Academy’s senior stars get the dream end to school careers

Banbridge Academy's Michael McGaffin collects the Schools' Trophy from Andy Donaldson, Danske Bank Mallusk Branch manager and Stephen Hilditch. Pics: Matt Mackey / Presseye
Banbridge Academy's Michael McGaffin collects the Schools' Trophy from Andy Donaldson, Danske Bank Mallusk Branch manager and Stephen Hilditch. Pics: Matt Mackey / Presseye

For Banbridge Academy skipper Michael McGaffin, Wednesday’s win was a dream end to his school career.

The winger, along with eight other Cup squad members, are all finishing school this year and capped their time at the Academy with a Trophy-winning performance that earned a 15-0 success of Belfast HS.

“Those of us in Upper Sixth couldn’t have picked a better way to end our final game for the school,” he told the ‘LEADER’.

“And I’m sure the rest of the lads will be a team to watch next season as they look to push on from this.”

The Academy managed to round up a full squad for the final, but only just.

“It was a very tough year,” said McGaffin. “We had our fair share of injuries and a lot of concussions early on in the season. There were more long-term injuries as well but everyone managed to get back in for the final. I was touch and go for a while but managed to get the go-ahead from the doctor.

“The guys were all really dedicated in training all season, everybody showed up and early on, we didn’t get anything to show for it.

“To win the last three matches and come away with the Trophy in the last game of the season was fantastic.

“The coaching we got in the build-up was top class as well and really set us up for the win. That helped us to go out in the final, show what we could do and what we should have been doing all season.”

So McGaffin ends his school career as a Trophy-winning captain and can now return to his club Banbridge RFC for the remaining weeks of the season.