Club Captain Amy Patterson END OF SEASON 2016

Good evening everyone, I hope you are all having a great night! I’m Amy and I have been club captain this year, also referred to as the mad woman who harassed you all for money for fundraising and your match reports each week … sorry!

Tonight I am going to do a roundup of this year, beginning with year 8. Firstly, I’d like to welcome year 8 to their first hockey dinner! I hope on behalf of everyone you’ve enjoyed your first year and enjoy many more to come because believe me it goes too fast! 44 girls played team hockey in Year 8 this year, they had 30 wins, and just 4 loses throughout all 5 teams in all fixtures and also were winners of Year 8 NEBSSA Hockey Tournament beating Coleraine 1-0 in the final with Mrs McCullough treating them all to ice cream from Burger King after, where they also picked up there champions crowns. A special mention to Niamh Hogan who played as goal keeper for both the u13s and the u14s this year.  All the Goalkeepers would like to thank Diane Conway for training them this season. The year 8 girls were also runners up in the L. Waller Tournament in Carrick. I have been told there was great attendance at Saturday morning training with Stacey, Megan and Amy, who the year 8 girls would like to thank for making their first year of hockey so much fun. They would also like to thank Miss McKinty, Miss Patterson and Mrs McCullough for coaching them throughout the season. The future of the club looks very bright with this talented bunch and I wish you all the luck for the future! Also, we are all looking forward to your singing performance later…

The u13 teams have had a great year with some terrific wins. The u13As were captained by Ellie McBurney this year and won 10 of their 16 games, playing best against Friends with a 1-0 win with a goal by Amy McGookin. The U13As would like to thank Mr Butler for coaching them this season and look forward to next year! The U13Bs, captained by Anna O’hara started the season strong with a 5-0 win against Hunterhouse and after a few defeats they picked themselves up and were able to end the season with a few wins. The U13cs had a mix of wins and draws .Their captains Kathryn McBurney and Katie Mckee felt the team played to the best of their ability. The u13Bs and Cs were coached by Miss McKinty and would like to thank her for all the  support throughout the year. Well done to you all!

The U14As captained by Molly Dougan began the season with an impressive 6-0 win over Hunterhouse. After a couple of tough matches they picked themselves up to beat Larne 3-2 with some help from Mrs McCullough’s motivational shouting, which as we know always helps! Unfortunately this was short lived and they lost 1-0 against Omagh in the first round of the Junior Cup, despite Mr Butler’s beautiful singing on the bus journey there. Mr Butler everyone would love you to sing for us tonight?? Mr Butler got the team back onto their feet, and they made it to the final of the plate! The girls played really well before losing 1-0 to Strathern in front of a large crowd of their usual supporters that they would like to thank for their support this season! They would also like to thank Mr Butler for putting up with them all this season! The U14Bs had an enjoyable year winning 8 matches, drawing 2 and loosing 2. They have had a lot of laughs in training and sometimes throughout matches. One interesting tactic they call the “goalie sandwich” involved Eve and Emily both going for the ball from opposite sides of the goalie and the goalie ran between and got stuck! They somehow managed to score from this tactic too! Katie Patterson, their captain would like to thank all the girls and Miss McKinty for always being in a good mood, despite how early they had to get up on Saturday mornings! The U14Cs had mostly draws this year but overall enjoyed their time as a team. Captain Katlin Browne felt they played the best against Belfast high, especially in the second half of the game. All the U14s and U13s would like to thank Mrs Wells for coaching them every Monday and Thursday! Throughout the season the girls learnt new skills in training which they were able to apply to their matches and kept improving! Well done to all U14 teams this season!

The U15s this season won the majority of their games, with one of their best results being against Hunter House, winning 2-0 their captain Anna Boyd put their success down to the hard work from everyone throughout the game and season! The U15s final game was against Glenlola which they won 3-0. This was a great end to their season. Overall I have been told that with a couple of trips to Mauds after matches the girls enjoyed the season. The girls would like to thank Mrs Holmes for coaching them this season and also a big thank you to Mrs Holmes for sorting match reports out every week! The girls would also like to thank Miss Mckinity for coaching them whatever the weather and are looking forward to next year!

The 3rds were captained by Helen Brown this year and started off with a 3-1 win over Regent. Unfortunately the girls had some matches cancelled throughout December and January due to bad weather, but appreciated the extra lie-ins! One of the team’s best games came when playing Slemish in the hail and snow and they managed a 5-0 victory! Another memorable moment was the Saturday morning training the night after the 5th year formal. Despite it pouring with rain Miss Patterson insisted everyone had to do sprints, which resulted in tan running everywhere and Ellen Hall and Megan Tumelty moaning about their hair for the first time ever! My favourite moment of the whole season however comes from a thirds player. It had to be when Erin Whyte, one of the 3rds key players received an honours pocket for the 2bs, it has been said it was the best day of her life for the upcoming player. Erin please stand and enjoy your moment and can every give her a well-deserved round of applause! The 3rds would like to thank Miss Patterson for coaching them this season and for always bringing jelly babies on a Saturday morning, even when they were all more focussed on having a chat!

