Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 18th April 2015
Monday, 20 April 2015
There were two Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 3rdxv Plate semi-finals played midweek in
the lead up to the last two Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ finals played on Saturday 18th
Campbell College 3rdxv hosted Wallace High School in their Danske Bank Ulster
Schools’ 3rdxv Plate semi-final. The Wallace High School team dominated proceedings
for long periods of time and returned home with a 25-7 win under their belts.
The second Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 3rdxv Plate semi-final saw St Columb’s College
host Coleraine Academical Institution in a high scoring game which the St Columb’s
team won by 24-12.
The Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 3rdxv Plate final was played at Ballymena Academy on
Saturday 18th April. The Wallace High School team had built up a 22-0 lead by halftime
before going on to win the game by 41-7. The St Columb’s team displayed great
commitment throughout the game but, ultimately, it was the organisation of the
Wallace High School team that laid the foundations for their victory. The Wallace High
School team scored seven tries in the course of the game, three of which were
converted. Jamie Manderson and Steven Courtney scored two tries apiece with Chris
Knox, Matthew Miller and Peter Meneary all touching down once. Tom McKendry was
successful with three conversion attempts. St Columb’s got some reward for their
endeavours when they scored a converted try midway through the second half.
After the game, the Principal of Ballymena Academy, Mr Stephen Black, congratulated
both teams on the performances in the final before presenting all the players with
Friends’ School, Lisburn was the setting for the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 2ndxv Cup
final in which the Methodist College 2ndxv played the Down High School 2ndxv. A large
crowd of enthusiastic supporters, as well as members of the Ulster Rugby Academy
staff, attended the game which the Methodist College team eventually won by 22-16.
The Methodist College team got off to a great start and took a 7-0 lead early in the
game. Joe Kennedy took advantage of a good scrum to launch an attack down the
blindside and run in for a try. Paul Kerr added the extras to secure the 7-0 lead. Three
minutes later the score was doubled when Oliver Cairns took advantage of a well-
organised Methody driven maul. He touched down for a try, which Paul Kerr converted,
to put his team into a 14-0 lead. Down High School recovered from these early
setbacks and reduced the arrears to 14-3 when John Hyndman was successful with a
penalty opportunity. Just before the interval John converted his second penalty of the
game to leaver the Methody team with a 14-6 lead at halftime.
The Methody team took advasntahge of the wind in the early stages of the second half.
They laid siege to the Down High School line but heroic defence from their Down High
School team kept the attacks at bay. There was a delay to proceeding as staff dealt
with an injury situation and it was the Down High School team that reacted more
positively when the game restarted. Paddy Browne out thought the Methody defence
and took play deep into Methody territory. A clever off-load to William Annett saw
William touch down for a try. Patrick added the conversion to bring his Down High
School team back into the game having reduced the deficit to 14-13. With just ten
minutes of the game remaining Down High School took a 16-14 lead when Jonny
McCoubrey was successful with a penalty kick following a Methody player straying into
an off-side position. Paul Kerr then converted a penalty opportunity from the halfway
line to put his team into a 17-16 lead with just eight minutes remaining. The Methody
team went on to seal the game when Paul took advantage of some good work from his
pack to touch down for an unconverted try which took the scoreline to 22-16, a
scoreline which secured the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 2ndxv Cup for the Methodist
Following the game John McKibbin, Junior Vice-President of the Ulster Branch, IRFU,
congratulated both teams on their contribution to an exciting game, thanked Friends’
School for hosting the game, thanked the Danske Bank for their continued sponsorship
of schools’ rugby and presented the medals to all the players and the Danske Bank
Ulster Schools’ 2ndxv Cup to the victorious Methodist College team.