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Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 18th January 2014.

Monday, 20 January 2014

There were recent midweek games played in the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Medallion Shield, 2ndxv and 3rdxv competitions.

Medallion Shield

In the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Medallion Shield 2nd Round games Limavady Grammar School lost by 22-8 against Bangor Grammar School, Lurgan College defeated Foyle and Londonderry College by 23-7 and Ashfield Boys’ School lost by 50-0 against Portadown College.

In the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Medallion Shield 3rd Round competition Omagh Academy defeated Royal School, Armagh by 22-3, Grosvenor Grammar School defeated Portora Royal School by 39-0,  Dromore High School defeated Royal School, Dungannon by 17-0, Friends’ School, Lisburn lost to Sullivan Upper by 5-3, Banbridge Academy defeated Belfast High School by 15-3 and Dalriada School defeated Bangor Grammar School by 26-20.

Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 2ndxv & 3rdxv

In the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 2ndxv Cup, Royal Belfast Academical Institution defeated Down High School by 15-0 and Wellington College defeated Cambridge House by 19-10. In games played on Saturday 18th January Belfast Royal Academy defeated Omagh Academy by 12-7, Banbridge Academy defeated Royal School, Dungannon by 29-0, Larne Grammar School lost to Belfast High School by 50-3, Antrim Grammar School defeated Carrickfergus Grammar School by 31-8. Lurgan College lost to Portora Royal School by 5-0 and Grosvenor Grammar School lost to Rainey Endowed School by 24-12.

In the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 3rdxv Cup Royal Belfast Academical Institution had a walk over against Ashfield Boys’ School. In the same competition, Portora Royal School lost by 45-0 against Fivemiletown High School and Down High School defeated Royal School, Armagh by 43-0.


In a recent 1stxv friendly game the Rainey Endowed School team hosted Ballyclare High School. The Rainey Endowed team had built up a 7-0 lead at the interval before going on to win the game by 14-3.

The Rainey Endowed team, which dominated large parts of the game, had Andrew Nicholl to thank for scoring a first half try which was converted by Kieran Lynch.

In the second half the Ballyclare High School scored three points when Mattie McDowell converted a penalty opportunity. However, the Rainey Endowed team sealed their 14-3 win when Anton Lupari ran in for a try which was converted by Kieran Lynch.

Ballyclare High School played Bangor Grammar under lights at Ballymena Rugby Club on Friday 17th January. The Ballyclare HS team was delighted to record a well-deserved 19-0 victory against the much vaunted Bangor Grammar School team. Having dominated all aspects of the game the Ballyclare High School points came from a try Jack Magee which was converted by Mattie McDowell, a try from Harry Reid, again converted by Mattie McDowell and an unconverted try from Matthew Brolly. Both teams would like to thank Ballymena Rugby Club for hosting this game.

On the same night, Lurgan College hosted Belfast Metropolitan College and recorded an emphatic 34-10 win. The Lurgan College team dominated both territory and possession for long periods of the game. They drew much of their success from the performance of scrum half, Drew Davis, who directed operations for the Lurgan College team throughout the game. Mark McIlwaine opened the scoring with an unconverted try, ten minutes into the game, to give the Lurgan team a 5-0 lead. The visitors responded with a penalty goal to reduce the arrears to 5-3. Jordan McIlwaine then took advantage of good work from Ryan Mooney to run in for a try. Mark McIwaine kicked the conversion to put Lurgan College into a 12-3 lead. Jordan scored his second try of the game a short time later when he gathered a clever box kick from Drew Davis to run in for an unconverted try and put his team into a 12-3 lead. This became 22-3 when Ryan Mooney made a break which was finished by Stephen Logan with an unconverted try in the corner just before the break.

Shortly after the restart, the Belfast Met team drove a maul from a lineout and scored a converted try to reduce the deficit to 22-10. The Lurgan College team responded with an unconverted try from Jamie Hunter who took full advantage of a clever pass from Mark McIlwaine before scoring in the corner. The Lurgan College team, now leading by 27-10, was now in total control of the game. They finished with a flurry and a great try from prop forward, Cameron Lyness. Cameron started the move in his 22m area and finished it with a try in the corner. Mark McIlwaine was successful with the conversion kick to seal a 34-10 win for the Lurgan College team.

Matches played Saturday the 18th of January

Despite horrendous weather conditions there were quite a few games played on Saturday 18th January.

