All Ireland Champions!

Written by | Sport

8305net.jpgThe Wallace High School Minor Girls’ netball team recently won both the Northern Ireland and All Ireland Netball Championships.

Having defeated Sacred Heart College, Omagh by 24 – 7 in a compelling Northern Ireland Semi Final, the Lisburn Girls faced old rivals St Macnissi Garron Tower in the Final. The Wallace girls won this match with a healthy 24 -11 scoreline, giving them the opportunity to play in the All Ireland League Final for the first time in the school’s history.

The All Ireland Final took place in Lisburn Racquets Club last week, with many Wallace supporters there for encouragement. The Lisburn girls romped home with a superb 38 -4 victory over Rathdown College, Bray.

Squad manager Miss Ros Farr, is thrilled with the girls’ achievement, “Over the years netball has been a popular and successful sport here in Wallace, with teams reaching Area and Cup finals and several pupils gaining representative honours. However our Coach Jackie Portis, who is also assistant coach for the Northern Ireland Under 21 Squad, has really taken Wallace to a new level. She has very high expectations and the squad is very well coached in patterns of play, working as a disciplined unit with each player knowing exactly where the others will be on the court.

Crucial to the game is a knowledge of centre passes, side and back line throw ins, strong mid court play and fast and clever work in the shooting circle. Wallace’s strong and instinctive defence means that the ball comes up court with determination. Our Captain Sarah Montgomery is a versatile goal Attack; her eyes never leave the ball and she is unfailingly focused.

She is also a very reliable Captain who comes from a strong netball background with her Mum Laura playing for Larkfield. Our outstanding Goal Defence Sophie McClean is the best player I’ve seen in this position at this early age- with instinctive reactions. Our Centre Rachael McCutcheon dictates the pace of play with her agile movements. Our Goal Shooter Caroline Davis works well with the captain in the circle, shooting with a speedy accuracy.

Wings Lauren Burton and Rebecca Poots are both agile and instinctive players, always forming a crucial part of the team.Our Keeper Rachel Robinson has improved dramatically in recent months, intercepting at all angles. Julie Whitten, Georgina McAllister and Rachael Gardiner are all vital and versatile squad members, who work with flexibility.”

Captain Sarah Montgomery concluded, “We’d like to thank all our friends, families and teachers who came along to support us in the finals. Special thanks must also go to our Manager Miss Farr and our Coach Jackie Portis who have both worked very hard with us. We’ve learnt a great deal and really enjoyed the season.”

Last modified: May 15, 2007