Loreto College - Coleraine, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland
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The winning Quiz team with coaches Mr C. Rice and Mrs K. Brolly - View Full Size Image
The winning Quiz team with coaches Mr C. Rice and Mrs K. Brolly

The Year 8 and 9 quiz team of Loreto College, Specialist School, is celebrating its most successful season yet, having regained the Junior Schools’ Challenge trophy.

The finals of this prestigious event took place in Royal Belfast Academical Institution on Wednesday 27th May, following a similar format to BBC’s ‘University Challenge’.  The quarter-final was a repeat of last year’s final, which Loreto narrowly lost.  This year honour was restored and Loreto enjoyed a resounding 950-360 win to earn a semi-final match against local rivals Coleraine Academical Institution.  In the semi-final match, Loreto’s speed on the buzzer proved decisive in beating a competitive CAI team 950-310. 

The final, against Abbey Grammar, Newry, was a much more tense affair.  Both teams enjoyed periods of dominance and the lead changed hands several times.  With ten minutes left, Loreto opened up a 160-point lead that a late surge from Abbey couldn’t close, to win 680-630.  Loreto now progress to the UK finals of Junior Schools’ Challenge, to be held in Oxford in late June.

Loreto have established themselves as a major force in this competition after only three years’ participation.  This year’s win follows a narrow defeat in last year’s final and victory in their first attempt in 2007, when they went on to be placed 7th in the UK finals.  In addition this year, Loreto have enjoyed wins in Local and Regional rounds of the Credit Union all-Ireland quiz and were well-placed in the all-Ireland final.  College Principal, Mr Brian Lenehan, congratulated the team and their coaches, Mr Clarke Rice and Mrs Katrina Brolly, on their achievement and wished them well for the UK finals, on behalf of all the staff and students of the College.