News Image

Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 20th December 2014

Monday, 22 December 2014

As well as Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 2ndxv Cup, 3rdxv Cup and Medallion Shield

games, a number of midweek friendly fixtures were played in the lead up to a series of

games scheduled for Saturday 20th December.


Regent House V Down High School

Regent House and Down High School met in a midweek game. The Down High School team

won by 38-14. The Down team was strengthened by the return from injury of players

such as Nathan Gibson and Rory Kerr. The Down High School team took time to get into

their stride in the first half of the game but had still managed to build up a 12-7 lead

by the break. Marcus Graham scored an unconverted try to give the Down team a 5-0

lead. The Regent team replied with a converted try, started from deep inside their

half, to take a 7-5 lead. The Down High pack began to control the set piece plays and

Luke Sandford took advantage of this when he ran in for a try. Joe Bingham converted

the try to put his team into a 12-7 lead at the end of the first half.

The Down High pack controlled most of the forward exchanges in the second half. This

ensured their back line had a plentiful supply of ball which they used to good effect.

Marcus Graham took advantage of good work from Luke Sandford and Joe Bingham

before touching down for his second try of the game. Joe converted the try to

increase the Down High lead to 19-7. Ross Carlisle then slotted a clever kick in behind

the Regent House defence. Luke Sandford chased the kick, scooped the ball up at pace

and finished off with a try. Joe Bingham converted the try to see his team into a 26-7

lead. Regent House then took play deep into Down High School territory and, following a

series of “tap and go” penalties, they scored a converted try to reduce the deficit to

26-14. After this, it was all Down High School. Ross Carlisle outwitted a hesitant

Regent House defence and put Luke Sandford away to score his third try of the game.

The conversion attempt was unsuccessful but the Down High lead was extended to 31-

14. The Down High sixth, and final, try of the game came when Paddy Browne threw a

superb pass to Marcus Graham who ran in to complete his hat trick. Joe Bingham

converted the try to leave the Down High School team as convincing 38-14 winners.

Portora Royal School and Omagh Academy met at Enniskillen Rugby Club in a game,

played under lights, the Omagh team won by 26-0. Missing influential captain, Adam

Stephenson, as well as regular out half, Stuart Ballantine, through injury, the Academy

boys got off to a sluggish start, allowing Portora to gain territory and maintain

pressure for the opening ten minutes. Omagh’s well-organised defence prevented the

home side any try scoring opportunities at this stage of the game. The Omagh team was

awarded a penalty which allowed their Year 12 debutant, Kyle Beattie, to clear his lines.

The resultant set piece was secured and driven deep into Portora territory before the

driven maul was illegally pulled down. Kyle stepped forward confidently and converted

the penalty to give his team a 3-0 lead. Omagh grew in confidence and looked to assert

themselves further on the game. James Longwell and Josh McKinley were threatening

in the loose while the new centre pairing of Luke Hanson and Deane Kane was making

gain line breaks but, at crucial times, lacked sufficient support to fully take advantage.

Kyle Beattie added a further three points as the half drew to a close with Omagh

deservedly taking a 6-0 lead into the break.

A stern half time team talk was provided and the necessary points taken on board by

the Omagh players. As the second half began it was clear to see an immediate

improvement in Omagh’s intensity and execution and the driven maul continued to be an

effective weapon from the lineout. Scrum half, Fintan Lagan, was calling the shots

behind his army of forwards by mixing up the plays and bringing his backline into attack

mode with quality front foot ball. Oscar Nelson crossed for the opening try of the

night to finish off an excellent team try. Once again, Josh Mckinley secured the lineout

and the pack drove forward. Fintan Lagan moved the ball to Kyle Beattie who looped

Luke Hanson before passing to Deane Kane on an outside run. Deane drew the winger

before releasing Oscar Nelson who fended off the covering defender to score an

unconverted try in the corner and put his team into an 11-0 lead. Omagh were now

relentless in attack with wave after wave of pressure being put on a determined

Portora defence. Omagh’s second try was secured, once again, from a good forward

platform. Josh McKinley, who was in fine form throughout, again popped up in midfield

and showed great skill to offload to the on rushing Luke Hanson. Luke scythed through

the first line of defence and found Andrew Monteith in support. The final pass was

executed superbly well which enabled to the speedy winger to race home for a try

beneath the posts. Kyle Beattie was successful with his conversion to put the Omagh

Academy team into an 18-0 lead. Even though the Academy made a number of changes

and debuts were handed to Adam McFarland and James McLean, the pressure did not

wane. Kyle Beattie added a further three points to put his team 21-0 ahead. Then the

try of the night rounded off proceedings. Omagh, from deep in their half, confidently

launched a Garryowen kick high into the night sky. Mitchell Anderson leapt highest to

retain possession just short of the half way line. Quick ball was moved to the backline

and, once again, the tiring Portora RS defence was penetrated. The ball reached Luke

Hanson who, spotting the space behind the opposition defence, chipped the ball through

for Mitchell Anderson to run onto and touch down for an unconverted try. The final

score of 26-0, in favour of the Omagh academy team, was a fair reflection of a physical


Both teams enjoyed the experience of playing under the lights at Mullaghmeen and

both schools would like to thank Enniskillen Rugby Club for the generous provision of

facilities and hosting the game.


Foyle and Londonderry College V Wellington College

Foyle and Londonderry College took an extended squad of players to play Wellington

College in a midweek fixture. The Foyle College team used the game, which they won by

21-7, to give playing opportunities to fringe members of their senior squad of players in

preparation for their forthcoming Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup campaign. They had

opened up an 11-0 lead by the interval with an unconverted try from 2nd Row forward,

Stephen Walker, and two penalties from debutant outhalf, Matthew Orr.

The second half saw the Foyle College team score two more unconverted tries through

centre, David Jackson, and winger, Ryan Marshall to put the visitors into a commanding

21-0 lead. The Wellington College team finished with a flurry and scored a converted

which ensured it was the Foyle and Londonderry College team that finished the game as

21-7 winners.


Methodist College

Methodist College travelled with “David Wells Tours” to Portugal where they held a

four day training camp. The training camp finished with a game against the very

physical Portugal U19 team which the Methodist College team won by 25-7. The

Methody team produced what was possibly their best performance of the season in the

course of this game. The Methody team started very well and had built up a 5-0 lead

after just a few minutes of the game. Conor Kelly, having just returned to play

following an injury, provided the assist for Robert Lyttle to score an unconverted try in

the corner. The much bigger Portugal team was difficult to break down but a piece of

individual brilliance from Saul Herdman led to an infringement by a Portugal player at a

ruck. Robert Lyttle converted the ensuing penalty to give his team an 8-0 lead. The

Portugal U19 team scored a converted try, close to the interval, to leave the Methody

team with an 8-7 lead at the end of the first half.

The Portugal team displayed signs of ill-discipline in the course of the second half and

was punished appropriately. Ben “Beano” O’Reilly was on the wrong end of Portugal ill-

discipline but he responded in a most appropriate manner by scoring a try following a

well-executed driven maul. Robert Lyttle added the extras to increase the Methody

lead to 15-7. Robert Lyttle then converted a penalty to increase the lead to 18-7. As

the Portugal team tired towards the end of the game, a slick Methody backline move

was finished off by Conor Kelly when he touched down for a try. Robert Lyttle added

the conversion to secure a well-deserved 25-7 victory for the Methodist College team.

Coleraine Academical Institution played Ballyclare High School in a game the Coleraine

AI team won by 17-5. In a closely contested first half, it was the Ballyclare High

School team that scored the first try of the game. They charged down a kick and

hacked the ball on towards the Coleraine AI line. After several “picks and drives” the

Ballyclare pack rumbled their way over the line to touch down for an unconverted try

and take a 5-0 lead. On thirty minutes Coleraine AI managed to register their first try

of the game. An excellent line break by centre, Niall Cameron, saw him stopped just

short of the Ballyclare HS line. Niall linked with Callum Smith who timed his pass

perfectly to Matthew Norris who, in turn, fed his left wing, Thomas Lavery. Thomas

showed great pace to score close to the posts. Somehow the conversion was missed

which left the score 5-5 at the interval.

Coleraine AI started the second half with much more intent. Some excellent charges

from George McKeag and Peter Bonnar saw Coleraine come close to scoring on several

occasions. They were held up over the opposition before Thomas Lavery again took his

opportunity and scored a second unconverted try to see his team into a 10-5 lead.

After sixty three minutes Callum Smith scored an excellent try under the Ballyclare

HS posts. Calum bullied his way to the line after some excellent work by his forwards

to score a try which he converted. This secured the 17-5 victory for the Coleraine

Academical Institution team.


