The new all weather hockey pitch under construction at Lurgan College is on course to open in September.
It has been five years since the College hockey teams played at College Walk, in that time the teams have been nomads, travelling the length and breadth of Ulster to play on an Astroturf surface. Training sessions have been held at Craigavon Leisure Centre, and more recently at the pitch at Lurgan Junior High School, through the kind co-operation of the Headmaster and PE department there.
During this five year period the College 1st XI have featured in the top four schools in Ulster for four consecutive years. They have won two All-Ireland titles, two Senior Schools cup titles (2011 and 2013) and were beaten finalists in the Senior Schools cup in 2012. They also have a series of other serial titles including Senior Schools tournament winners, Mid-Ulster Cup and league winners and Antrim sixes winners. The school were named Irish Hockey School of the year in 2011 and followed that up with the Young Team of the Year.
The School’s 2nd XI have also reached the top of their game in winning the coveted McDowell Cup this season for the first time in 59 years.
As a result, the new state of the art sand dressed surface is a long overdue and most welcome addition to the College players and staff. The pitch should be completed by early August and the school anticipate having an official opening in September. The pitch is phase one of an exciting project which will see the upgrading of the existing pavilion to accommodate changing facilities and the installation of floodlights to extend pitch use to the community. While many of those players who have been so successful for the past four years at Lurgan College will now move on and miss out on the opportunity to play at their beloved College Walk, they have been instrumental in leaving a legacy from which future pupils will benefit.