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Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 3rd September 2016

Monday, 5 September 2016

The first Saturday of the new school year saw quite a number of schoolboy rugby players playing in Inter Provincial age grade fixtures as well as taking part in a number of schoolboy tournaments and friendly games.
The Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ team played the second of their Inter Provincial games when they travelled to Donnybrook in Dublin where they met their Leinster Schools’ counterparts. This game was closely contested but it was the Leinster team that emerged as 10-5 winners. The Leinster team opened their account when the Belvedere College winger, Sam Barry, ran in to touch down for an unconverted try with just three minutes on the clock. It was a strong Leinster lineout that laid the foundations for this try which gave the home team a 5-0 lead. Eleven minutes later the Ulster team lost their captain, Azur Allison, to a leg injury and this seemed to affect his team mates. However, they had a couple of opportunities to put points on the board but two penalty attempts fell agonisingly short of the target. Leinster then scored their second try of the game when poor Ulster defence at a driven maul, following a Leinster lineout, allowed the Leinster hooker, Richie Bergin, St Mary’s College, to trundle over the Ulster whitewash and touch down for a try. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful but the Leinster lead extended to 10-0. The Ulster team responded positively to the situation and took the game to Leinster. However, the well-organised Leinster defence let nothing through and the teams turned around at the interval with the Leinster team holding on to their 10-0 lead.

Ulster made one change at half time when Calum Smyth, who had picked up an injury, was replaced by Scott Agnew. For long periods of the second half both defences were on top with Tom Gilpin and Matthew Crowther getting through a lot of work and the breakdown. The Leinster team was reduced to fourteen men in the final quarter of the game. The Ulster management team used their bench to good effect and the introduction of Niall Armstrong at scrum half seemed to speed the game up. The Ulster team was playing very positively and a quickly taken free kick was finished off by Oscar Yandall with a fine try in the right hand corner of the pitch. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful but the Ulster team had reduced the arrears to 10-5 with just minutes of the game remaining. Ulster went all out in an attempt to secure the win but they fell just short at the end. The team will take the positives from their performance but will realise more work needs to be done on basics such as ball retention as they prepare for their next encounter which will be against Munster Schools on Saturday 10th September. This game will be played at Cork Institute of Technology with a 1-00pm kick off.

Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ team v Leinster Schools

1 John McKee (Campbell College)
2 Clayton Milligan (Down HS)
3 Calum Smyth (Sperrin Integrated College)
4 Max Baillie (Coleraine GS)
5 Oisin Kiernan (Campbell College)
6 Jamie Macartney (Campbell College)
7 Tom Gilpin (BRA)
8 Azur Allison (Captain, Ballymena Academy)
9 Lewis Finlay (Down HS)
10 Bruce Houston (Ballymena Academy)
11 Ben Webb (Campbell College)
12 Angus Kernohan (Ballymena Academy)
13 Jonathan Hunter (Wallace HS)
14 Oscar Yandall (Campbell College)
15 Mark Thompson (Ballymena Academy)
16 Tim Savoury (Ballymena Academy)
17 Ben Savage (Ballymena Academy)
18 Scott Agnew (Ballymena Academy)
19 JJ McKee (Antrim GS)
20 Jack Rutledge (Enniskillen Royal Grammar School)
21 Matthew Crowther (Campbell College)
22 Ethan Field (RBAI)
23 Niall Armstrong (RBAI)
24 Robin Wilson (Down HS)
25 Tiarnan Martin (Ballymena Academy)
26 Jack Lewis (Ballyclare HS)
Danske Bank Ulster Schools’Management Team:
Head Coach: James Topping
Assistant Head Coach: Bryan Young
Assistant Coaches: Gavin Murray and Chris Nash
Strength and Conditioning coach: Matthew Godfrey
Physiotherapist: Katie Lannon
Doctor: Dr Ryan Hamilton
Resources Manager: Adrian Walker
Manager: Richard Clingan

Meanwhile, at the Osborne Park playing fields, the Hughes sponsored Ulster U19 team, a team that contained twelve schoolboy players, entertained their Leinster U19 counterparts. The game was played in front of an enthusiastic group of supports in, at times, damp conditions. Both teams adapted well to the damp conditions with the Ulster team eventually emerging as 22-15 winners.

