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Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 22nd November 2014.

Monday, 24 November 2014

In the lead up to a large list of fixtures on Saturday 22nd November, there were two midweek friendly games played on Wednesday 19th November.

Wallace High School V Bangor Grammar School

A Wallace High School “Select xv” played Bangor Grammar School in a game the young Wallace team won by 33-14. The Wallace High School team had built up a 12-7 lead by halftime with tries from Adam Galashan and Gary Chan. Matthew Pentland added one conversion.

Wallace scored three tries in the second half with Gary Chan touching down for his second of the game and Tom Baird and Ikenna Nzewi running in for one apiece. Matthew Pentland was successful with all three conversions. The Bangor Grammar School team scored a converted try in each half.

Portadown College V Banbridge Academy

Portadown College hosted a very determined Banbridge Academy team that won the midweek fixture by 40-22. The Banbridge team dominated the first half of the game and had built up a 26-5 lead by halftime. Michael McGaffin scored three first half tries with Shane Honeyford touching down for one. Daniel McElderry was successful with three conversion kicks. In response, the Portadown College team scored one unconverted try.

The second half was more evenly balanced with the Banbridge Academy team scoring tries through Shane Honeyford and Rhys Mackey. Daniel McElderry converted both tries. The Portadown College team scored three second half tries, one of which was converted by Niall Davidson.

This victory ensured it was the Banbridge Academy team that won the Wilson Cup, a Cup played for against Royal School, Armagh and Portadown College. Having defeated the RS Armagh team by 7-0 earlier in the season, the win against Portadown College sealed the cup win for the Banbridge Academy team, their first in twenty years.

Friends’ School, Lisburn V Antrim Grammar School

Friends’ School, Lisburn and Antrim Grammar School played under the floodlights at Lisburn Rugby Club on Friday 21st. The game, which was played in front of a good crowd of enthusiastic spectators, ended with the Friends’ School team recording a 19-0 victory. Despite the dreadful weather conditions, the pitch was in excellent order and both teams displayed a willingness to play with the ball in hand. However, both teams made mistakes which, at times, interrupted the flow of the game. The Friends’ School team scored their first try when team captain, Thomas Boyde, picked from the base of a scrum to cross the Antrim line and touch down for a try. James McGucken added the conversion to put his team into a 7-0 lead. Friends’ continued to press but were unable to convert this pressure into points. At the end of the half Antrim looked the stronger side but good defence from Friends’ stopped them from crossing the line which ensured it was the Friends’ School team that took their 7-0 lead into the break.

Friends’ started the second half the stronger side and asked questions of the Antrim Grammar School defence. Once again, handling errors were common on both teams and both packs found themselves with a lot of work to do at set piece time. Eventually, the Friends’ team got some quality possession and, from a 5 metre lineout, Daniel Patterson caused confusion in the Antrim GS defence and went in for a try. James McGucken added the extras to put the Friends’ team into a 12-0 lead. The Friends’ team now controlled both territory and possession but found the Antrim defence hard to break down. That was until Thomas Boyde produced another moment of magic, this time from his own half. He broke through the visitor’s front line defence and outpaced the remaining cover defence to score an unconverted try to secure a hard earned, but well-deserved, 19-0 victory for the Friends’ School team.

In a 2ndxv game, played on the same evening, Friends’ School defeated Antrim Grammar School by 28-6.

All four teams enjoyed the experience of playing under the floodlights at Lisburn Rugby Club. Both schools would like to thank Lisburn RFC for hosting the games and the provision of facilities.

Carrickfergus Grammar School V Lurgan College

Carrickfergus Grammar School had to field a weakened team, due to the non-availability of players, when they hosted Lurgan College on Saturday 22nd November. The Lurgan College team won the game by 13-7 but the Carrickfergus Grammar School team made the visitors work hard for their win. The Carrickfergus team had built up a 7-6 lead at the end of the first half. David Carse touched down for a try which he converted. In response, the Lurgan College team converted two penalty kick opportunities from Robbie Norton.

