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Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 28th March 2015

Monday, 30 March 2015

There were two Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 2ndxv Plate games played in the last week

of the school term.

Friends’ School played Dalriada in the second semi-final of the Danske Bank Ulster

Schools’ 2ndxv Plate on Wednesday 25th. At the end of a close encounter the Friends’

School team emerged as 28-24 winners.

The final of the Danke Bank Ulster Schools’ 2nd xv Plate was then played at Banbridge

Academy on Saturday 28th March when the Friends’ School team played the Royal

School, Armagh team.

The RS Armagh team survived a first half onslaught from the Friends’ School team, an

onslaught they managed to survive. In fact, the RS Armagh team went into the break

with a 7-0 lead through a try from team captain Leon McGowan which was converted by

Glenn Faloon.

The second half saw the RS Armagh team control affairs for long periods of time. They

went on to score thirty three unanswered points to win the game by 40-0. David Agnew

touched down twice, Leon McGowan scored his second of the game while Matthew Kilic,

Michael Muagasu and Peter Grant scored one try each. Glenn Faloon added one

conversion to secure the 40-0 win for the Royal School, Armagh team. The foundations

for the second half Royal School, Armagh performance were laid by the work of players

such as Greg Wilson and Ben Grimes. The RS Armagh team was delighted to win the

game but a gallant Friends’ School team was delighted to have reached the final of this

competition.

Following the game Bobby Stewart, Senior Vice-President of the Ulster Branch, IRFU,

presented players from both teams with their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 2ndxv Plate

finalists medals. Bobby then presented the Royal School, Armagh 2ndxv captain, Leon

McGowan, with the Ulster Schools’ 2ndxv Plate.

The Ulster Schools’ Committee, as well as both teams, would like to thank Mr Robin

McLoughlin, Principal of Banbridge Academy, and Brian Leslie and his sports staff at

Banbridge Academy, for all their hard work in providing facilities and hosting this game.

The first semi-final of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 2ndxv Cup took place during

the week beginning 23rd March. Methodist College entertained Royal Belfast Academical

Institution in a game the Methodist College team won by 12-10.

The second Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 2ndxv Cup semi-final took place on Saturday

28th March at Roughfort when the Belfast Royal Academy team hosted the Down High

School team in a game the Down High School team won by 16-3.The wind turbine

towering over the North Belfast venue was turning at full speed with an almost gale

force wind greeting the players as they took to the pitch.

It was the home side that took a 3-0 lead on the ten minute mark with a well struck

penalty that had been awarded against Down High for not releasing the ball in the

tackle. In the minutes that followed, BRA made good use of the wind to pin the visitors

back with Down High struggling to clear their lines. However, out half Patrick Browne

responded well to these challenges and as the game developed opted to keep more ball

in hand. Indeed, Patrick was instrumental in Down High’s first score when he made an

outstanding break from his own 22m area before linking with John Hyndman who

carried well and eventually fed winger Harry Hitchens who crossed for what turned out

to be the try of the day. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful but the Down High

School team had a 5-3 lead, a lead they held for the remainder of the first half.

In the second half it took Down High fourteen minutes before they were able to

extend their lead. They did so through a well struck, wind assisted John Hyndman

penalty from the 10 metre line which extended their lead to 8-3. Down High School

then increased this lead to 13-3 with an opportunistic Ewan Keer’s try ten minutes

before the end of the game. BRA won a ball in a scrum on their 22m area but could not

control the possession effectively. The quick thinking scrum half picked the ball up and

showed good strength to fight his way over the whitewash to touch down for an

unconverted try. John Hyndman then secured the result when he converted a penalty

opportunity to increase the Down High School lead to 16-3 with just seconds remaining.

The no-side whistle sounded and it was the Down High School team that celebrated

their 16-3 win and, with it, a place in the final of Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 2ndxv

Cup.

This final will be played at Friends’ School, Lisburn on Saturday 18th April when Down

High School will face Methodist College.

The Friends’ School, Lisburn U13 team completed a successful season when they

defeated their Campbell College counterparts by 35-5. Meanwhile the Friends’ School

U14 team lost to Campbell College by 38-10.

In the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 3rdxv Plate quarter-final, Campbell College

defeated Ballyclare High School by 24-5. Campbell will now play Wallace High School in

the semi-final of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 3rdxv Plate. In a second quarter-

final game Coleraine AI defeated Ballymena Academy by 35-22. The Coleraine AI team

will now play St Columb’s College in the semi-final of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’

3rdxv Plate.