The final countdown as Academy target double

BANBRIDGE Academy will play Royal Belfast Academical Institution in the Ulster Hockey John Minnis Burney Cup final tonight (Thursday) at Playball, Stormont, at 7.45pm.


Banbridge Academy Boys’ Hockey – Ulster Schools’ Burney Cup Final – 1st XI v Royal Belfast Academical Institution

Thursday, March 14, 7:45pm, Playball (Stormont)

The 1st XI are aiming for their second Ulster Schools’ title of the season after defeating Wallace High School in the McCullough Cup final in December.

Head coach Simon Jess will be hoping that his highly-talented squad come through this stern test as they are the standout team in Ulster Schools’ hockey.

The team have only suffered one defeat this season and have also won an All-Ireland title, lifting the Herbie Sherman Trophy in October.

The team will be led out by Matthew Spence after unfortunate illness and injury ruled out squad captain Matthew Stevenson and vice-captain Aaron Baxter.

But there is still plenty of talent remaining in the panel.

Goalkeeper Denver Golbey and centre-back Ben Thompson are Ulster Under-18 players while fellow defenders Ben Walker and Max Nicholson have represented Ireland at Under-21 and Under-18 levels respectively.

Captain Spence and Lukas Moles are both Irish Under-18 internationals, with their midfield partners Josh Osborne and Josh Baird having both played for Ulster Under-16s.

There should be no shortage of firepower in the forward line with Irish Under-21 Adam McKee being joined by Irish Under-18 players James Evans and Josh Brownlee.

The squad is completed with Joshua Cash, Harry Taylor, Jack Fleming, Theo Milligan, Daniel McKee and Charlie Taylor.

After a bye in the early rounds of this season’s Burney Cup, the team, ably supported by Emtek, easily came through their quarter-final and semi-final tests.

Bangor Grammar School were dispatched 5-1 at home with Adam McKee scoring four goals and James Evans getting the fifth.

The semi-final saw the Academy winning 4-0 against Sullivan Upper with McKee only scoring two goals this time, and Josh Baird and Lukas Moles stepping up with the others.

A large and vocal support is expected for the trip to Stormont to sing and cheer on the Bann lads as they aim to end the season on the perfect note.


Inst progressed with a narrow 3-2 win over Friends’ School Lisburn.

In the first semi-final, it took just seven minutes for RBAI to open the scoring when they were awarded a penalty stroke following a foot on the line.

George Palmer stepped up to take the penalty and confidently placed his effort past the goalkeeper to give his side the lead.

Despite a late flurry of pressure from their Lisburn opponents, Inst were able to hold on to their lead and progress to the final.

Related topics: