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Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 20th January 2018

Monday, 22 January 2018

Quite a number of scheduled Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 3rdxv Cup games, one 2ndxv Cup postponed game,  one Medallion Shield and one Medallion Trophy  postponed game due to have been played midweek have had to be re-scheduled due to the inclement weather conditions affecting the Province.

There were eight Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup, four Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Trophy games and one Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 3rdxv Cup match as well as a number of 1st xv friendly games, scheduled for Saturday 20th January. Unfortunately the inclement weather conditions impacted on quite a few of these games.

In the 3rd Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Belfast Royal Academy played Sullivan Upper School in a closely contested game the Sullivan Upper School team won by 25-19. The Belfast Royal Academy team scored an early penalty through Harry Warke to take a 3-0 lead. The Sullivan Upper School team responded with a penalty from Conor McKee to draw the scores level at 3-3. Back came the Belfast Royal Academy team with an unconverted try from the elusive winger, Daniel Logan, which saw them take an 8-3 lead. In the closing stages of the first half Conor McKee kicked a penalty for the Sullivan Upper team to reduce the deficit to 8-6. Harry Warke kicked another penalty to increase the Belfast Royal Academy lead to 11-6.However, following a period of sustained Sullivan Upper pressure close the line Ollie Faith barged his way over for a try. Conor McKee added the extras to ensure the Sullivan Upper School team took a 13-11 lead into the half time break.

This lead was increased to 20-11 in the early stages of the second period of play when Rory Kilpatrick outpaced the Belfast Royal Academy defence before touching down for a try which was converted by Conor McKee. A few minutes later Rory touched down for his second Sullivan Upper try, which was not converted, to see the visitors into a 25-11 lead. The Belfast Royal Academy team then forced the Sullivan Upper team into conceding a penalty. Harry Warke converted the opportunity to reduce the deficit to 25-14. Six minutes before the end of the game Daniel Logan, one again, outfoxed the Sullivan Upper defence before touching down for an unconverted try, to further reduce the deficit to 25-19. However, despite wave after wave of Belfast Royal Academy attacks in the closing stages of the game the Sullivan Upper defence was well=organised and very disciplined. The final whistle blew and it the Sullivan Upper School team that celebrated their hard earned, but, ultimately well deserved, 25-19 victory at the end of this intriguing Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 3rd Round encounter.

The Cambridge House Grammar School v Regent House School game has been postponed until Wednesday 24th January and will take place with a 2-00pm KO at Eaton Park

The Coleraine Grammar School v Friends’ School, Lisburn game was postponed and should be re-scheduled to take place on Wednesday 24th January.

Dromore High School hosted Dalriada School in an entertaining game the Dalriada team won by 27-11. The game was slow to gather momentum and a mixture of cold conditions and schools’ cup nerves forced a number of mistakes from both sides early on. As the match went on Dalriada started to gather momentum in attack as they went through the phases. Prop, William Allen, threw a pass to set up winger, Peter Wright, to score an unconverted try in the corner to give his Dalriada School team a 5-0 lead. As the game continued Dromore got penalised for offside at the ruck and the decision was made to go for the posts. Dalriada hooker, James McCormick, made no mistake with his kick to give his team an 8-0 lead. In the final minutes of the first half Dalriada’s discipline started to turn against them as they were caught offside a number of times. Eventually, they were penalised in front of the posts and Reuben Cobb, the impressive Dromore High School outhalf, stepped up to convert the penalty. This left the scoreboard reading Dromore High School 3 Dalriada School 8 at the break.

