Dromore success at Junior Sports Awards

Ballela Hurling team
Ballela Hurling team

Dromore High School were ably represented at the recent Armagh Banbridge & Craigavon Junior Sports Awards at the Armagh City Hotel.

Before the introduction of the new council structure, the school had been shortlisted in various categories over the last number of years when the Awards were confined to Banbridge DC

Indeed, last year’s U12 Football team won the Junior Team section with Mark Downey claiming the Youth Male Award.

When this year’s shortlisting was complete, Dromore HS were honoured to have five representatives in no less than four categories – Minor Boys Athletics, U14 Rugby (Junior School Team), U16 Rugby (Youth School Team), Mark Downey (Youth Male) and Jacques Benade (School Coach).

The Minor Boys athletes won the team award in the Ulster Schools’ Championships (having been second in Co Down), the U14 Rugby won the Ulster High Schools’ Shield with the U16s winning both the Pollock Cup and Ulster High Schools’ Trophy last season.

At the awards evening, the school was represented by a number of pupils from each of those three teams.

Having recently taken a career-break to coach rugby in Dubai, it was ironic that Jacques Benade was awarded the first-ever School Coach of the Year award.

This is a well-deserved accolade for a coach that has had constant success over the last 11 years at Dromore High School.

This year the rugby teams won the ‘quadruple’ of provincial High School trophies – U12 Cup, U14 Shield, U16 Pollock Cup & U16 HS Trophy. This is the fourth time Dromore HS have achieved this feat during Jacques Benade’s tenure.

Gareth Bronte, who has coached alongside Jacques for the last few years, received the award on behalf of the Dubai resident Mr Benade.

Mark Downey (Banbridge Cycling Club) against tasted victory in winning the Male Youth of the Year, only this year he triumphed across the larger Council catchment area.

He had another fantastic season in which he won a silver medal at the European Championships, but similar to Jacques he was unable to attend by virtue of being in sunnier climes. Mark is taking time out before embarking on his university career and is in Majorca at an Irish training camp.