The Ulster team started strongly and took a 7-0 lead with just nine minutes on the clock when winger, Mark Keane, displayed great tenacity and determination to win a foot race for the touchdown. James Hume added the extras to secure the 7-0 lead for his team. Further Ulster pressure forced the Leinster team into conceding a penalty four minutes later. James Hume converted the penalty to increase the Ulster U19 lead to 10-0. The Leinster team responded positively and made the Ulster defence work hard for the second quarter of the game. The Ulster defence held out until the Leinster team put together a strong driven maul from which Cathal Duff scored a try. Josh Miller converted the try to reduce the arrears to 10-7 at the break.

Leinster started the second half strongly and got rewarded for their endeavours when Josh Miller converted a penalty opportunity to draw the score level at 10-10 eight minutes into the second half. Back came the Ulster team and ball was secured from a lineout in the Leinster “Red Zone”. The ball was cleverly used by the Ulster pack and a well-organised driven maul finished when Matthew Agnew dotted the ball down in the Leinster in-goal area for a fine try. The conversion kick was unsuccessful but the Ulster U19 team had secured a 15-10 lead midway through the second half. However, poor Ulster discipline and an inability to deal with an innocuous Leinster kick, allowed the Leinster winger, Peter Sullivan, in for a try. The conversion kick was unsuccessful but the Leinster team was back in the game with the scoreboard reading 15-15 going into the last ten minutes of the game. Both teams were in attack mode but both defences were letting nothing through. That was until the last play of the game when James Hume should great strength, flair and determination to cut through the Leinster defence and finish off with a try. James added the extras, the no-side whistle blew and the Ulster U19 team celebrated their hard earned, but ultimately well-deserved, 22-15 victory at the end of this exciting U19 Inter Provincial encounter.

Next up for the Ulster U19 team will be a trip to Cork Institute of Technology where they will play Munster U19’s at 3-00pm on Saturday 10th September.

Ulster U19 Team
1 Callum Reid (Royal Belfast Academical Institution)
2 Alexander Clarke (Ballymena Academy)
3 Tom O’Toole(C) (Campbell College, Belfast)
4 John McCusker (Rainey RFC )
5 James Nelson (Campbell College, Belfast)
6 Aaron Hall (Ballynahinch RFC)
7 Matthew Agnew (Bangor Grammar School)
8 Joe Dunleavy (Letterkenny RFC)
9 Jonny Stewart (Queen’s University RFC)
10 Michael Lowry (Royal Belfast Academical Institution)
11 Ollie Brown (Exiles)
12 Lewis Sampson (Bangor RFC)
13 James Hume (Royal Belfast Academical Institution)
14 Mark Keane (Royal Belfast Academical Institution)
15 Joe Finnegan (Royal Belfast Academical Institution)
16 James Boyle (Bangor RFC)
17 Tyler Arnold (Belfast High School)
18 Corrie Barrett (Royal Belfast Academical Institution)
19 Zac Ward (Down High School)
20 Jack Barry Glendinning (Campbell College, Belfast)
21 Rhys O’Donnell (Royal Belfast Academical Institution)
22 Cormac Fox (Armagh RFC)
23 Michael Stronge (Ballymena Academy)
Ulster U19 Management Team:
Head Coach: Kieran Campbell
Coaches: Willie Anderson, David Creighton
S&C Coaches: David Drake, Amy Davis
Kit Manager: Tim Morton
Doctor: Dr Richard Wilson
Physiotherapist: Richard Johnston
Manager: Barney McGonigle

Regent House, Down High School, Bangor Grammar School and Friends’ School, Lisburn played a four team tournament at Hamilton Park, home of Ards RFC. Regent House defeated Friends’ School by 10-0 with Ulster Schools’ U17 player, Richie Johnston, leading the way for the Regent team, Bangor GS defeated the Friends’ School team by 5-0 and Friends’ School lost their 3rd game against Down High School by 12-0. For Down High School Ronan Patterson scored a try in the first half against Friends’ School and the try was converted by Greg Hutley. In the second half good work by Harris McConnell presented the Down High School winger, Michael Donaldson, with the opportunity to finish a fine move off with an unconverted try to secure their 12-0 win.

