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Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 24th September 2016

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

With the Age Grade Inter-Provincial games having finished at U18 Schools’ and U19 levels most representative players will have been available for their school teams on Saturday 24th September.

Belfast High School had an emphatic 50-10 win against a Carrickfergus Grammar School team that had thirteen Year 12 players included in the starting line-up. The Belfast High School team ran in eight tries with Scott McDowell touching down twice and Simon White, Euan Watson, Ryan Gibson, Brandon McMinn, Adam Gaston and Matty Jenkins all touching down once. Simon White capped a fine personal performance with five successful conversions. The Carrickfergus Grammar School team put on a very spirited performance and got some reward for their endeavours with a try from Nathan Doherty and a conversion and penalty from Daniel Curley.

There was one mid-week game played on Thursday 22nd, as well as one game played on Friday 23rd, in the lead up to a full list of friendly fixtures on Saturday 24th September.
On Thursday 22nd Omagh Academy played an “A” xv against a visiting team from St John’s College in Queensland in a game the Omagh team won by 19-14. The visitors scored two converted tries in the course of the game. For the Omagh Academy team Taine Lagan scored a try, Ryan Armstrong scored a try and Jake McCay scored a try. Will Stewart added two conversions.
Larne Grammar School hosted their near neighbours from Ballyclare High School on Friday 23rd September. The Ballyclare High School put out a team that won the game by 17-0, Roy Chestnutt scored two tries in the course of the game with Ben Catherwood scoring a third try for his team. Owen Hutchinson added one conversion.
On Saturday 24th September Dromore High School played their first full game at U18 Schoolboy level when they played the Royal Belfast Academical Institution 2ndxv at Barban Hill. In recognition of the occasion the Dromore High School Principal, Mr Ian McConaghy, hosted a pre-match breakfast. Attending the breakfast were representatives of the Dromore High School 1stxv sponsors, A1 Concrete, A1 Tyres, The Crepe Maker Company and Clifford Gregg Construction. There was also a representative from the Kukri Kit Suppliers present at the occasion. Members of the Dromore High School staff were in attendance as well as representatives from Dromore Rugby Football Club and the Ulster Schools’ Rugby Committee.
The game, which was played in front of an enthusiastic group of supporters, saw both teams having to contend with heavy rain and very blustery conditions. Despite this the players all attempted to play positive rugby throughout the game which the Dromore High School team won by 8-7. The first score of the game came from the Dromore High School team when they won the ball at a lineout and drove the resultant maul a full twenty metres before Paul O’Connor touched down for the try. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful but the Dromore High School team had a 5-0 lead. The game ebbed and flowed with both teams working hard at set piece time as well as at the breakdown. The Belfast Inst team looked threatening at times with the ball in hand but got no change out of a well-organised and disciplined Dromore High School defence. That was until the RBAI scrum half, Bradley McNamara, exploited a rare gap in the home defence and ran in to score a try. Angus Adair, one of a number of Ulster U16 RDS players on show, stepped up to convert the try which gave his team a 7-5 lead at the break.

The second half was an equally closely contested affair with both teams determined to play with the ball in hand. The only thing that separated the teams in the second was a penalty awarded to Dromore following an Inst infringement at the breakdown. The Dromore High School captain, Ben Martin, took full advantage of having the wind behind him and he slotted the penalty over to give his team an 8-7 lead near the end of the game. The Belfast Inst team responded positively and launched a series of attacks. However, the Dromore defence scented victory and displayed great defensive qualities which ensured it was the Dromore High School team that celebrated their 8-7 victory as the no-side whistle blew.
Wallace High School and Campbell College both had age grade representative players returning to the fold when the teams met in a game the Wallace High School team won by 14-7. Wallace had built up a 7-0 lead by the interval with a try from Matthew Miller which was converted by Matthew Pentland.
The second half saw the Campbell College team draw level when Josh Newell touched down for a try which was converted by Will Davis. The successful outcome of the game was sealed for the Wallace High School team when Jamie Peters ran in for a try, which Matthew Pentland converted, to secure their 14-7 win.
Dalriada School recorded a 38-0 win against Cambridge House in a game the Dalriada side scored six tries. Jack Dowey, Dennis Posternak and Adam Stewart all scored tries in the first half, with Jack Elliott adding two conversions, to give the Dalriada team a 19-0 lead at the break.
In the second Jack Dowey added a second try with Ross Fallows and Luke Pollock scoring one try apiece. Jack Elliott was successful with two further conversions to secure the 38-0 win for the Dalriada School team.