Belfast Royal Academy V Friends’ School

Belfast Royal Academy played an understrength Friends’ School team and recorded a

rare 32-7 victory. Unfortunately, no report was received on this midweek game.


Londonderry College V Grosvenor Grammar School

In the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 2nd xv Cup Foyle and Londonderry College defeated

Grosvenor Grammar School by 3-0. In the same competition Limavady Grammar School

defeated Strabane Academy by 29-14.


In the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 3rd Cup competition Ballyclare Secondary School

recorded a 31-5 victory against Campbell College 5thxv while Limavady Grammar School

3rdxv lost by 12-0 against St Columba’s School, Stranorlar. Shimna College lost by 13-7

against Down High School 3rdxv and Royal Belfast Academical Institution 5thxv

defeated Methodist College 5thxv by 22-7.

In the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Medallion Shield competition Banbridge Academy

defeated Larne Grammar School by 29-0 while Lurgan College lost by 22-11 against

Limavady Grammar School.

Ballymena Academy continued their recent run of good form when the travelled to play

Dalriada School in Ballymoney on Saturday 20th December. The Ballymena Academy

team returned home with a 41-0 victory under their belts. From the start it was the

visiting team who were on the front foot and the first Ballymena line-break resulted in

a penalty that was successfully converted by Andrew Magrath to give his team a 3-0

lead. Shortly afterwards, Marcus Rea touched down in the corner for an unconverted

try to leave the score 8-0 in favour of the Ballymena Academy team. Much of the

remainder of the first half was played out deep in the Dalraida half. However, a

combination of determined defending by Dalriada players such as Michael Finnerty,

Angus Johnston and Alan Montgomery, and poor decision-making by Ballymena meant

that there were no more points added before the half-time whistle.

In the second half, Ballymena Academy improved the accuracy of their attack play and

stretched further into the lead with tries from forwards Josh Bill and Matthew

Moody. One successful Andrew Magrath conversion took the score to 20-0. Ballymena

began to open the game up and found spaces in the dogged Dalriada defence. Jonathan

McKeown, who was enjoying an outstanding game, powered over from close range and

Andrew Magrath’s conversion increased the Ballymena Academy lead to 27-0.They

added two more tries before the final whistle; the first a superb individual effort from

Josh McIlroy was followed by a second try of the morning from Marcus Rea who

displayed clever footwork to leave several defenders in his trail before he touched the

ball down. Both tries were converted by Andrew Magrath to leave the final score

reading 41-0 to Ballymena Academy.

The Rainey Endowed School team was missing a number of key players, away on a Ski

Trip, when they hosted the Sullivan Upper team at the Rainey Street venue. The

Sullivan Upper team had built up a 14-7 lead by half time and went on to win the game

by 21-7. Despite being short a number of regular players, the Rainey team pushed the

Sullivan Upper team to the limit. The Rainey points, in the first half, came from an

Andrew Conway try which Mark Rooney converted. For the Sullivan Upper team Peter

Houston and James Houston scored one try apiece, both of which Calum Jeffrey

converted, in the course of the first half.

The second half was a closely contested affair with the only try of the half coming

from Michael Brown. Calum Jeffrey was successful with the conversion to secure the

21-7 win for the Sullivan Upper team.

Wallace High School and Royal Belfast Academical Institution played out a 17-17 draw

when the teams met at the Magheralave Road venue. The Wallace High School team

took a 3-0 lead when Ryan Wilson converted a penalty kick following a Belfast Inst

infringement at the breakdown. Adam Heaps then scored a try from close range for

the Wallace HS team. Ryan Wilson added the conversion to put Wallace High School

into a 10-0 lead. The Belfast Inst team responded with a Conor Field try, which TJ

Morris converted, to leave the Wallace HS team with a 10-7 lead at halftime.

Andrew Cardosi marked his return to play, following a shoulder injury picked up when

playing for the Ulster U19’s in September, with a fine try following good work from

Jonny Stewart. Ryan Wilson converted the try to leave the Wallace team ahead by 17-

7. The Belfast Inst team displayed great character and determination at this stage of

the game. They rallied strongly and reduced the deficit to 17-10 when TJ Morris

converted a penalty opportunity after a Wallace player had played the ball with his

hands in a ruck. The Inst team seemed to sense they could at least draw the game and

mounted a wave of attacks. The Wallace defence, with Ben Finlay, Gary Chan, Jonny

Stewart and Ben Pentland getting through a lot of work, held firm. That was until the

impressive Calum McLaughlin made a break in midfield and linked with James Hume.