Ballymena Academy travelled to Down High School with both teams using the game to take an opportunity to look at their extended squads ahead of the upcoming Danske Bank Schools’ Cup games.  Heavy rain made the conditions very difficult, with both sides struggling to establish any dominance of territory or possession. Down High opened the scoring after two minutes with a penalty kick from Patrick Wright to take a 3-0 lead. This soon became 3-3 when the Ballymena replied immediately and Andrew Magrath bisected the posts with a penalty from forty metres out.  Moments later, Down High took the lead again with another successful Patrick Wright penalty kick. As the first half wore on, Ballymena looked more likely to score the first try of the morning with Josh McIlroy and Ryan McKee making telling breaks. The Down High defence remained strong and they took a 6 – 3 into the half time break.

In the second half, Ballymena Academy improved their accuracy with the ball.  Jonathan Rosborough found space on the narrow side to race clear, but lost his footing on the wet surface when it seemed that he would score in the corner.  Five minutes later, following a Craig Hanna break, Rosborough was given another opportunity and he confidently beat two defenders on his way to a well-taken try. Andrew Magrath added the conversion to put his team into a 10-6 lead. With both teams having made several changes, spaces began to open up and it was Andrew Magrath who found a gap in the Down High defence. The Ballymena out-half showed excellent footwork and power to finish below the posts.  Andrew converted his own try to leave the final score reading 20 – 6 to Ballymena Academy.

Campbell College got back to winning ways with a hard earned 16-7 win against a very determined St Andrew’s College team from Dublin. Had the visitors had a more consistent place kicker, there might have been a different outcome to this game.

They had the opportunity to take an early 3-0 lead but a kick, in front of the Campbell College posts, was missed. Midway through the first half, Ireland U19 player, Jack Owens, put his Campbell College team into a 3-0 lead when he converted a penalty opportunity midway through the first half. The St Andrew’s team was not afraid to attack the Campbell College but the home defence restricted them to one penalty opportunity which, once again, was missed.

Turning round with a 3-0 lead, the Campbell College team found themselves having to defend in the opening stages of the second half. The St Andrew’s right winger broke away and found his backrow forwards running good lines of support. A clever inside pass went to hand and the St Andrew’s flanker ran in for a try close to the Campbell College posts. This time the kick was successful and the Dunlin team had a 7-3 lead. This seemed to spur the home on and Jack Owens reduced the arrears to 7-6 when he was successful with his second penalty of the day. The Campbell College team was now playing with a degree of both pace and power. Attacking play and a succession of quick ruck ball caused the St Andrew’s defence to infringe at a ruck. Jack Owens converted the ensuing penalty to put his team into a 9-7 lead. Power play from the Campbell College pack, with Adam Walmsley and Conor McIlmurray getting through a lot of constructive work close to the opposition line, was finished with a touchdown from Conor McIlmurray. Jack Owens added the conversion to see his Campbell College team through this difficult encounter with a 16-7 victory.

Methodist College hosted Christian Brother’s College, Monkstown and won an entertaining encounter by 27-0. The Methody team scored five tries with Ireland U19 prop, Michael Lagan, touching down twice, and Saul Herdman, Rory Cairns and Conor Kelly touching down for one try each. Gareth Millar was successful with one conversion but was very unlucky as he managed to hit the other four conversion attempts off the uprights!!

Grosvenor Grammar School hosted the Rainey Endowed School team in a game played in very difficult conditions. The Rainey Endowed team controlled large parts of the game which they won by 6-0. The Grosvenor Grammar School defence was very well-organised and kepyt the Rainey attacks at bay. Kieran Lynch kicked a first half penalty for the Rainey Endowed team to put them into a 3-0 lead at the interval.

It was a very similar story in the second half. The Rainey team attacked and a combination of good Grosvenor Grammar School defence and some sloppy handling from the Rainey Endowed team meant there were very try scoring opportunities. There was just one Kieran Lynch penalty in the second half but this was enough to ensure a 6-0 win for the Rainey Endowed School team.

Royal School, Dungannon played out a training game scenario with Banbridge Academy which saw the RS Dungannon team score two tries through Jake Dobson and Michael Jones. Jack Milligan converted both tries.

The Banbridge Academy team scored one try through Rory Carson which was converted by Daniel McElderry.

The “Match of the Day” was played in Holywood where Sullivan Upper entertained Royal Belfast Academical Institution in a game played in very difficult overhead and underfoot conditions. Both teams were short of a number of frontline players which gave members of their respective extended squads the opportunity to play.

Despite the difficult weather conditions both team were intent on moving ball at every opportunity in the first half. Sullivan players such Ross Todd, Josh Davidson, Michael Cartmill and David McMaster asked questions of the Belfast Inst defence while the Inst midfield trio of Frazer Wright, Rory Bell and Rory Campbell, asked questions of the Sullivan Upper defence. However, both defences were well organised and very disciplined which ensured the score board at half time read 0-0.