Methodist College, Belfast hosted a Belfast Royal Academy team that had displayed some good form in recent games. However, there was little the BRA team could do to prevent the Methody team from winning this game by 53-10. Ethan McIlroy opened the scoring for the MCB team when he touched down for an unconverted try to give them a 5-0 lead. Conor McAuley then kicked a penalty for BRA to reduce the deficit to 5-3. Matty Loane increased the Methody score to 10-3 when he touched down for an unconverted try. This was closely followed by a try from Alex Cairns, which was converted by Paul Kerr, to put the home team into a 17-3 lead. Matty Loane then scored his second unconverted try of the morning to increase the Methody lead to 22-3. On the stroke of halftime Tom Gilpin scored a try for the Belfast Royal Academy team, which was converted by Conor McAuley, to see the scoreboard reading 22-10 in favour of the Methodist College team at the break.

The second half was dominated, in the main, by the Methodist College team. James McConnell scored a try, which Paul Kerr converted, to give his team a 29-10 lead. This became 36-10 when Chris Larmour scored a try which was once again converted by Paul Kerr. Paul Kerr then completed the game with a hat trick of tries, one of which he converted, to secure the 53-10 win for the Methodist College, Belfast team.

Omagh Academy hosted Banbridge Academy on a very wet surface at the Campsie Playing Fields. Overhead conditions were not conducive for positive rugby but the Omagh Academy maintained their impressive start to the season and won the game by 22-0. The only score of the first half came from James Longwell, who took advantage of good work from Gary McCrossan at a lineout, to touch down for an unconverted try at the end of the first quarter. Despite the best efforts of Banbridge players such as Jonny McIntosh and Angus Corbett they could find no way past the Omagh Academy defence which ensured the Omagh team took their 5-0 lead into the break.

The second half saw the Omagh Academy team make light work of the deteriorating conditions. They ran in three tries, one of which was converted, to secure their 22-0 victory against a spirited Banbridge Academy team. James Longwell, on his return from injury, scored his second try of the game, which Kris Beattie converted, Deane Kane touched down following a kick and gather and Oscar Nelson took advantage of a clever kick from Kyle Beattie before touching down for a try. Robbie Sproule made his full 1stxv debut in this game for the Omagh Academy team with Ryan Armstrong making a debut appearance off the bench.

Ballymena Academy played Bangor Grammar School in a game the Ballymena Academy team won by 24-0. The game, refereed by the jovial Mark Orr who added greatly to the occasion, was played in difficult conditions. The Ballymena team was still missing a number of key players, including their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ captain, Azur Allison, and Ulster U19 hooker, Alexander Clarke, Despite this they had built up a 12-0 lead by the break with tries from Bruce Houston, who added the extras to his try, and Angus Kernohan.
Similarly in the second half the Ballymena Academy team scored two further tries. Both came from Angus Kernohan who displayed outrageous skill before touching down for his third try of the game. Bruce Houston added one conversion to secure the 24-0 victory for the Ballymena Academy team. An interested spectator at the game was the recently elected Junior Vice-President of the Irish Rugby Football Union, Ian McIlrath, a rugby personality who takes an active interest in the schools’ game each and every Saturday throughout the season.
Down High School and Sullivan Upper met in a closely contested game the Down High School team won by 7-0. With the return to action from age grade representative teams of players such as Clayton Milligan, Zac Ward, Lewis Finlay and Robin Wilson the Down High School team started with a strong wind behind them. The difficult underfoot as well as overhead conditions dictated that it was going to be a difficult morning for all the players. Both teams experienced problems with controlling any possession they had while kicking proved to be something of a lottery. There was no score at the end of the first half.

The deadlock was broken in the second half when Robin Wilson made a telling break before off-loading the ball to the supporting Ronan Patterson. Ronan kicked ahead but Robin Wilson was obstructed as he was about to pick the ball up with the line at his mercy. A penalty try was awarded, which Lewis Finlay converted, to secure a hard earned 7-0 victory for the Down High School team.

Antrim Grammar School hosted Lurgan College in a closely contested game the Lurgan College team won by 14-7. Antrim GS played with the elements in the first half and attacked at every opportunity. However, the tough conditions ensured the game was littered with handling errors from both teams. Midway through the first half the Antrim Grammar School team took the lead when their No 8, the rampaging JJ McKee, on return from his Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ duties, touched down for a try. Gareth Hull added the conversion to secure a 7-0 lead for his team. Despite the efforts of both teams there were no further first half scores.

