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16 May 2022

Massive day for Kildare's Newbridge College in Senior Hockey Cup final this Sunday

Huge achievement for Kildare school team

Massive day for Kildare's Newbridge College in Senior Hockey Cup final this Sunday

The Newbridge College hockey squad

In was back 1984 that girls were first admitted to Newbridge College for the first time. Today 50 % of the pupils are female from a student population of approx 1,000.

Hockey is the primary sport for girls in the school and on Sunday,January 30, the school will make a bit of spsorting history when they play in the final of the Leinster Schools Girls Senior Hockey Cup final.

In 2013 an all-weather astro turf pitch was commissioned which was probably the impetus needed to bring hockey in the school to the next level.

A small group of dedicated coaches in the school from the local clubs and some from the teaching staff along with coaches Tony Falvey, Sandra Whelan, Andrew Groves and Janis Kelly have strengthened hockey both in the college and the local clubs leading to strong connections with both Newbridge HC and Naas HC.

With the new pitch came a buzz around the sport, a campaign to improve the standard of coaching was spearheaded by hockey co-ordinator Janis Kelly who oversaw the programme for many years. This resulted in the appointment of a Head of Hockey.

In 2015 Gavin Groves joined the College as the new Head of Hockey. Gavin came with strong credentials, he was a Premier hockey player with Monkstown HC and during his time in the college he became the Irish under 18 girls coach.

It was during his tenure in the College that the school went from strenght to strenght as can be seen from what has been achieved in recent times from, 2017 Senior Plate Winner; 2018 Senior Cup semi-finalists and Senior League semi-finalists; 2019 Senior Cup semi-finalists and in 2020 Senior Cup semi-finalists.

Sptember 2021 saw the departure of Gavin to Alexandra College and the appointment of Gary Ruddock as Director of Hockey.

Gary came from working in The Teresian School as their Director of Hockey where he held the post for five years. He is Head of Ladies Hockey in YMCA HC and is the current Connacht U16 girls coach.

Gary is a past pupil of Kings Hospital and brings with him great enthusiasm and a passion for the sport.

With big boots to fill Gary has settled in very well and put his own stamp on proceedings culminating it making it the Schools Cup final on Sunday.

Newbridge College opponents in the Cup final is Holy Child Killiney, and it being their first time to make the final makes it very exciting for both schools.

Path to the final

On their way to making to the final, Newbridge College defeated Our Ladies Terenure 3-0 in the opening round while in Round 2 they defeated Loretto Foxrock 3-2 in a tight affair.

Newpark Comp was their next opponents and a resounding 3-0 victory saw them qualify for the semi-final where they overcame Mount Anville 1-0.

Principal at the College is Principal Pat O'Brien; Coach Gary Ruddock; Asst Aoife Glennon; Strength and Conditioning Coach is Ciaran Walsh.

Newbridge College Panel of Players

Roisin Sexton Captain, Pembroke HC, Ireland U16 player; Leinster uU18s.

Ella Kelly Vice Captain: YMCA HC; Ireland U16s, Leinster U18s.

Michelle Cashman: Naas HC, Leinster South U18s.

Isobel Collins: Naas HC, Leinster South U18s.

Joy Duggan: Naas HC, Leinster South U18s.

Lara Prendergast: Naas HC, Leinster South U18s.

Ailbhe Brennan: Naas HC.

Kate Byrne: Pembroke HC.

Kate Halford: Newbridge HC, Leinster South U16s.

Grace Murtagh: no club; Kildare GAA Player; Irish Youth Eventing team.

Siofra Galvin: no club; Kildare GAA player.

Jodie Zebedee: no club; member of the Irish Junior Tetrathlon squad.

Jane Blake: Naas HC; Leinster South U16s.

Sophie Morrissey: GK Naas HC; Leinster South U16s.

Bebhinn Howard: Naas HC, Leinster South U 18s.

Lucy Ross: Naas HC.

Lucy Hannon: Newbridge HC, Leinster South U16s.

Ciara Moxom: Naas HC.

Ruth Conneely: Naas HC.

Grace Farrell: Newbridge HC.

Sally Glennon: Naas HC, Leinster South U16s.

Mona Dwyer: Naas HC, Leinster South U16s.

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