The second half commenced with Dromore kicking off to Dalriada, Second-Row, Nathan Phillipson, gathered the ball and offloaded to James McCormick who made a run up the middle of the pitch and was taken down just outside the Dromore High School  22m area. A few phases went by before winger, Ross Fallows, made a blistering run down the line only for his try to be disallowed try as the Dalriada touch judge correctly called a foot in touch. Dromore then won the resultant line out and were able to relieve the pressure and get themselves out of their own half. Then a Dalriada line out just outside the Dromore 22m area, led to an attack lasting a few phases. Quick ball resulted in the Dalriada School centre, Luke Pollock, making a line break and scoring a try. James McCormick added the extras to put his team into a 15-3 lead. The Dromore team then had a great ten minutes with Ben Heath, Aaron Lyttle and Peter O’Connor leading from the front. A series of lineouts on the Dalriada School line ended when Aaron Lyttle forced his way over to touch down for an unconverted try and reduce the Dromore arrears to 15-8. This became 15-11 when Reuben Cobb converted a penalty opportunity from close to the half way line. Dromore High School, at this stage of the game, pressed for more points but unfortunately turned the ball over on a number of occasions. Dalriada then had a great line break from James McCormick and he set Ross Fallows up to run in for a try, James added the conversion to increase the Dalriada lead to 22-11. Dromore fought hard with players such as Dean Dillon, Tom Dologhan and Cameron Beacom-Hurle all asking questions of the Dalriada defence. However, the Dalriada defence survived the onslaught and a line break by Luke Pollock, who was caught just short of the line, allowed James McCormick to squeeze in for an unconverted try which secured the 27-11 win for the Dalriada School team at the end of this entertaining Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 3rd Round Cup match.

Grosvenor Grammar School hosted the Royal School, Dungannon team in a game the RS Dungannon team won by 23-7. The big and dominant Royal School, Dungannon pack laid the foundations for their win with an impressive performance at set piece time as well as being clever with their work at the breakdown.  Early pressure from the RS Dungannon pack resulted in the Grosvenor Grammar School conceding a penalty. Luke McMullan successfully converted the kick to give his team a 3-0 lead. This was increased to 8-0 when Jono Shrestha took advantage of a well-organised driven maul before touching down for an unconverted try. Both teams had the opportunity to score points during the remainder of the first half but both defences ensured they did not and the teams turned around with the RS Dungannon team 8-0 ahead at the interval.

Continued pressure from the RS Dungannon pack paved the way for an unconverted try from James Wilso which saw the Dungannon team into a 13-0 lead. From the restart the Royal School, Dungannon team regained possession and immediately took play back towards the Grosvenor Grammar School 22m area. Ben Nicholl made an impressive line break and cleverly off –loaded the ball to Adam Evans who was running a great support line. Adam finished off his run with a try, which Luke McMullan converted, to see the RS Dungannon team into a 20-0 lead. The Grosvenor Grammar School team then got some reward for their endeavours throughout the game. A series of excellent phase plays, when the Dungannon defence was really tested, finished when their hard working hooker, Ian Skillen, barged his way over the line to score a try. Jos McConkey added the extras to reduce the Grosvenor Grammar School deficit to 20-7. Then Cameron Steenson, Josh Fegan and Jack Girvan all impressively combined into forcing the Grosvenor Grammar School into conceding a penalty. Luke McMullan stepped up to confidently dispatch the kick which secured the 23-7 victory for the Royal School, Dungannon team.

Lurgan College played Down High School at Pollock Park, home of Lurgan RFC. Despite a spirited performance from the Lurgan College team it was the Down High School team that emerged from the game as 44-3 winners.

Down High School arrived in Lurgan displaying no complacency given Lurgan’s impressive season thus far. In the early stages of the game Lurgan justified the respect Down had given them as they contained a lot of pressure from the visitors. Despite this strong defence, with players such as Reuben McCreery and Ewan Mulligan outstanding, the Down High School team was patient in attack. Five minutes into the game they recorded their first points through a Greg Hutley penalty after Lurgan College had infringed at a ruck. For much of the first half Down managed their territory very successfully and kept pressure on the hosts who maintained their resilience. It took another twenty minutes before wing, Ronan Patterson, was able to extend Down’s lead to 8-0 when he crossed the try line for an unconverted score in the wide channel. The game remained in stalemate for most of the remainder of the half. The Lurgan College team did get some reward for their efforts when Jack Maxwell converted a penalty opportunity for the home team to see the first half finish with the Down High School having an 8-3 lead.

Play couldn’t have got off to a better start in the second half for Down High School when, after a few minutes, Ronan Patterson gathered a Lewis Finlay box kick before offloading to captain Robin Wilson whose excellent support play allowed him to run in for an unconverted try and increase the Down High School lead to 13-3. Following this decisive score Down High School team began to pull away.  Centre, Andrew McCoubrey, scored next showing some adept evasive skills to beat the covering defence following some patient phase play. Greg Hutley added the extras to give his team a 20-3 lead. This became 23-3 when Greg added another penalty five minutes later. In the closing quarter of the game Down High School continued playing patient rugby. Forwards such as Callum Dunn, Aaron Haslett and Stewart Campbell all played their part in piling pressure on the Lurgan College defence. The pressure told as Down High School ran in three more scores before the final whistle. Robin Wilson scored his second try after spotting a gap in the Lurgan College line and Greg Hutley added the conversion to increase the lead to 30-3. Then Ronan Patterson scored his second try by showing some great strength to fend off covering defenders and break away for the score. Greg Hutley added the conversion from the corner to see his team into a 37-3 lead. In the final act of play Robin Wilson touched down to mark his hat trick and round off a fine performance for the boys in green. Greg Hutley added the conversion to secure the 44-3 victory for the Down High School team.

