Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 14th March 2015
Saturday, 14 March 2015
The Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Medallion Shield final took place at the Kingspan
Stadium on Monday 9th March when the Royal Belfast Academical Institution team
played Wallace High School. In a game dominated by a strong gusting wind the Royal
Belfast Academical Institution team seemed to adapt more positively to the conditions
and they emerged as deserved 13-5 winners.
Royal Belfast Academical Institution started brightly and opened the scoring with a
fourth minute penalty from David Lyttle. Wallace responded with a good period of
pressure, working the ball close to the try line on a number of occasions, but failed to
cross the whitewash. David Lyttle had a chance to double the lead after a quarter of an
hour but his long range penalty came back of the upright. However, the Belfast boys
did push further ahead, in the 24th minute, when Ethan Glover powered over following
a strong hand off on an opposing forward. David Lyttle saw his resulting kick hit the
right post for a second time, leaving the score at 8-0 in favour of his Belfast Inst
The Wallace High players, to their credit, worked their way back into the game and
were rewarded for their endeavours when left wing Jack Dillon spotted a hole in the
defence. He took off and scorched past a number of despairing RBAI defenders to
touch down for a fine try. The conversion attempt from Conor Rankin was off target
but the gap was reduced to8-5. In the closing stages of the first half the RBAI team
was reduced to fourteen players but the Wallace High School team was unable to take
advantage, ensuring the teams turned around at the break with the Royal Belfast
Academical Institution team holding on to a narrow 8-5 lead.
The start of the second half saw both teams continue with their efforts to play
entertaining rugby, but knocks on from both teams brought numerous attacks to an
end. That was until RBAI unleashed a superb backline move in the 45th minute. David
Lyttle, on the receiving end of a super pass from the impressive Niall Armstrong, did a
neat wrap around move with James Heyburn. A clever pass from David, and good hands
from fullback Simon McMaster, sent Kyle McComiskey racing clear to score a superb
try in the corner. David Lyttle missed the conversion but his team had increased their
lead to 13-5. It was only at this stage of the game did the Wallace High School team
make appropriate use of the wind in their backs. They fought back with a long spell of
pressure in opposition territory and were twice held up over the line by resilient RBAI
defence. In the end there was no way through and the Royal Belfast Academical
Institution team held on for a memorable 13-5 victory at the end of this Danske Bank
Ulster Schools’ Medallion Shield final.
At the post match presentation ceremony both teams received their Danske Bank
Ulster Schools’ Medallion Shield Final medals from Brian Shane, representative of the
Danske Bank, sponsors of all the Ulster Schools’ competitions. The Danske Bank Ulster
Schools’ Medallion Shield was then presented to Ethan Glover, captain of the victorious
Royal Belfast Academical Institution team, by Bobby Stewart, Senior Vice-President of
the Ulster Branch, IRFU.
Both schools will renew their rivalries when they meet once again, this time in the final
of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup on St Patrick’s Day at the Kingspan Stadium.
This game will kick off at 3-00pm.
The last of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Medallion finals took place on Tuesday 10th
March when Ballymena Academy played Down High School at the Belfast Royal Academy
grounds at Roughfort.
The Ballymena Academy Medallion team won the game by 17-5 but were probably
somewhat flattered by this scoreline. The Down High School team dominated
proceedings for long periods in the first half. Five minutes into the game they scored a
try when Ronan Patterson took advantage of good work from Jack Carlisle. The
conversion attempt was unsuccessful but the Down High School team had opened up a
5-0 lead. Their midfield backs were causing all sorts of problems for the Ballymena
Academy defence and made frequent line breaks. Fortunately for the Ballymena team
the Down High School team was unable to finish off these attacks and the Ballymena
Academy line remained intact ensuring the Down High School had not added to their 5-
0 lead by the interval.
The second half started, as the first half had finished, with the Down High School
team launching wave after wave of attacks. They seemed certain to score on a number
of occasions only for heroic defensive work from James McClean and Jordan Foster on
the Ballymena Academy team which saved the day.
The Ballymena team seemed to gain a great deal of confidence from their defensive
heroics. They mounted a series of attacks which brought them back into the game.
They scored a try from their 2nd row forward, Josh McAuley, who eventually touched
down following several close drives. Bruce Houston converted the try to put his team
into a 7-5 lead. Several injuries to Down HS players seemed to upset their rhythm and
the Ballymena Academy team took advantage. The scored a second try five minutes
later through their blindside flanker, Tiernan Martin. Bruce Houston converted the try
to put his team into a somewhat flattering 14-5 lead with little time remaining. Bruce
Houston then secured the 17-5 victory when he converted a penalty kick in last minute
of the game to ensure it was the Ballymena Academy team that took home the Danske
Bank Ulster Schools’ Medallion Plate.
