Four teams were entered in the Ulster Cup competitions in what turned out to be a successful season with all teams reaching the semi-finals of the cup and two progressing to the finals.

The minor team (year 8) –Chrissy Hopkins, Ellie Luke, Emma Smyth and Jenny Waring had a very good first summer. The girls’ qualified from their section with convincing 6-0 and 5-1 wins over Rockport and Methody respectively. The final matches of the section were much closer affairs, beating Victoria and Down High 4-2 in closely fought matches. In the semi-final the team faced Rainey and in closely fought matches were victorious, winning 4-2. In the final, Friends’ faced a very strong Strathearn team who fielded Ulster and Irish representatives. Despite playing some of their best tennis Friends’ were defeated., the girls’ should be very proud of finishing runner up in their age group.

The junior team (years 9&10) – Isabella Connor, Sophie Kidd, Helen Lyster, Katie Reid and Kate Callaghan found form playing some good tennis to get through the section matches. They defeated Glenlola and Hunter House 6 matches to 0, and defeated Victoria and Regent 5matches to 1. In the semi-final they had their first tough match of the season against Methody, the girls’ played very well and won the match 5-1. In the final, Friends’ faced a very strong Strathearn team, all the games were played in great spirit and were very competitive, unfortunately Friends lost out 5-1.

The intermediate squad (years 11& 12) – Lucy Mathers, Rachel McElrath, Rebecca Stevenson and Ella Agnew, got a bye in the first round. In the quarter final in a closely fought game with Methody B team the game finished 3 matches each, however, on games Friends won 32-25. In the semi- final friends faced the reigning champions Sullivan, although the girls played very well, unfortunately Sullivan were too strong and ran out 6-0 winners.

The senior team – Sarah King, Ellie Bamford, Georgia Reid, Ella Brown and Olivia Agnew got a bye in the first round and then faced Grosvenor in the quarter final of the cup. The game finished 3-3 in matches and on count back of games Friends’ had the narrowest of victories winning by 34 games to 33. In the semi-final Friends’ faced Strathearn A team, many of the matches involved long ralleys, however Strathearn proved too strong and were victorious winning 5-1.

Congratulations to Isabella Connor who is ranked u13 number 1 female in Ireland.

The Year 8 Keag Cup was won by Chrissy Hopkins and runner up was Ellie Luke

The Thompson cup for most improved Junior player went to Helen Lyster

Half colours were awarded to Sarah King and Ellie Bamford

  1. Adams


The Intermediate team began the campaign with a Bye into the second round of the Cup, where they were drawn against Grosvenor. With the game falling in the middle of exam season, the team was made up of Carter Gregg, Ross Little, Luke Collins and Ben Hamill. The Singles matches were closely fought, with Carter Gregg losing 6-4, Ross Little winning 6-4, Luke Collins losing 6-1 and Ben Hamill losing 6-3. The Doubles pairing of Collins and Hamill won 6-4, but defeat in the other Doubles pairing meant Grosvenor won the match 4-2. This sent Friends’ into the Quarter-Final of the Plate competition but lengthy delays in the competition brought about by external exams left Friends’ waiting to play their scheduled match. At the time of writing, Omagh Christian Brothers were the opponents in the Plate competition.

The Junior Boys enjoyed a very competitive season, led by Ulster Schools representative Mackenzie Connor. The team was made up of Mackenzie Connor, Fabian Hortiguela Conn, Noah Poots and Harry Archbold. They started with a convincing 5-1 win over Banbridge Academy, before making the long journey to Enniskillen for their next group game. The Doubles were shared 1-1 and after the opening Singles matches, Enniskillen had a narrow 3-2 lead. Friends’ knew if they could win the final Singles match they would win the tie overall, but Enniskillen edged a thrilling match on a tie-break to win the tie 4-2. Friends’ then recorded a 4-2 win of their own over Killicomaine to leave a three way tie at the top of the group. Unfortunately, given the head-to-head breakdown between the three teams, Friends’ missed out on both the Cup Quarter-Final and the Plate, and had to settle for third place. This was unfortunate for the boys, but they can be pleased with their efforts in missing out on the next round by such a small margin.

It was a difficult introduction to secondary school tennis for the Minor boys. They were drawn in a hugely competitive group with perennial finalists RBAI and Campbell College. Experience won out as expected and Friends’ found themselves on the wrong end of one-sided score lines in both encounters.

There was a very keen interest expressed from the Junior School players and a number of players who were not selected for the team eagerly attended practice. Combined with the extra year of experience for those who were involved in competitive action, this bodes well for the future. Thank-you to all involved for their commitment.

A Forrest




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