Portrush Hockey Club were hoping to create a new bit of history, in being able to field five teams on one weekend.
A quick look through the Billy Platt’s ‘History of Portrush Hockey Club’ shows that this would have been the first time in the club’s history. However, sadly winter arrived on the North Coast this week and a dusting of snow combined with a hard frost in Ballycastle meant that the two senior team’s games were cancelled.
With the weather threatening to put pay to all of this weekend’s Ulster Hockey junior Blitzs, Raphoe Hockey Club beat the odds and manged to host a fantastic mini tournament for the 4 clubs involved. With the Ports youth development plan still in its infancy, having only started in the summer, it was great to be fielding two under 11 teams and an under 13 team with a large bench at the Blitz.
The standard of hockey by all three teams was exceptional. Despite the fact that none of the teams had trained since before Christmas and there were a number of new faces across the three teams, the standard of hockey was very high. With each game the skill level and quality rose, with the under 11s finishing off in an incredibly tight game between the two teams.
Club Chairman, Trevor Kirkpatrick said, “This was another fantastic day for Portrush Hockey Club. We had players from Ballymoney, Ballycastle, Coleraine and Limavady among the three teams, playing together in black and amber. Having only started the juniors in the summer we would never have thought that we could field three juniors’ teams at this point.”
Club Secretary Colin Manson said, “The boys played fantastic and we as a club are very proud of not only the boy’s performances so far this year but the way that they played.” Junior hockey is on Wednesday nights in Ballycastle (7-8pm for U15s), Thursday nights (6-7pm for U13s & 11s) and on Saturday mornings (9:30 to 11am for U13s & u15s). Each session is open to all to come and try.