Down High School drew 0-0 with Bangor GS and lost by 7-5 against Regent House. Marcus Graham was the Down High School try scorer in that game.

It was a North Down final at the end of this tournament with Bangor Grammar School emerging as winners with a victory over Regent House..
Grosvenor Grammar School hosted the annual Ian H Graham Cup competition with teams from Grosvenor Grammar School, Banbridge Academy, Rainey Endowed School, Belfast Royal Academy, Dromore High School and Wesley College, Dublin all participating. It was a difficult morning for the Banbridge team. They lost by 7-0 against Belfast Royal Academy, 17-0 against Wesley College and 8-0 against Dromore High School. The Dromore points in this game came from a Rhys Dale try and a Ben Martin penalty.

Belfast Royal Academy had Josh Hegarty and Conor McAuley to thank for their points against Banbridge Academy. They then went on to defeat Wesley College by 10-7 with Lewis Dickson scoring a try and Conor McAuley kicking a conversion as well as a penalty.

The host team started proceedings with a 19-7 win against the Rainey Endowed School team. The Grosvenor GS team started well moving the Rainey ES defence all around the pitch. Daniel Martin ran in for an unconverted try to give the Grosvenor team a 5-0 lead. The scrum half, Jack Kennedy, ran in for a try, which was converted by Daniel Martin, to increase the Grosvenor GS lead to 12-0. The second half saw the Rainey team run in a converted try to reduce the deficit to 12-7. The Grosvenor GS sealed their 19-7 victory when Mark Courtney intercepted a Rainey pass and ran in for a try to which Daniel Martin added the conversion.
Next up for the Grosvenor GS team was a close encounter against Dromore High School. The Dromore High School team refused to allow their illustrious opponents to settle into the game which was notable for the strength of the Dromore High School defence. However, with last play of the game the Dromore defence was outflanked when Ross Nelson ran in for an unconverted try to secure a 5-0 win for the Grosvenor Grammar School team.

Dromore then made the Rainey Endowed School team work hard for a 12-8 win. Reuben Cobb scored a try for the Dromore team in this game with Ben Martin adding a penalty.
The group stage results ensured that Belfast Royal Academy team took on Grosvenor Grammar School in the final. Conor McAuley gave the Belfast Royal Academy team a first half 3-0 lead when he was successful with a penalty kick. Early in the second half Daniel Martin levelled the score at 3-3 when he was successful with a Grosvenor GS penalty. The closely contested final was won by the BRA team when Conor McAuley converted a penalty kick to secure a hard-earned 6-3 win.

At the end of the tournament Mr Ian H Graham, former King’s Scholar, former President of the Ulster Branch, IRFU, and former Director of Physical Education and Movement Studies at Grosvenor Grammar School presented the I H Graham Cup to Conor McAuley, captain of the Belfast Royal Academy team.

Methodist College 2ndxv hosted teams from Larne Grammar School and Cambridge House in a series of games from which the Methodist College team emerged as winners.
Portadown College and Lurgan College played out a 3×20 minute games session at the Killicomaine Road venue. The set up allowed both coaches to experiment with personal and also positional variations early in the season. Both teams used around 25 boys throughout the match. Both teams were keen to impress early on eager to get the first score. However, despite their best intentions neither team was able to score and the first session finished 0-0.

