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Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 11th January 2014.

Monday, 13 January 2014

There were seven Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 1 games played on Saturday 11th January.

Foyle and Londonderry V Friends’ School, Lisburn

Foyle and Londonderry College hosted Friends’ School, Lisburn in a game which the Foyle College team won by 24-0. The Foyle team dominated proceedings in the first half and had built up a substantial 21-0 lead by half time. They controlled most aspects of the game, especially at the set piece, in the course of the first half. This enabled the home team to control both territory and possession. A constant supply of quality possession enabled the home team to lay siege on the Friends’ School line. Despite the best defensive efforts of Friends’ players such as Peter Simpson, Caolan Harkin and Stevie Kane, the Foyle College breached the Friends’ defence on a number of occasions. The home team scored first half tries through Mark Wilson, Alex McDonnell and Niall Adair. Alex McDonnell converted all three tries to secure the 21-0 lead at the interval for the Foyle College team.

The second half saw a much improved performance from the Friends’ School team. They managed to secure a limited amount of possession which enabled players such as Zach Finlay and Russell Dickson to ask questions of the Foyle defence. However, they were unable to find a way through and it was the Foyle team that scored the only points of the second half. A Friends’ School player infringed at a ruck and Alex McDonnell made no mistake with his penalty kick to score another three points. These points ensured it was the Foyle and Londonderry College team that finished the game as 24-0 winners of this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 1 game and with the win, a place in the draw for the 2nd Round.

Carrickfergus Grammar School V Portadown College

Carrickfergus Grammar School hosted a Portadown College team they had defeated by 29-5 earlier in the season. The Portadown College team had recorded some encouraging results in recent weeks and they maintained this good form by defeating the Carrickfergus Grammar School team by 30-12.

Portadown College started well by controlling the game and forcing Carrickfergus Grammar School on to the back foot with Niall Davison displaying good skills with his boot. Early pressure resulted in a ruck infringement from Carrick and this proved to be a simple three points for Niall. Portadown continued to pressurise the Carrickfergus GS team in both attack and defence.  Following a quick turnover ball, Niall Davidson chipped the ball in behind the Carrick defence. The covering player thought he had touched it down in the dead ball area but the referee thought otherwise. Jason Lau reacted quickly to dot down for a somewhat controversial score. Niall Davidson converted the try to give his Portadown College team a 10-0 lead. This unsettled the Carrickfergus GS team and Portadown College continued to dominate territory but not necessarily possession. Another Carrickfergus infringement meant a further penalty opportunity which Niall Davidson converted to give his team a 13-0 lead. Carrickfergus GS reacted positively and played their way back into the game. They were rewarded with a try on the stroke of half time with Adam Fittis getting the touch down. David Carse added the conversion to reduce the deficit to 13-7 at the break.

The second half saw both teams have long spells of possession and territory and, with the Carrickfergus GS team pressing close to the opposition 22m area, Ryan Turner turned over ball, Niall Davidson saw a gap in behind, chipped ahead, caught his kick and raced away only to be adjudged to have been held up over the line. The resultant scrum saw Niall crash over close to the posts for a try which he converted to give the Portadown College team a 20-7 lead. This became 23-7 when Niall converted a penalty opportunity shortly afterwards. Carrickfergus GS rallied around and enjoyed a period of good possession and, following some loose tackling from the Portadown defenders; Michael Black scored their second try of the game. The try was unconverted but the deficit had been reduced to 23-12. This galvanised the Portadown College team who,following clean possession from their well organised lineout, stretched the ball wide for winger, Henry Clarke, to crash over in the corner. Niall Davidson converted to maintain his 100% record from the boot and increase the Portadown lead to 30-12, a lead they held until the no-side whistle.  This was a solid Portadown College performance, particularly in the midfield where centres, Jason Lau and Thomas Trouton, got through a lot of work. Jack Orr looked dangerous in his full back role and younger brother, Michael distributed well from the base of rucks/scrums.

Match of the Day- Royal School, Dungannon V Omagh Academy

The “Match of the Day” took place on the WK Armstrong pitch when the Royal School, Dungannon team hosted their close County Tyrone rivals from Omagh Academy. This was another game where a result from earlier in the season was turned around with the Omagh Academy team, having lost by 20-0 against the RS Dungannon team in October, won this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup game by 20-14.