The Royal Belfast Academical Institution probably had the better of the early second half exchanges. Seven minutes after the restart Rory Bell took advantage of good work from his forwards and half backs to exploit a gap in the Sullivan Upper defence and power his way over for a try. Frazer Wright added the extras to see his Belfast Inst team into a 7-0 lead. Almost immediately, the Sullivan Upper responded by taking play into the Belfast Inst half. An offence at the breakdown led to a Sullivan Upper penalty which Mark Adair duly converted to reduce the deficit to 7-3. Back came the Inst team and they took play deep into Sullivan Upper territory. Quality possession from the Inst pack set Frazer Wright up with a drop goal opportunity, which he was delighted to convert, to put his team into a 10-3 lead. The Sullivan Upper team came back strongly and, for maybe the first time in the game, laid siege on the Belfast Inst line. Ross Todd and Dave Cave, playing in the unusual position of prop, caused angst in the Inst defence but somehow they managed to hold out. That was until Ross Todd made great yards off a retreating Sullivan scrum. He was held up close to the line but along came Josh Davidson who got his hands on the ball and was unstoppable as he went over for a deserved try. Mark Adair added the extras to draw the score level at 10-10. This was how it remained until the no side whistle with both teams able to take the positives out of an entertaining game.

Coleraine Academical Institution added to their recent success list when they claimed a 6-0 home victory against the Royal School, Armagh team. The Royal School, Armagh team started strongly launching wave after wave of attacks at the Coleraine AI line. However, they found the Coleraine defence, with Ollie McDowell, Ally Corbett and Joel Stanbridge getting through a lot of work, to be resolute and unwilling to let anything through. Midway through the first half and on their first sortie into the RS Armagh 22m area, the Coleraine team forced a penalty which Conor Shiels converted to put his team into a 3-0 lead. There were no further scores in the first half.

The second half saw the home team take control of the game but found they were unable to cross the white wash! Midway through the half, the RS Armagh team was penalised for collapsing a Coleraine AI maul. Conor Shiels dispatched the penalty opportunity to give his team a 6-0 lead. The Coleraine AI half backs, Ryan Gillan and Callum Smyth, continued to put their team into positions of strength but there were no further scores leaving the Coleraine Academical Institution team as deserved 6-0 winners.

Limavady Grammar School prepared for their forthcoming Danske Bank Schools Cup match with Foyle and Londonderry College with a comprehensive victory 29-10 over Sligo Grammar School in Sligo. The foundations for this victory were laid by the Limavady pack who dominated their Sligo counterparts in both the scrum and line-out. Limavady took a 3-0 lead after ten minutes through a Scott McLean penalty when Sligo were penalised at a ruck after sustained Limavady pressure. Ten minutes later Limavady went ahead by 8-0 when Brendan Ferguson touched down after his pack had driven the Sligo GS pack back. Sligo Grammar School then responded with a penalty, when Limavady went off their feet at the breakdown, to reduce the deficit to 8-3. Just before half time, Limavady GS increased their lead to 15-3 when Brendan Ferguson touched down once again, following good work by the Limavady pack. Scott McLean added the conversion with a successful kick.

The start of the second half saw Sligo GS come more into the game. In the early stages, following a Limavady defensive mistake, the Sligo winger touched down in the corner for a converted try to reduce the deficit to 15-10. This seemed to galvanise the Limavady team and, almost immediately, they responded with a try through their hard working No 8, Sam Mackey, who picked from the base of the scrum and drove over the Sligo GS line from 5 metres. Scott McLean added the conversion to see his team into a 22-10 lead. Limavady then dominated the remainder of the second half and probably should have scored again before Sam Mackey grabbed his second try after good work by hooker, Stephen Kennedy. Scott McLean, once again, was successful with the conversion kick to leave his Limavady Grammar School team as deserved 29-10 winners.

Belfast Royal Academy hosted a Portadown College team which was short of a number of regular players who were hoping to overcome injury problems before next week’s Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup game against Dalriada School. The Belfast Royal Academy team had built up an 18-5 lead by half time with two tries, two penalties and one conversion, before going on to win by 39-10. The Portadown College team scored one unconverted try, in the first half, through Jack Orr.

The second half saw the BRA team control proceedings for large periods of time. They scored three converted tries to take a 39-5 lead. The Portadown College team never gave up and scored an unconverted consolation try through Niall Davidson close to the final whistle.