Portadown dominated the second session especially at lineout time. This dominance was rewarded when captain and No 8, Stewart Hodgen, stretched over for the first try. The conversion was missed but the Portadown team had a 5-0 lead. The Lurgan College team pressed hard from the restart and, following a Portadown infringement, Scott Wilson reduced the arrears to 5-3 when he was successful with the ensuing penalty kick.
The third period saw Portadown with a lot of possession but again falling short on the clinical execution of the final ball. They squandered too many opportunities and allowed the Lurgan College team back into the game. Scott Wilson created the opportunity for the Lurgan College No 8, Reuben McCreery, to crash over the Portadown College whitewash and touch down for a try. Scott added the conversion to secure a 10-5 win for the Lurgan College team at the end of the final session.

Stewart Hodgen impressed for the Portadown College team while Lewis Lawson, Victor MacKenzie, Jon Woods and Richard Hull played well for the Lurgan College team.

The Ballymena Academy team was missing ten players who were on Inter Provincial duty when they hosted Ballyclare High School in a game which finished as a 7-7 draw. The Ballyclare High School team found themselves 7-0 down at half time following a try from David Stevenson which was converted by Conor Cosgrove.

Ballyclare High School got back into the game in the second half with a try from Jack Black which was converted by Owen Hutchinson.

Royal School, Armagh travelled to play Coleraine Grammar School in a 3×25 minute game which finished with the RS Armagh team emerging as 18-8 winners. RS Armagh started brightly with Year 12 player, Jonny Agnew, making a number of noteable early surges into the Coleraine half. This pressure yielded a penalty that Glen Faloon successfully converted to give the RS Armagh team a 3-0 lead. Coleraine responded and took control but struggled to break down the Armagh defence. However, they forced a penalty from the Armagh defence which was converted by Zac Hutchinson to leave the score at the end of the first third reading 3-3.

Both sides made a number of changes for the next third and Coleraine struck first with a well-executed kick pass which was finished off with a try by Marc McClelland. The conversion was missed but the home team had an 8-3 lead. This seemed to move the Armagh pack into gear and after strong carries from Joe Dunne and Mark McAlpine, Alex Johnston managed to find Matthew Kilic in space. Matthew forced his way over the line to touch down for a try which was converted by Glen Faloon. Coleraine responded but resolute defence from Armagh saw the second period of play end with RS Armagh in a 10-8 lead.

The final third saw more changes on both sides but Armagh began to control possession and territory with the Jennings brothers, Christopher and Nicholas, making telling breaks. The pressure finally yielded another score when Ryan O’Neill made a break and offloaded the ball to enable Callum Whiteside to score in the corner. Glen Faloon was unsuccessful with the conversion but he made no mistake with a long range penalty later on to leave the final score 18-8 in favour of the Royal School, Armagh team.
The Royal School, Dungannon team hosted Limavady Grammar School in a game the RS Dungan
non team won by 28-0. The game was played over three periods-2×20 minutes and 1×25 minutes. Joseph Cashel starred for the RS Dungannon team and ran in three early tries which were all converted by Adam Evans to put the Dungannon team into a 21-0 lead. Both teams used the game as an opportunity to use extended squads. The RS Dungannon finished off strongly with Timmy Davidson running in for a fine try, which was converted by Adam Evans, to secure their 28-0 victory.

Carrickfergus Grammar School and Antrim Grammar School played out a “training game” in which Carrickfergus GS fielded a total of twenty four players with no less than twelve of last year’s Medallion team getting pitch time. With all the changes the Carrickfergus team was a little disjointed in attack and went behind early in the first of three 20 minute periods. Year 12 out half, Daniel Curley, acquitted himself well in both attack and defence while fullback, Adam Gardner, was solid in both attack and defence. Captain, Mark Snoddy, also stood out in a youthful pack by carrying well and linking well with his back row colleagues, Phil Stewart and David Doherty. The Carrickfergus team created several opportunities but a lack of composure led to chances being wasted.

The second period finished scoreless and with time running out in the last 20 minute period Carrick again dominated the possession and territory. Second row, Rhys Willis, was a threat with the ball in hand but with the try line at their mercy, Carrick lost possession and Antrim went the full length of the pitch for another try to finish off the game. The great positive for the Carrickfergus Grammar School team and staff was the performance of their Year 12 players who look more than capable of making the step up to senior rugby for the forthcoming season.