The Royal School, Dungannon team started the game and dominated both territory and possession in the early exchanges. A number of minor injuries prevented any real flow to the game at this stage but it was the home team that had the opportunity for early points when they were awarded a penalty. However, the opportunity was lost when the kick was missed. However, the team made amends when, following a fine run from their impressive full back, John Buckley, resulted in quick possession from a ruck. The experienced Dungannon backline made good use of the ball and the RS Dungannon centre, Stuart Moore, broke a number of tackles before touching down for a try. Jack Milligan added the extras to secure a 7-0 lead for his team midway through the first half. The Omagh Academy team responded positively and their pack started to acquire some possession. They took play deep into RS Dungannon territory and the pressure paid off when they were awarded a penalty. Stuart Ballantine stepped up to convert the penalty to reduce the deficit to 7-3. The RS Dungannon team now had to defend strongly and defend they did! That was until the final seconds of the first half when the Omagh Academy pack had succeeded with maul after maul in getting close to the RS Dungannon line. Their determination finally paid off when the Omagh centre, Lloyd Kane, emerged from yet another maul to touch down for a well-deserved try. Stuart Ballantine stepped up to convert the try and give his team a 10-7 lead at the break.

The RS Dungannon team started the second half strongly with John Buckley leading the charge into the Omagh Academy 22m area. However, another unforced handling error ensured the opportunity was lost. The Omagh Academy, despite having difficulties at the lines out, displayed more dogged determination at the break down for the mid part of the second half and this was sufficient to ensure they were able to control the game. With ten minutes remaining it was the captain, James Catterson, who took advantage of another well-driven maul, to touch down for a try. Stuart Ballentine converted the try the increase the Omagh Academy lead to 17-7. A few minutes later the same player took advantage of secure ball to slot over a drop kick and give his team a 20-7 lead. The RS Dungannon team responded positively and paid a rare visit into the Omagh Academy 22m area.  From a scrum, the RS Dungannon scrum half, Oscar Wong, gathered the ball on the retreat and managed to take on a despairing Omagh Academy defence and score a fine try. Jack Milligan added the conversion to reduce the arrears to 20-14. However, it was a case of “too little, too late” for the home team and it was the Omagh Academy team that celebrated their well-deserved 20-14 win, at the end of the game, and a place in the draw for the 2nd Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup.

Banbridge Academy V Larne Grammar School     

Banbridge Academy hosted Larne Grammar School in an entertaining Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup game which the Banbridge Academy won by 30-7. In a close first half, it was the Banbridge Academy team that took the lead when, after ten minutes of the game, their right winger, David Houston, scorched in for an unconverted try to give his team a 5-0 lead. This was extended to 8-0 some ten minutes later when, following an infringement at a scrum, the Larne Grammar School pack was penalised. Daniel McElderry was successful with his penalty kick. The Larne Grammar School team, despite being behind, was playing well and attacking at every opportunity. They launched a counter attack from deep in their half and the flowing move was finished by young Year 12 player, Jonathan Glasgow. Calum McKay added the conversion to reduce the arrears to 8-7. On the stroke of half time, the Banbridge Academy scrum half, Jay Pinion, scampered over for an unconverted try to secure a 13-7 lead for his team at the interval.

Five minutes after the restart this score was extended to 16-7 when Daniel McElderry converted another penalty kick for the Banbridge Academy team. Then the Banbridge Academy flanker, Ethan Harbinson, got in on the scoring act when he touched down for a fine try. Daniel McElderry added the extras to put the home team into a 23-7 lead. Banbridge continued to dominate proceedings and scored their final try of the game, midway through the second half, when their left winger, Nathan McKinley touched down. Up stepped Daniel McElderry and over went the conversion to secure a well-deserved 30-7 win for the Banbridge Academy team.

Lurgan College V Antrim Grammar School

There was almost a shock result at the Lough Road venue in Lurgan when the much fancied Lurgan College team just managed to scrape home by a narrow 7-3 margin against a very hard-working Antrim Grammar School team. The Antrim team dominated the possession and territory for large sections of the game but just could not get across the white wash. The Antrim GS team took a 3-0 lead when Mark Strange converted a penalty opportunity after just six minutes of the game. Nine minutes later, the Lurgan College team scored the only try of the game when their scrum half, Drew Davis, finished a back row move off the scrum to touch down for a try. Mark McIlwaine converted the try to give his team a 7-3 lead, a lead they held until the interval.

The second half saw the Antrim Grammar School team dominate both territory and possession. They did everything but score. The Lurgan College defended for the duration of the second half and did so heroically. Antrim produced wave after wave of attack with Christopher McGoldrick playing a real captain’s role. However, Mark McIlwaine, Harry Simpson and Jamie Patterson ensured nothing was going to get through and the Lurgan College team was delighted to hear the final whistle and record their hard-earned 7-3 victory in this tense, but exciting, Danske Bank Round 1 Ulster Schools’ Cup game.

