match after some time on the bench.

Portadown College played an attacking game but their defence was also impressive with an important early clearance from the opposition goal by Amy Campbell and good leadership at the back by Abbie McCullough. Reward came after 15 minutes when Emily McStea scored to put Portadown ahead.

Portadown held off the Regent pressure with Emily McStea clearing the ball into the College half after some skilful tackles from captain Kerrie Burns as Amy and Sarah Campbell were solid and engaged in some excellent defence and attack.

The second half started with Regent going on the attack, however, their resurgence was short-lived and Portadown dominated the match with most of the play in the College half. There were exciting chances for the College girls with Emily Parks winning a short corner and Abbie McCullough narrowly missing a shot at goal.

Regent narrowly missed an attempted goal a few minutes before the final whistle but Portadown retaliated and one last attempt at goal was taken by Sarah Campbell with just 30 seconds to go. The goal was missed but it didn’t matter to the team and their supporters when the final whistle was blown.

Portadown College had won and their tenacity, professionalism, resilience, determination and teamwork had resulted in a well-earned victory.

They had dominated the play for most of the match and deserved the reward of silverware at the end of a successful season.