The second half saw the Lurgan College team take advantage of an early Antrim GS mistake. An Antrim pass was dropped and the Lurgan College outhalf, Josh Abraham, kicked ahead to gather and score under the posts. Scott Wilson added the extras to draw the score level at 7-7. The Lurgan College team at this stage started to dominate proceedings with No 8, Reuben McCreery, to the fore. It was Reuben whose clever off-load enabled Lewis Lawson to crash over for a try in the corner. A superb touchline conversion from Scott Wilson gave the Lurgan College team a 14-7 lead. The Antrim Grammar School team finished strongly with the Lurgan College team struggling to control possession or maintain their territorial advantage. However, resolute Lurgan college defence ensured they had secured their 14-7 victory at the end of the game.

Grosvenor Grammar School played the Royal School, Dungannon team in their annual WK Armstrong Cup match at the Cameronian Drive venue. The Grosvenor Grammar School team got back to winning ways with a 13-7 victory. In a game influenced by the elements the Grosvenor GS team had built up a 13-7 lead by the break with tries from centre, Ryan Ashfield, and their full back, Harry Mulligan. Daniel Martin added one penalty.

The second half saw the RS Dungannon team mount something of a comeback. With the elements in their favour they got enough possession to enable them to get territorial advantage for long periods of the second half. From one such period Peter Cashel was able to run in for a try. Adam Evans was successful with the conversion attempt to see the RS Dungannon team reduce the arrears to 13-7. They pressed for victory but the Grosvenor Grammar School defence held out to secure their hard earned 13-7 win.
Portadown College travelled to play Belfast High School and maintained their recent run of good form with a 27-14 victory. They took an early 3-0 lead when Matthew Neill kicked a penalty. Andrew Gilpin then took advantage of some slack Belfast High School defence at a penalty to touch down for a try at the posts. Matthew Neill was successful with his conversion kick to put the Portadown College team into a 10-0 lead. Belfast High School responded with a try from Scott McDowell, which was converted by Simon White, to reduce the arrears to 10-7. On the stroke of half time Brett Flack finished of a Portadown College backline attack with a fine try. Matthew Neill added the extras to see his team into the interval with a 17-7 lead.

The Portadown College team started the second half well and increased their lead to 22-7 when their winger, Ryan Daly, scored an unconverted try. The Belfast High School team then responded with a fine try from Adam Gaston. Simon White added the extras to reduce the deficit to 22-14. It was the Portadown College team that had the last say in the final outcome of the game when James Taylor touched down for unconverted try to ensure his team finished as 27-14 winners at the end of the game.
Enniskillen Royal Grammar School hosted their Royal School “cousins” from Armagh in a game played in dreadful conditions. The Enniskillen RGS team had taken a 3-0 lead in the course of the first half when Reece Smyton converted a penalty kick opportunity.

The Enniskillen RGS team extended their lead to 8-0 with an unconverted try from Jack Rutledge. The RS Armagh team did mount something of a revival when they scored an unconverted try through Glen Faloon to reduce the deficit to 8-5. However, it was a case of “too little too late” as the Enniskillen Royal Grammar School team held on for their 8-5 win.
Wellington College hosted the Royal Belfast Academical Institution 3rdxv in a game the Wellington College team won by 19-18. Marcus Smyth scored two tries for the Wellington College team with Aaron Nelson taking advantage of some twenty seven phases of play by his team mates before touching down for a third try. Scrum half, Adam McCluskey, was successful with two of his conversion kicks.

The Royal Belfast Academical Institution 3rdxv team scored one converted try, one unconverted try and two penalties in the course of this game.
Regent House School hosted Coleraine Grammar School with both teams wanting to get back to winning ways after recent defeats. Having built up a 24-12 lead by the interval the Coleraine Grammar School team went on to win the game by 43-19. The Coleraine tries in the first half came from Oscar Egan, Daniel McCreadie, who scored two, and Andrew White. Zac Hutchinson added two conversions. In reply the Regent House team scored two first half tries through Jack Smith and Kyle van Geisen with Robbie Johnston converting one.
The second half saw the Coleraine Grammar School team score three more tries through Andrew White, Peter Weisener and Hugo Mawhinney. Zac Hutchinson was successful with two conversion attempts. The Regent House points in the second half came from an Ethan Bradley try which Robbie Johnston converted.

The Limavady Grammar School team hosted a very inexperienced Carrickfergus Grammar School team in a game the Limavady GS team won by 45-5. The Limavady Grammar School points came from two Jim McCartney tries, two penalties and two conversions alongside tries from Gareth Kee, who touched down twice, Gurpatap Sandhu, James Howe and Ben Riley. The Carrickfergus Grammar School points came from an unconverted try from their industrious winger, Josh Clements.