James found Michael Lowry with a clever pass and Michael finished off with a well

taken try. TJ Morris added the conversion to ensure the game finished with honours

even at 17-17.

Belfast Royal Academy played the Royal School, Armagh team in a game the Belfast

Royal Academy team won by 29-14. The Belfast Royal Academy team had built up a 17-5

lead by half time before going on to win the game by 29-17. Michael Wilson gave the

Academy team a 3-0 lead when he converted a penalty opportunity. This became 10-0

when David Campbell ran in for a try which Michael Wilson converted. Thirty minutes

into the game a good Academy scrum provided the opportunity for David McCullough to

run in for a try. Michael Wilson added the conversion to put his team into a 17-0 lead.

Josh Agnew then scored an unconverted try for the RS Armagh team to leave the BRA

team 17-5 ahead at the break.

Early in the second half, the BRA lead was extended to 22-5 when Matthew Dalton

scored an unconverted try. Jack Campbell then scored a try for the RS Armagh team

following a set play from first phase possession. Jack converted his try to leave the

score board reading 22-12 in favour of the Belfast Royal Academy team. Back came the

home team to increase their lead to 29-12 when Cormac McCracken broke through a

hesitant RS Armagh defence to score a try. Michael Wilson was successful with the

conversion kick. With the last play of the game Josh Agnew scored his second try of

the game for the RS Armagh team. The try was not converted which ensured the 29-17

win for the Belfast Royal Academy team.


Carrickfergus Grammar School V Friends’ School

Carrickfergus Grammar School and Friends’ School, Lisburn played out an enthralling

encounter when the teams met at the North Road venue. The Carrickfergus team, just

back from a training camp in Portugal, won the game by 26-24. The Carrickfergus GS

team started off strongly and got onto the score sheet quickly when Christian Robinson

scored an unconverted try to give his team a 5-0 lead. Friends’ gradually got

themselves into the game and were constantly causing the Carrickfergus GS defence

problems. Ryan Hall scorched past two Carrickfergus GS defenders before going under

the posts to touch down for a try. James McGucken converted the try to put the

Friends’ School team into a 7-5 lead. The game was then evenly matched until Carrick

scored just before the break. The home team out half chipped a ball into space and the

Christian Robinson gathered the ball at pace to go under the posts to score his, and

Carrick’s, second try of the match. David Carse secured the conversion to put his

Carrickfergus GS team into a 12-7 lead at the interval.

At the start of the second half the Carrickfergus team took advantage of ill-discipline

in the Friends’ School ranks and increased their lead to 15-7 when David Carse

converted a penalty opportunity. Shortly after this setback the Friends’ forwards

worked their way up the pitch and provided the platform for scrum half, Adam

Scholfield, to pick and go from the base of the scrum and touch down for an

unconverted try in the corner. Carrickfergus GS now had just a 15-12 lead but this

increased to 18-12 when, once again, poor discipline from the Friends’ team provided

David Carse with another successful penalty opportunity. Jake Porter then ran in for

the third Carrickfergus GS try of the match. The try was unconverted but the

Carrickfergus team had increased their lead to 23-12.The Friends’ School team

responded positively and, from the kick off, they regained possession. Carrick then

conceded a number of penalties for pulling down the Friends’ maul. Eventually, the ball

was released to the backs with Curtis Dundas finishing off a flowing move when he

scored an unconverted try in the corner. This try brought the Friends’ team back into

the game with the deficit reduced to 23-17. Friends’ only needed one score now but

were aware they were running out of time. Another bout of ill-discipline and the

Carrickfergus lead increased to 26-17 when David Carse converted his third penalty of

the game. However, the Friends’ team then scored the try of the game in injury time.

They ran the ball from deep and an interchange of passes, involving both forwards and

backs, ended with Daniel Patterson scoring a try under the Carrickfergus Grammar

School posts. James McGucken added the conversion but it was a case of “too little,

too late, for the Friends’ School team as the Carrickfergus Grammar School team

ended the closely contested game as 26-24 winners.