HOCKEY: Memory is motivation for Banbridge Academy’s history-maker Orla

Orla Thompson becomes the first Banbridge Academy captain to get her hands on the Ulster Senior Schoolgirls' Cup. Pics: Presseye.
Orla Thompson becomes the first Banbridge Academy captain to get her hands on the Ulster Senior Schoolgirls' Cup. Pics: Presseye.
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Last week’s cup success enabled the Banbridge Academy captain to lay some demons to rest.

The 2015 final defeat to Sullivan was a hard one to stomach, but just two years on, that experience added fuel to the fire in the Banbridge bellies.

“It definitely motivated us a lot more,” said captain Orla Thompson. “Especially playing Sullivan in the semi-finals.

“The girls were so determined coming into the final and I think that showed in the play. Our warm-up and everything we did before the match was so focused and I think that really helped. The passing was brilliant, the individual skill was brilliant, especially Katie’s first goal.”

Thompson became the first Academy captain to lay her hands on the trophy in its 110-year history - an honour befitting the school’s Head Girl.

“It’s indescribable. I can’t put it into words. I’m so proud of everyone. It was devastating to lose two years ago but to come back even stronger and play like we did makes me so proud of everyone.

“All the girls are so close. We only lost one player last year so the girls have been together for a long time.

“It just means so much to everyone. The amount of support we had shows what it means to the school as well.”