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Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 29th October 2016

Monday, 28 November 2016

There were two midweek fixtures played in the lead up to fewer than usual fixtures played on Saturday 29th October.

On Wednesday 26th October Ballyclare High School hosted Wallace High School in a game the Wallace High School team won by 31-17. The Wallace High School team had built up a 24-14 lead by the interval with tries from Gary Dillon, who scored three in a “Man of the Match” performance, and Conor Rankin. Matthew Pentland was successful with two first half conversions. The Ballyclare High School points in the first half came from a Matthew Hamilton try, which was converted by Adam Clarke, as well as try from their Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ player, Jack Lewis, again converted by Adam Clarke.

The second half saw the Wallace HS team score a fifth try through Jamie Manderson which was converted by Matthew Pentland. Ballyclare HS scored another three points through an Adam Clarke penalty to leave the Wallace High School team as convincing 31-17 winners.

The Royal School, Armagh team played the Armagh RFC U18 team under lights at the Palace Grounds in an entertaining game the RS Armagh team won by 36-12. The RS Armagh team had built up a 24-0 lead by the break with tries from Christopher Jennings, two from Peter Wilson and Nicholas Jennings. Glen Faloon was successful with two conversions.

The start of the second half saw Ulster U19 prop, Paul Mullen, pulling one try back for the Armagh U18 team with another U19 player, Cormac Fox, converting the try, to reduce the deficit to 24-7. Jack Treanor then took advantage of a loose kick to pick up the ball and run in for a try for the RS Armagh team. Glen Faloon added the conversion to increase the RS Armagh lead to 31-7. Peter Wilson then completed his hat trick with an unconverted try to put the school team into a 36-7 lead. The Armagh U18 team finished with a flourish and William Hazelton scored an unconverted try to leave the final score reading 36-12 in favour of the Royal School, Armagh team.

Both teams would like to thank the Armagh Rugby Club for hosting the game and for the provision of post-match refreshments. Richard Kerr refereed the game and added considerably to the enjoyment experienced by all the players during the game by the way he encouraged positive rugby throughout the game.

With the onset of the half-term break a number of schools took the opportunity for a well-deserved break and there were fewer than usual friendly fixtures played on Saturday 29th October.

Wellington College, having returned from their five day camp in Portugal played the Ballynahinch RFC U18 team on Saturday 29th October. The Wellington College team, having built up a 7-0 lead by half time, went on to win the closely contested game by 10-7. Wellington controlled both possession and territory for long periods of the first half. Full back, Marcus Smyth, scored a try following multiple phases of possession midway through the first period of play. Eoghan White was successful with the conversion which gave the Wellington College team their 7-0 first half lead.

In the course of the second half the Ballynahinch U18 team levelled the score at 7-7 when, following a series of “pick and go” drives, they touched down for a converted try. Both teams were guilty of giving away needless penalties in the final quarter of the game which led to a loss of momentum from both sets of players. However, with ten minutes remaining it was the Wellington College team that sealed their 10-7 victory when Eoghan White successfully converted a penalty opportunity.

Omagh Academy hosted Lurgan College in a very closely contested game the Omagh Academy team won by 12-8. The Omagh team scored an early try when the impressive Nathan Sides broke from a scrum on the half way line. He found his scrum half, Taine Lagan, running a great support line and sent him away to score a great try under the Lurgan posts. Kyle Beattie added the conversion to see the Omagh team into a 7-0 lead. The Lurgan team responded in a positive manner and Reuben McCreery touched down for an unconverted try following good work from his fellow forwards at a lineout. Lurgan College continued to take advantage on some Omagh Academy slack play and ill-discipline. Scott Wilson converted a penalty opportunity to give the Lurgan College team an 8-7 lead at the interval.