The 2bs, captained by Susan Purdy, had a successful year and were only defeated twice! They began with a largely new team and in their first game together won 1-0 against Regent house with a goal from Saffy Cockcraft. Due to typical Northern Irish weather some of their games  were cancelled, however the team played Grosvenor in the Gym at school which was arguably their best performance this season! Sometimes certain members managed to sleep in and miss the bus such as Rachel Mcclements, so Rachel on behalf of Emma and I, here is an alarm clock for next season!! Unfortunately when it came to the cup the girls lost 1-0 to Strathern in the quarter final. Everyone was gutted but they knew they had given it their all so focussed on winning the league. The last game of the season was a league decider against Belfast High which they successfully won 6-0! This was a great way to end the season and for some upper 6th girls to say goodbye to BHS hockey. Miss Patterson the 2bs want to thank you for being the best student coach they have ever had and for looking after them the whole season! They would also like to thank Harry for putting up with all their chatting in training on a Wednesday.

The 2’s started and ended on a high! Captained by Ellen Lamont they started the season beating Hunterhouse and finishing the season with winning the McDowell cup for the second year in a row and being league winners! Ellen Lamont was overheard claiming that it was hard winning so much! The girls did have some tough games, such as against Rainey and Coleraine where they struggled to get the ball in the back of the net, however their determination paid off and they entered their cup and league undefeated. After winning their semi-final against Wallace, even after Mrs McCullough crashed the mini bus because, quote, “some eejit didn’t open the other gate,” the girls then entered the McDowell cup final for the second year in a row. They had an intense match against Victoria, and a goal in the first half from Rachel Kerr meant that they once again won the McDowell cup! The hard work and determination from every player had paid off to finish a brilliant season. On behalf of the 2s they would like to thank Mrs McCullough for coaching them all season and for all the early mornings and rainy afternoons, they couldn’t have gotten to the final without you and they know they may drive you insane, but they all love you!

The 1’s began their preseason at the end of June to prepare them for the upcoming season. Captained by Zara Mcilwaine they started the season with an impressive 4-0 win against Grovesnor. The team continued their winning streak until it was time for their tour to Utrecht, Holland over the Halloween break. Over the 4 days they played 2 matches against teams from Kampong Hockey club, winning one and losing another. Between matches they had a training session from Ireland goalkeeper David Harte. Some other activities included certain members of the team jumping out and scaring Mrs McCullough and Dr Rainey. Another interesting issue involved Zara convincing the girls to do team bonding which resulted in Rebecca McConnell and Claire Lormior getting soaked all in the name of “team bonding”.  After the trip the girls were even closer and began another winning streak beating their main rivals BRA and Wallace 5-2 along with an impressive 10-0 victory over Dungannon. Then along came the cup. The team entered the cup at the 3rd round, they had a tough start against Omagh but found their rhythm and won the game. The team continued winning their league matches and before they knew it they had drew Armagh in the Quarter Finals. Unfortunately it was not meant to be and the game was lost to strokes. The team tried to pick themselves up despite being heartbroken and focused on winning the league title for the 7th year in a row! Their final match against Belfast High was one of their best with a 5-0 win in order to win the league. Despite the season not going exactly how they planned there was certainly some fantastic hockey that the upper 6th leavers in the team will miss. The girls would like to thank Dr Rainey and Mrs McCullough for all the effort and time they have put into this season and for putting up with their complaints and craziness. From the upper 6th members of the team they would like to thank you not only for the season but for the support and work you have done over the years.

Outside of matches, this has been a successful year for fundraising. In December there was a bag-pack at ASDA with money raised going towards the school hockey club and charity. The main fundraising event this year was Drumbo Dog Racing in March which was a great night for everyone. With a lovely three course meal and generous raffle prizes it was a great night raising an impressive sum of money for the club. Thanks to all pupils, friends and parents who contributed to the night. It wouldn’t have been as big a success without you all.

Overall it has been a successful year with an impressive 3 teams winning their leagues and the club winning the overall title. Now it is time for some thank yous!

Without the hard work and dedication of all the coaches and players school hockey would not be as successful as it is. Firstly a massive thank-you from me to all the captains. Thank you for being so co-operative this year and for usually having your match reports in on time and dealing with all my texts on a Sunday night asking where they are and me tracking you down on a Monday morning looking for them! Sometimes it is easy to overlook the organisation needed to let your team mates know where and when they have to be on a Saturday morning, so thank you for all your hard work this year! So could all captains please stand and can everyone give them all a well-deserved round of applause.

Secondly I would like to thank all the coaches. Without you all there would be no hockey and certainty each team would not be half as successful. From Your hard work and dedication every day is greatly appreciated by us all and along with putting up with all the chatting in training makes you all very special, so on behalf of all the players, thank you! So another big round of applause for our wonderful teachers and coaches!

I would also like to say a big thank-you to Mrs McCullough and Miss Patterson for keeping me right this year and to Miss Patterson for reading this speech about ten times to make sure it was ok!!

And lastly on behalf of the upper 6th girls who are leaving this year, we would like to thank everyone who made our time at Ballyclare High Hockey so special. We have made friends for life and will all look back at the past seven years with great memories. It’s been an amazing experience, for which we thank you so much!