Ulster Schools’ League Finals
Valley Leisure Centre
Friday 13 May 2011
Twenty six teams, representing the Winners and Runners-up of the Group rounds of the Ulster Schools’ Leagues, met at the Valley Leisure Centre to fight out the knockout stages of the competition.
Royal School Cavan had the majority representation, seven teams, and we welcomed newcomers St Aidan’s Comprehensive Cootehill to their first finals. The holders of the U19 Girls, Victoria College, were prevented by examination commitments from defending their title, and the Under 12 Girls event had already been decided at the group stage. There were a number of close matches: in the Under 14 Boys Quarter-Finals Ballyclare High School edged through over Royal School Cavan by the narrow margin of 225 points to 223 after a 3-all draw, but Royal School won a close match 11 games to 9 against Coleraine Inst in the Under 12 Boys, and in the other half of the Under 12 draw Ballyclare High beat a fancied RBAI 222-202 in the Semi-Final.
In the Under 19 Boys, Fivemiletown College, without their leading light Ashley Robinson, still managed to emerge as champions, led by Jonathan Porter, and the Under 14 Boys was won by a Monaghan Collegiate team with Ryan McConkey playing at Number 1. High School Ballynahinch pulled off another championship at the Under 12 level, though their Final with Ballyclare High was a close fought affair.
In the Girls events, Hannah Lynch-Dawson led Royal School Cavan to a creditable double of wins in both the Under 19 and Under 14 Girls.
The move from the previous venue of Glenburn Methodist Church Hall to the Valley Leisure Centre made for a much more relaxed and comfortable day, and was a welcome innovation.
Report by Tony Phillips