The Omagh Academy team responded to some well-chosen words of advice at half time from their coaching staff. The start of the second half saw the Omagh team pressurise the Lurgan College defence. A constant use of the “pick and go” tactic tied in the Lurgan College defence and, when the ball was eventually released to the Omagh Academy back division, Troy Booth ran a tremendous support line for Kyle Beattie to find him with a clever pass. Troy broke through the Lurgan College defensive line and finished off with an unconverted try to put his team into a 12-8 lead. The Lurgan College team then mounted a series of all out attacks on the Omagh line but could find no way through. That ensured it was the Omagh Academy team that finished the game as 12-8 winners.

Foyle and Londonderry College lost out on a game when the Belfast Metropolitan College team withdrew from their scheduled fixture late on Friday night.

Campbell College hosted Down High School and Friends’ School, Lisburn in a three game mini tournament. Campbell College defeated Down High School by 14-12. Matthew Crowther and James Nelson scored on try each in this game with Will Davis adding two conversions. Down High School scored their points through tries from Lewis Finlay and Zac Ward, one of which was converted by Robin Wilson.

Down High defeated Friends’ School by 14-3 with Andrew McCoubrey scoring two tries, both of whgich were converted by Robin Wilson. The Friends’ School points came through a Ben McCaughey penalty.

Friends’ School lost by 7-6 to the Campbell College team. Oscar Yandall scored the Campbell College try, which Will Davis converted. Ben McCaughey converted two Friends’ School penalties in this game.

Rainey Endowed School hosted Cambridge House School in a game where the Rainey ES 1stxv played the first half and the Rainey ES 2ndxv team played the second half. The Rainey ES 1stxv team won their first half encounter by 21-0. Ross Clarke, Jonah Hastings and Mark Mulholland each scored a try with Adam Hunter converting all three.

The second half saw the Cambridge House team score 26 points against the second Rainey ES XV. The Rainey team scored 7 points with Matthew Porter scoring a try which was converted by Jonathan Drennan.

Sullivan Upper School hosted St Munchin’s College from Limerick who were on a short tour in Ulster. Having attended the Ulster v Munster Pro12 game on Friday evening at the Kingspan Stadium the St Munchin’s College team went on the defeat the Sullivan Upper team by 24-12 on Saturday morning. Matty Moran and Rory Huston scored one try each for the Sullivan Upper team with Conor McKee adding one conversion.

Ballymena Academy travelled with their 2ndxv to play against the Regent House 1stxv on Saturday morning. Following an excellent game of schoolboy rugby the Regent House team emerged as 17-15 winners. Robbie Johnston, Jack Smith, Aaron Migan and Kyle van Geisen scored the Regent House points.

The Royal Belfast Academical Institution team, working closely with the former Belfast Inst captain, and Ulster and Ireland hooker, Paul Shields, now Manager of Northampton Saints Rugby Football Club, travelled to play Bedford School on the back pitch at Franklin’s Gardens. The Belfast Inst tour party used Franklin’s Gardens for training and were guests at the Northampton Saints v Gloucester game before going on to defeat Bedford College by 27-12.

The match against Bedford School was played in front of a good crowd in perfect conditions. The Inst team started the game in a positive fashion displaying some enterprising play. James Hume opened the scoring when he ran in for an unconverted try following a neat inside pass from Michael Lowry. The next try followed a well-constructed attack from the Belfast Inst back division. The talented Niall Armstrong, displaying his versatility by playing on the wing, chipped the opposition full back. The ball landed in space and Rhys O’Donnell gathered the ball at pace and won the foot race to give his team a 15-0 lead at the break.

The Royal Belfast Academical Institution coaching staff cleared their bench at the start of the second half. Bedford School scored two tries, one of which they converted, to reduce the deficit to 15-12. However, the Belfast Inst team finished the game strongly with and unconverted try from Frazer Laughlin and a converted try from Michael Lowry which secured the 27-12 win for the Royal Belfast Academical Institution team.

The RBAI Management and players would like to thank Paul Shields for his assistance in organising the tour, Northampton Saints for their generosity in the provision of facilities during the tour and the legions of parents and former pupils who came along to support the team during the game.