The second half was very evenly contested with neither team able to make any real inroads into the opposition 22m area. It took a Jonny Hunter break, which was carried on by Nathan Moffett and finished off by Lewis Lawson, who squeezed over the Carrickfergus GS line to touch down for a try, to break the deadlock. The conversion attempt was successful and the Lurgan College team had a 13-7 lead. The Carrickfergus Grammar School team refused to lie down and threw everything in attack at the Lurgan College team. The Lurgan team defended vigorously and the final outcome boiled down to an outstanding cover defence tackle, on his line, from the Lurgan College captain, Matthew Laird. His try saving tackle ensured it was the Lurgan College team that celebrated their 13-7 victory at the end of the game.

Banbridge Academy V Wellington College

Banbridge Academy hosted Wellington College in a game the Banbridge Academy team won by 26-7. It was the Wellington College team that took an early 7-0 lead when they scored a converted try after just five minutes of the game. The Banbridge Academy team then scored their first points, three minutes later, when Toby Baxter touched down for a try which Daniel McElderry converted. Midway through the first half, Daniel McElderry scored a try, which he converted, to put the Banbridge team into a 14-7 lead. Just before the break, Jordan Mount ran in for a try, which was converted by Daniel McElderry, to give the Banbridge Academy a 21-7 lead.

The second half was more closely contested with the only score coming from an unconverted try by Ben Thompson to secure the 26-7 victory for the Banbridge Academy team. Jordan Mount, Michael McGaffin, Rhys Mackey and Stephen Rompante all impressed for the Banbridge Academy team.

Grosvenor Grammar School V Larne Grammar School

Grosvenor Grammar School got back to winning ways when they played Larne Grammar School. The Larne Grammar School took a 3-0 lead midway through the first half but the Grosvenor GS team recovered sufficiently well to go on to win the game by 41-3. Mark Johnston and Daniel Martin scored first half tries for the Grosvenor team, one of which was converted by Mark, to put the Grosvenor team into a 12-3 lead at halftime.

The second half saw the Grosvenor GS team improve their performance in terms of fewer errors and a better quality of play. Jack Kennedy scored a try, which Mark Johnston converted, to extend their lead to 19-3. Jonah McDowell added a hat trick of second half tries and Taylor Pollock took advantage of good work from Chris Quinn to score a try. Mark Johnston converted one of these tries to secure the 41-3 victory for the Grosvenor Grammar School team.

Dalriada School V Belfast Royal Academy

Dalriada continued their recent run of good form with a 36-10 victory against Belfast Royal Academy. The Ballymoney boys had built up a 19-3 lead by half time with tries from Alan Montgomery, Robert Hunter and Thomas Hunter. Aaron Sparks converted two of the tries. The Belfast Royal Academy points came from a successful penalty kick.

Matthew Christie and John Rankin added two more Dalriada tries in the second half. Aaron Sparks converted both tries as well as a penalty kick. The Belfast Royal Academy team scored a converted try in the second half.

Methodist College V Coleraine Academical Institution

The Methodist College was missing a number of regular starters when they hosted a very confident Coleraine Academical Institution team on the Pirrie Park Paddock pitch. The Methodist College team found themselves 6-0 behind before going on to win the game by 19-11. Calum Smith was successful with two penalty kicks after the Methody team had infringed twice at the breakdown early in the game. The Methodist College pack then took control and, on the stroke of half time, a penalty kick to the corner saw the Methody pack win the resultant lineout. A well organised driven maul stormed over the Coleraine AI line and Joe Kennedy was on hand to touch down for a try. Robert Lyttle converted the try to give his team a 7-6 lead at the break.

Seven minutes into the second half and there was a repeat for the Methody team with Joe Kennedy awarded his second try of the game following another effective driven maul from a lineout. The conversion kick was unsuccessful but the Methody team had extended their lead to 12-6. Midway through the second period of play, Joe Kennedy broke from his half and cleverly off-loaded to Ali McIvor. Ali spotted space behind the Coleraine AI defence and chipped the ball ahead for Robert Lyttle to gather at pace and run in for a try under the posts. Robert converted his try to give the Methodist College team a 19-6 lead. The Coleraine AI team displayed great passion and came back with a try from Alistair Corbett near the end of the game. Andrew Wisener, Matthew Smyth, Calum Smith and Matthew Norris were all involved in the build up to the try, which was not converted, ensuring it was the Methodist College team which emerged as 19-11 winners at the end of the game.