Regent House V Wellington College

There was almost another shock Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 1 result when Regent House and Wellington College met at the Circular Road venue in Newtownards. The home team won by 11-5 but had to work extremely hard for their victory. Eight minutes into the game the Wellington College team had the opportunity to open the scoring but a relatively straight forward penalty opportunity was missed.  A short time later the Regent House team took a 3-0 lead when Gavin Anderson converted a penalty kick following a Wellington College infringement at the break down. The Regent House team then proceeded to dominate both territory and possession for the remainder of the first half and, on the stroke of halftime, scored an unconverted try through Jonathan Harris, who took advantage of some excellent pack from his fellow forwards. This score saw the teams turn around with Regent House in the lead by 8-0.

The Regent House team started the second half strongly and increased their lead to 11-0 when Gavin Anderson converted another penalty opportunity. Wellington College then started to play some attacking rugby and thought they had scored a try only to see Josh Garnham hauled into touch as he was about to touch down. This incident seemed to spur the visitors on and it was now the turn of the Wellington team to cause concerns in the Regent House defence. Josh Garham touched down under the Regent House posts. Somehow the conversion attempt was missed but the deficit had been reduced to 11-5. The Wellington College team laid siege to the Regent House line and had three attacking opportunities held up over the line. Despite this, the Regent House defence was well-organised and held out until the final whistle to record an 11-5 victory and a place in the draw for the 2nd Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup.

Grosvenor Grammar School V Cambridge House

The Grosvenor Grammar School team hosted Cambridge House in their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup game which the Grosvenor Grammar School team won by 43-12. The Grosvenor Grammar School team started well and took a 7-0 lead early in the game. Mark Johnston made a telling break before off-loading to the supporting Zac Smith. Zac had some work to do before finishing well with a try. Jonah McDowell added the extras to give the Grosvenor Grammar School team a 7-0 lead. The Grosvenor GS team continued to control possession and disrupt the little ball the Cambridge House team managed to get their hands on. Good work from the Grosvenor pack presented Zac Smith with the opportunity to score his second try of the game and score it he did! The conversion attempt was unsuccessful but the Grosvenor GS team now had a 12-0 lead. Just before the break the Cambridge House team took advantage of some sloppy Grosvenor GS work at a ruck. Chris Da Mata turned the ball over and the move finished with an unconverted try for the Cambridge House team which was run in from seventy metres. This ensured the Grosvenor Grammar School team had a 12-5 lead at half time.

The start of the second half saw Zac Smith complete his hat trick when good continuity from the Grosvenor team presented him with the opportunity to score another try. The conversion attempt was missed but the Grosvenor GS team had a 17-7 lead. The Grosvenor line out was functioning well and, following a driven maul, James Cartilage picked the ball up and drove over the Cambridge House line to touch down for an unconverted try and give his team a 22-7 lead. Cambridge House then scored their second try of the game when they pressurised a Grosvenor GS scrum. This enabled them to turn the ball over in midfield and run in for a converted try to reduce the deficit to 22-14. Karl McLean then scored a try for Grosvenor when he came away with the ball after an excellent driven maul. Jonah McDowell added the conversion to put his team into a 29-14 lead. Midway through the second half James Cartilage got his second try of the game which Jonah McDowell converted to increase the Grosvenor GS lead to 36-14. Grosvenor Grammar School scored their final try of the game through Mark Johnston which Jonah McDowell converted to leave the Grosvenor Grammar School as 43-12 winners of this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 1 game.


Following the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 1 games, the draw for the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 2 and the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Trophy Quarter-Final games took place in the Library of the Royal School, Dungannon. The draws were conducted by Mr Ivan McMinn, representing the Danske Bank, Mr David Burnett, Principal of the Royal School, Dungannon and Mr Stephen Black, Principal’s Representative on the Ulster Branch, IRFU.

The results of the draws are as follows:-

Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Trophy Quarter-Finals.

Bye                                                v                                    Cambridge House

Larne Grammar School        v                                    Royal School, Dungannon

Antrim Grammar                    v                                      Wellington College

Friends’ School, Lisburn      v                                       Carrickfergus Grammar School

Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 2

Dalriada School                                 v                                       Portadown College

Banbridge Academy                        v                                       Coleraine Academical Institution

Down High School                            v                                        Lurgan College

Regent House School                      v                                         Portora Royal School

Belfast High School                          v                                          Omagh Academy

Rainey Endowed School                v                                          Belfast Royal Academy

Grosvenor Grammar School        v                                          Bangor Grammar School

Limavady Grammar School         v                                          Foyle and Londonderry College

These Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup and Trophy games are scheduled to take place on Saturday 25th Jannuary.


As well as the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup games, a number of friendly games were played around Saturday 11th January.

