Hockey: Heartbreak for Rainey Endowed School at Hillsborough

Rainey Endowed School First XI get prepared for the final against Lurgan College.
Rainey Endowed School First XI get prepared for the final against Lurgan College.
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RAINEY ENDOWED 0 LURGAN COLLEGE 1

History was seen to repeat itself for the Rainey girls as once again a controversial goal was the only score in the Senior Schools Cup final, as it had been 37 years ago when the school last reached the final.

Rainey, regarded as the complete underdogs against the much fancied Lurgan College, proved not to be the easy opposition expected by Lurgan.

Indeed Lurgan didn’t manage to break the amazing Rainey defence of Nicola Sargent, Claire Mulholland, Tori Hastings and outstanding goal keeper Rebecca Allen until the final minute of extra time with a goal scored after an infringement clearly seen by the Magherafelt girls.

Even after the umpires conversed to discuss the situation the goal was still allowed to stand.

However, Rainey can hold their heads high as they played an amazing game to cause Lurgan problems all over the pitch.

While Lurgan had chances so did Rainey, a strong Tori Hastings corner strike deflected by Rachel Burns was only stopped by the upright in the first half.

Even a penalty stroke awarded to Lurgan two minutes before the break was touched away wide by the magnificent Allen in goals to deny the Lurgan captain a score.

Rainey came out really well in the second half and played a great passing game between, Tori Hastings, Claire Mulholland and Robyn Chambers in midfield.

Rachel Burns and Kirsty McLarnon worked tirelessly with Zara Bell and Cara Sloan to create chances for Lauren Mulholland and Nicole Heaney up front who never stopped running and pressuring the Lurgan defence.

Several times the ball bounced around peerlessly in front of the Lurgan goal mouth causing great excitement in the crowd but the Rainey could not quite see it in to leave time full time score at 0-0.

The under dogs made a bright start to the 5 minute extra time silver goal period but then came that controversial winner to make it 1-0 to Lurgan at full time.

It was a cruel end to Rainey’s chances of landing the trophy for the first time in the history of the school. But the girls can be so proud of how they played and know now they can achieve this standard again.

The school would like to thank the incredible number of people who travelled from Magherafelt to support the girls, all the past pupils who came from far and wide to support and all the parents who have supported the girls loyally over the years.

It was a fantastic achievement and one the girls will remember for years to come.