Campbell College, Belfast V Royal Belfast Academical

Campbell College, Belfast and Royal Belfast Academical Institution played out an entertaining game with the Belfast Inst winning by 16-10. The Belfast Inst team took a 6-0 lead with TJ Morris converting two penalty opportunities. The Campbell College team responded with one first half penalty to leave the Belfast Inst team with a 6-3 lead at the end of the first half.

Campbell College started the second half the stronger of the two teams and scored a converted try to take a 10-6 lead. In the final ten minutes of the game the Belfast Inst team finally got some quality possession with which to work. A well-worked passage of play from the Inst back division ended with Jack Conlin scoring an unconverted try to give his team an 11-10 lead. From the restart, the Belfast Inst team regained possession and another attack ended with Conor Field scoring an unconverted try which secured a 16-10 victory for the Royal Belfast Academical Institution team.

Limavady Grammar School V Sullivan Upper ‘Select’ xv

Limavady Grammar School hosted a Sullivan Upper “Select” xv in a game the Sullivan Upper team won by 19-0. Peter Cooper scored two tries for the Sullivan Upper team with Lewis Smyth scoring one. Calum Jeffrey converted two of the tries.

Ballymena Academy V Rainey Endowed School

Ballymena Academy had built up a 22-3 lead in the first half of their game against Rainey Endowed School, before going on to win the game by 36-10. Rainey Endowed had returned from an enjoyable training camp in Portugal to lock horns with an in-form Ballymena Academy team who, themselves, will make the trip to the same training camp next week. The home team started well and immediately put pressure on the Rainey line with several strong surges.  Jonny McKeown broke through a tackle for the first try which was converted by Andrew Magrath to give his team a 7-0 lead.  Ten minutes later, Josh McIlroy finished in the corner but Andrew Magrath’s touchline conversion hit the post. Rainey Endowed capitalised on Ballymena Academy ill-discipline with a penalty from Andrew Brown to reduce the deficit to 12-3. The Rainey team was on the attack again when Jonny McKeown showed his strength to generate a turn-over.  Ballymena moved the ball wide and some excellent work from Angus Kernohan allowed Tom Alexander to race home from the halfway line. Andrew Magrath’s conversion increased the lead 19-3. Ballymena stretched further ahead just before the half-time whistle when Dean Reynolds finished off some good back play to score a try and give his team a 24-3 lead at the break.

Ballymena Academy made a number of changes at half-time and Rainey started the second half with a notable increase in tempo.  A sustained period of pressure on the Ballymena line resulted in the Rainey pack powering over between the posts with Adam Currie getting the touch down.  Andrew Brown was successful with the conversion to reduce the deficit to 24-10. Ballymena added two more scores in the second half, but were guilty of conceding far too many penalties. Jack Archer’s clever kick was gathered and touched down by Andrew Magrath and, moments before the final whistle, Andrew converted from the touchline following a second try of the morning from Josh McIlroy to leave the Ballymena Academy team as 36-10 winners.

Royal School, Armagh V Belfast High School

Royal School, Armagh defeated Belfast High School by 31-20 while the Foyle and Londonderry College team travelled to play Ballyclare High School in a game the Ballyclare team won by 27-5. Unfortunately, no reports were available for these games.

The Belfast Met team withdrew on Friday from their game with Cambridge House and a social event in Omagh Academy caused the postponement of their game against Wallace High School.


The launch of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 2015 Competition will take place at the Kingspan Stadium on Wednesday 26th November at 12-30pm. All schools are reminded of the necessity to confirm their availability, or otherwise, with Lesley McCaughey as soon as possible. The draw for the Round 1 games will be made at 1-00pm and these Round 1 games are scheduled to be played on Saturday 10th January 2015.

The Ulster Schools’ Committee has set aside the week of 6th-13th December for fund raising for the IRFU Charitable Trust. Schools will have received information and posters regarding this most worthwhile of causes and are asked to support the Trust in whatever ways they can. Schools in Ulster have supported the Trust superbly well in past years and are asked to do so, once again, this year .