Dalriada School V Portora Royal School

Dalriada School and Portora Royal School met in as floodlit match on the 4G pitch at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena in Cookstown. The Dalriada team won a very entertaining game by 39-10, running in seven tries in the process.

Royal Belfast Academical Institution V Belfast Royal Academy

Royal Belfast Academical Institution defeated Belfast Royal Academy by 50-0 in a floodlit match played at Shaw’s Bridge, former home of the famous King’s Scholar’s RFC. The Belfast Inst scores came from Robert Little, Cameron Magee and three Rory Campbell tries in the first half.

The second half was more of the same with Robert Little, Aaron Davis and Charlie Fryers all scoring tries. Frazer Wright added five conversions in the course of the game.

Sullivan Upper V Ballymena Academy

Sullivan Upper had a return to winning ways when they hosted Ballymena Academy. The Holywood team won the game by 21-3. The Sullivan Upper team started the game in a very positive manner and took an early 7-0 lead through a try from Chris Jordan which was converted by Mark Adair. The game was held up for a period of time and following this there appeared to be a lack of urgency in the display of both teams, ensuring there were no further scores in the first half.

The second half started with both teams cancelling each other’s efforts out.  Sullivan Upper then raised the intensity and began to control the possession. This opened up the opportunity to play some attacking rugby which led to two tries. Mark Crockford touched down for one and Chris Jordan capped a fine personal display when he scored his second of the game. Mark Adair converted both tries. Ballymena replied with a consolation penalty from Andrew Magrath to leave the final score reading           Sullivan Upper 21 Ballymena Academy 3.

Belfast High School V Down High School

Belfast High School hosted Down High School and recorded a hard earned 13-8 victory. Jordan Garford scored a try for the Belfast High School team and Robbie Reid weighed in with two penalties as well as a conversion.

The Down High School points came from a Nathan Gibson try and a Patrick Wright penalty.

Royal School, Armagh V Limavady Grammar School

Royal School, Armagh recorded another victory when they hosted a very determined Limavady Grammar School team. The RS Armagh team was made to work hard for their 29-20 victory. Limavady Grammar School took an early 3-0 lead when Scott McLean converted a penalty after the RS Armagh back line had been caught off-side. The RS Armagh responded with a penalty of their own following the Limavady GS backline being penalised for the same offence. Matthew Hooks kicked the penalty for the RS Armagh team to take the score to 3-3. The RS Armagh pack then collapsed a Limavady GS maul and, from the resultant penalty, Scott McLean kicked his second penalty of the game to give the Limavady GS team a 6-3 lead. James Johnston then scored a try for the RS Armagh team, which Matthew Hooks converted, to give the home team a 10-6 lead. Mastthew Hooks then scored an intercept try, which he converted, to leave the RS Armagh team in a 17-6 lead at the break.

The second half saw the RS Armagh team increase their lead to 29-6 when Gerard Trainor and Jonathan Morton scored tries, one of which was converted was converted by Matthew Hooks. Then the Limavady GS pack started to dominate the set pieces and they acquired sufficient possession to amount something of a comeback. They scored tries through their powerful second row forwards, Brendan Ferguson and Daniel Miller. Scott McLean added conversions to both tries leaving a relieved Royal School, Armagh team as 29-20 winners at the final whistle.

Wallace High School V St Mary’s College Dublin

Wallace High School recorded an excellent 28-26 win against St Mary’s College from Dublin. The Wallace points came from a Ryan Moore penalty and a Jonny Stewart try in the first half.

Craig Walsh, Andrew Cardosi, Philip Hylands and Jacob Stockdale touched down for four unconverted tries in the second half.

The St Mary’s team scored two converted tries in the first half and added two more second half tries, one of which was converted, ensuring it was the Wallace High School team that won the game by a narrow 28-26 margin.

Methodist College V Terenure College, Dublin

The Methodist College team got back to winning ways when they recorded an impressive 25-13 win against Terenure College, Dublin. The Dublin team had established a narrow 13-12 lead at the interval but the Methodist College team, determined to end their recent sequence of losses, turned the game around in the second half.

The Methody try scorers in the first half were Ireland U19 hooker, Steven Weir, and Rory Cairns, who finished of a blinding fifty metre break from Ireland Schools’ U18 player, Conor Kelly. Garrett Millar, in the absence of Josh Bingham, added one conversion.

The second half saw the Methody pack, with Michael Lagan, Saul Herdman and Alex Thompson to the fore, take control of the game. Ireland U19 2nd Row, Alex Thompson, scored an unconverted try as did Zach Gordon. Garrett Millar converted a penalty opportunity to ensure a well-deserved 25-13 win for the Methodist College team.