Fantastic four

LURGAN College will be well represented at this weekend’s youth interprovincial series in Dublin as Ulster bid to retain the Under 18 trophy and regain the U16 silverware.

The Co Armagh side, who were runners up in the Schools’ Cup earlier this year, have no fewer than four players who have been named as either captain or vice captains.

A total of six Lurgan College players are included in the two squads that will heading south for the two day competition which gets under way on Saturday.

Bethany Barr will wear the armband at U18 level while her twin sister Serena will assist her along with Hannah Grieve.

In the younger age-group Alex Hurst has been named as vice-captain and school coach Julie Hinds is a proud woman in view of the accolades.

“All the girls have worked very hard at their hockey be in for school or the club and they deserve their success.” she enthused.

“The three U18s all play in close proximity on the pitch together and have a good understanding.

“The Barr twins are very close, as you’d expect, and Serena is in charge of the defence at the school team while Bethany is a midfielder.

“Hannah is a big powerful player and all three of the girls will, I am sure, be important at set-pieces for Ulster as they are for their school and club.

“Alex is obviously the youngest of the girls and she was a squad player with the school last season.

“But she has stepped up to the plate this season and is now a starting player with the first XI at school.

“She came through the Ulster Development squad and is a palyer of great potential.”

Lurgan prides itself with it’s close links between school and club and Julie says it’s a team effort in more ways than one.

“Everyone works closely together in Lurgan and we help each other out in all sorts of ways.” she added.

“If for example there’s a time clash between school and club games we all do our best to find a way round it.

“There is an excellent youth development strategy at the club and the girls mainly come up through the ranks at the Junior High School before graduating to the College.

“We share the same pitch and generally try to accomodate each other as best we can.”

Ulster U18 squad: Ayeisha McFerran (Larne GS), Naomi Costley (Lurgan College), Bethany Barr (Lurgan College) (capt), Serena Barr (Lurgan College) (v-capt), Robyn Chambers (Rainey), Helen Dawson (MCB), Alex Graham (Ballyclare HS), Hannah Grieve (Lurgan College) (v-capt), Naomi Harkness (MCB), Penny Joyce (Portadown College), Emma Kernaghan (Ballymena Academy), Faye Kidd (BRA), Ruth Maguire (Larne GS), Laura Murray (Wallace HS), Emma Patterson (Ballyclare HS), Zara Thom (MCB), Zoe Wilson (Ballyclare HS).

Ulster U16 squad: Abbie Brown (BRA), Claire Donald (Cambridge House), Jacqueline Burns (Cookstown HS), Katie Larmour (MCB) (capt.), Erin Getty (BRA), Lynn Macaulay (Dalriada), Rosie Henderson (Friends), Alex Hurst (Lurgan College) (v-capt), Tori Hastings (Rainey), Kathryn Edgar (Lurgan College), Nicola Sargent (Rainey), Zara Malseed (Sullivan), Anya Coffey (Down HS), Kirsty McLarnon (Rainey), Jessica McMaster (Belfast HS), Clara Lennon (Armagh Royal).

Interpro programme: Under 16: Saturday: South East v Munster (930am), Leinster v Connacht (11am), Ulster v Munster (1pm), South East v Leinster (230pm), Connacht v Ulster (430pm); Sunday: Connacht v SE (9am), Ulster v Leinster (1030am), Connacht v Munster (1230pm), Ulster v SE (2pm).

Under 18: Saturday: Connacht v Ulster (930am), SE v Munster (11am), Leinster v Connacht (1pm), Ulster v Munster (230pm), SE v Leinster (430pm); Sunday: Munster v Leinster (9am), Connacht v Leinster (9am), Connacht v SE (1030am), Ulster v Leinster (1230pm), Connacht v Munster (2pm), Ulster v SE (4pm).