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Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 27th December 2014

Sunday, 27 December 2015

There were six school friendly games scheduled for Saturday 27th December but, for a variety of reasons, only two took place.

The Royal School, Dungannon v Ballyclare High School game lost out to a frozen pitch in Dungannon while the Limavady Grammar School v Omagh Academy game was cancelled. The Banbridge Academy v Lurgan College and Methodist College v Royal School, Armagh games have been rescheduled for Monday 29th December.

Two scheduled games did go ahead when Wallace High School hosted Coleraine Academical Institution and Royal Belfast Academical Institution hosted Bangor Grammar School.

Wallace High School V Coleraine Academical Institution

The strength in depth available to the Wallace High School coaching staff was clearly seen when the team took to the pitch against the Coleraine Academical Institution team. A large number of changes had been made to the make-up of the team that drew 17-17 against the Royal Belfast Academical Institution team in their last outing. There were positional, as well as personnel, changes but these changes did not impact on the final result in this game with the Wallace HS team emerging as deserved 29-0 winners against a gallant Coleraine AI team. Even the early loss of their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ forward, Ben Pentland, did not overly cause concern for the Wallace High School team.

The only score that separated the teams at the break was a try from the hard working Wallace High School second row forward, Peter Ferguson. Peter made good use of quality possession from his pack to trundle over the Coleraine AI line and touch down for an unconverted try in the opening quarter of the game. The Coleraine AI team had a number of opportunities to put points on the board in the course of the first half but a combination of good Wallace High School defence, coupled with the desire of the Coleraine AI team not to take kicks at goal, ensured the Wallace High School team maintained their 5-0 lead at the interval.

The second half saw the Wallace High School team raise the tempo of the game. They held the upper hand in terms of both territory and possession for large parts of the second half and went on to score four more tries in the course of the second half. Players such as Peter Bonnar, Matthew Norris, Callum Smith and George McKeag got through a lot of work in defence for the Coleraine AI team but there was little they could do to prevent the Wallace High School tries. With the Wallace HS pack ruling the roost in the set pieces, as well as at the breakdown, their back division, with their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ scrum half, Jonny Stewart, and Andrew Cardosi, the Ulster U19 full back who impressed with his performance in the Wallace HS outside centre position, in outstanding form, it was only a matter of time before the tries came. Both these players had a major part to play in all four second half tries. Ryan Wilson, Andrew Irvine, Ben Finlay and Andrew Cardosi touched down for one try each. Ryan added two conversions to secure the 29-0 victory for the Wallace High School team.

The Wallace High School U12 team recorded a victory against their Coleraine AI counterparts on Saturday morning. An interested, and very proud, spectator at this game was the President of the Ulster Branch (IRFU), Mr John Kinnear. John was present to watch his grandson, Jay, play a leading role in the Wallace High School U12 victory. Jay obviously knew the game was against the school once attended by his grandfather!

The Royal Belfast Academical Institution V Bangor Grammar School

The Royal Belfast Academical Institution team hosted Bangor Grammar School in a game the Belfast Institution team won by 57-0. The Belfast Institution captain, Lewis McNamara, led his team by example and got through an extraordinary amount of work in the course of the game. His hard work provided opportunities for his team mates to exploit spaces in the opposition defence. They did so most effectively and finished the game with nine tries to their credit. Jack Conlin and Ryan McComiskey scored first tries, both of which were converted by TJ Morris, to take a 14-0 lead into the interval.

The second half saw the Belfast Inst team take affairs onto another level. With the Belfast Inst forwards providing a great deal of quality possession it was only a matter of time before the ensuing territorial advantage was turned into points. The Royal Belfast Academical Institution team ran in seven second half tries. John Dickson, Lewis McNamara, Michael Lowry and James Hume all touched down for one try apiece. Andrew Mc Gregor touched down for two while James Conlin scored his second of the game following a free flowing move.  James Hume was successful with four of the conversion kicks to secure the 57-0 victory for the Royal Belfast Academical Institution team.

In other school friendly fixtures involving Royal Belfast Academical Institution and Bangor Grammar School, the Belfast Institution 2nd xv won by 64-0, the Medallion xv won by 15-12 and the U13 xv won by 39-0.