Following the game, Bobby Stewart, Senior Vice President of the Ulster Branch, IRFU,
presented both teams with their medals and the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Medallion
Plate to the captain of the victorious Ballymena Academy team.
The Ulster Schools’ Committee, as well as the coaches and players from both schools,
would like to thank the Principal and Governors of Belfast Royal Academy, as well as
Chris McCarey and his games staff, for the hosting of the game and the provision of
excellent facilities and a great pitch at Roughfort.
Three Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 2ndxv Cup, 3rdxv Cup and 3rdxv Plate games were
played on Wednesday 11th March.
Lurgan College hosted Belfast Royal Academy in a Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 2ndxv
Cup quarter-final at the Lough Road venue. The Lurgan College team made the Belfast
Royal Academy team work hard before the BRA team finished the game as 10-6
winners. BRA scored an unconverted try to take a 5-0 lead before Robbie Norton
pegged them back to 5-3 with a well struck penalty kick. On the stroke of half time the
Belfast Royal Academy team scored a second unconverted try to take a 10-3 lead.
The Lurgan College team dominated territory, as well as possession, for long periods of
the second half. However, the only points they registered came from a second Robbie
Norton penalty too leave the final score reading 10-6 in favour of the Belfast Royal
In the second semi-final of the Danske Bank 3rdxv Cup Royal Belfast Academical
Institution 4thxv defeated the Methodist College 3rdxv by 18-17. The Methodist
College had built up a half time lead before the Belfast Inst team mounted a second
half revival to secure their narrow 18-17 win.
This result ensures it will be an all RBAI final with the 3rdxv playing the 4thxv in the
final of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 3rdxv Cup. The final will take place at the
Royal Belfast Academical Institution playing fields at Osborne Park. The date of this
final is to be confirmed.
In the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 3rdxv Plate Ballymena Academy 3rdxv defeated
Methodist College 5thxv by 34-21. Ballymena Academy will now travel to play Coleraine
AI in the quarter-final of the 3rdxv Plate.
The Gary Clarke Memorial tournament took place on Wednesday evening at Lurgan RFC.
Lurgan College, Banbridge Academy, Portadown College and Banbridge Academy all took
part in this prestigious event which saw all the teams playing attacking rugby at every
The Friends’ School team started out with an evenly contested game against Lurgan
College. The only score that separated the teams was a Ryan Hall try that was scored
after Ryan had used his pace to outstrip the Lurgan College defence. James McGucken
added the extras to secure a 7-0 victory for the Friends’ School team.
Next up for the Friends’ School team was the Banbridge Academy team. Friends’ took a
7-0 lead when, after some early pressure on the Banbridge Academy line, James
Maxwell forced his way over for a try. James McGucken was successful with the
conversion kick. Banbridge responded immediately and scored a try through Jordan
Mount. The try was converted to draw the score level at 7-7. With little time
remaining, the Friends’ team started to chase the game. This proved to be their
undoing when a loose pass was intercepted by Shane Honeyford who ran in for a try.
The conversion kick was successful leaving the Banbridge Academy team as 14-7
In the last of the round robin matches Friends’ played their Danske Bank Ulster
Schools’ Cup opponents, Portadown College. Friends’ got out of the blocks early and
didn’t give the Portadown team a moments rest, dominating them at scrum time. It was
from a scrum that the Friends’ School No 8, Thomas Boyde, picked the ball and drove
over the Portadown College line to touch down for the first points of the game. James
McGucken maintained his 100% record with his trusty boot when he landed the
conversion to give the Friends’ School team a 7-0 lead. Friends’ had most of the
pressure but couldn’t make it count until the last minute of the game. James McGucken
converted a penalty opportunity to extend the Friends’ School lead to 10-0 , a lead they
held until the final whistle.
This meant Friends’ would go into the final against Banbridge where the game saw
Friends’ stick to the norm of the evening and look the more promising side. With five
minutes gone Friends’ attacked down the wing but the ball was knocked with the
Banbridge Academy line at their mercy. An injury to a player caused the game to be
abandoned and both Friends’ School and Banbridge Academy were awarded a share of
the Gary Clarke Memorial Trophy at the end of an entertaining evening of schoolboy
The participating teams would like to thank the Lurgan Rugby Football Club for hosting
this event that was thoroughly enjoyed by all the players.