Both teams would like to thank Lurgan Rugby Club for the provision of facilities and hosting this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 3rd Round game.

The Omagh Academy v Bangor Grammar School was postponed and has been re- arranged to take place on Wednesday 24th at 1-00pm

The Rainey Endowed School v Portadown College game was postponed and has been re-scheduled to take place on Wednesday 24th at 2-30pm

In the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Trophy the Banbridge Academy v Larne Grammar School game was postponed as were the games involving Foyle and Londonderry College v Carrickfergus Grammar School and Limavady Grammar School v Antrim Grammar School. All these fixtures should be re-scheduled for Wednesday 24th.

Belfast High School played Strabane Academy in the remaining Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Trophy Quarter-Final game. The Belfast High School team had to work hard before recording a 20-11 victory. The Belfast High School points came through two tries from Cameron McKimm, one try from Scott McDowell a Peter Harvey penalty and a conversion from Aaron Douglas.

The Strabane Academy points came from an Adam Mc Elwee try and two Ralph Mealiff penalties.

When the results of all the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup and Trophy games that took place were known the draws for the 4th Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup, Quarter-Finals of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Bowl and the Semi-Finals of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Trophy were made.

The draws were organised by Barry Willis, the Domestic Manager from Ulster Rugby, and made by Mr Ian McConaghy, Principal of Dromore High School, Mrs Nicola Johnston, Senior Teacher at Dalriada School and Mr Peter Hunniford representing the Danske Bank, sponsors of the Ulster Schools’ Cup.

The results of the draws are as follows 🙂

Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 4th Round

1/Enniskillen Royal Grammar School v Ballymena Academy

2/Omagh Academy/Bangor Grammar School v Rainey Endowed School/Portadown College

3/Royal School, Dungannon v Wallace High School

4/Campbell College, Belfast v Dalriada School

5/Cambridge House Grammar School/Regent House School v Royal School, Armagh

6/Sullivan Upper School v Down High School

7/Royal Belfast Academical Institution v Ballyclare High School

8/Coleraine Grammar School/Friends’ School, Lisburn v Methodist College, Belfast

Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Bowl Quarter-Finals

1/Coleraine Grammar School/Friends’ School v Dromore High School

2/Omagh Academy/Bangor Grammar School v Cambridge House Grammar School/Regent House School

3/Rainey Endowed School/Portadown College v Grosvenor Grammar School

4/Belfast Royal Academy v Lurgan College

Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Trophy Semi-Finals

1/Banbridge Academy/Larne Grammar School v Foyle College/Carrickfergus Grammar School

2/Belfast High School v Limavady Grammar School/Antrim Grammar School

These games are all scheduled to be played on/before Saturday 3rd February

In the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 3rdxv Cup the Methodist College, Belfast v   Ballymena Academy game was postponed

Some friendly games were scheduled for Saturday 20th but the Ballyclare High School v St Gerard’s College, Bray and Methodist College, Belfast v Ballymena Academy games were cancelled.

Campbell College, Belfast played Royal School, Armagh in a game the Royal School, Armagh team won by 28-7. The visitors had built up a 13-7 lead by the break with Zac Thompson kicking two penalties and converting a Benji Boyd try. The Campbell College points came through a Rex Tinsley try which was converted by the impressive Conor Rankin.

The second half saw the Royal School, Armagh control most of the territory and possession. Matthew Reaney and Nicholas Jennings each scored a try to which Zac Thompson added one penalty and one conversion thereby securing the 28-7 victory for the Royal School, Armagh team.

Wallace High School travelled to Ashbourne RFC to play Cistercian College, Roscrea. Following a very closely contested game the Cistercian College team emerged as 12-10 winners. Joel Dundas scored a try for the Wallace High School team with Nathan Doak adding a conversion as well as a penalty.