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Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Round Up Saturday 18 February 2017

Monday, 20 February 2017

On Saturday 18February the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup quarter-final games, Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Subsidiary Shield quarter-final games and Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Bowl semi-final games took place.

Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Quarter-Finals Results:

  • Campbell College Belfast 3-10 Royal Belfast Academical Institution
  • Royal School Armagh 24-28 Methodist College Belfast
  • Wallace High School 17-21 Ballymena Academy
  • Friends’ School v Belfast Royal Academy W/O (Friends’ School withdrawn)

Royal School Armagh 24-28 Methodist College Belfast

Royal School, Armagh hosted Methodist College, Belfast in an exciting Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup quarter-final game from which the Methodist College team eventually emerged as 28-24 winners. The game turned out to be a great encounter played in front of an enthusiastic crowd of supporters. The supporters were entertained to a first class game of schoolboy rugby. The Royal School, Armagh team controlled the game for long periods of the first half and had built up a deserved 15-7 lead by the break. Nine minutes into the game Glen Faloon gave the home team a 3-0 lead when he dispatched a penalty kick. Methody recovered from this setback and took the game deep into Armagh territory. They launched a series of attacks but could find no way through the resolute RS Armagh defence. From one such Methody attack Benjamin Boyd and Glen Faloon forced the Methody ball carrier to throw out a loose pass. The pass was gleefully intercepted by Zac Thompson who ran almost the length of the pitch to touch down for a try under the Methody posts. Glen Faloon added the extras to see the RS Armagh team into a 10-0 lead with just fifteen minutes on the clock. The Methody team recovered with their backrow trio of Cameron Kelly, captain Matty Loane and No 8, James Gallagher, impressing with their work rate in all aspects of play. James Gallagher scored the first of his three tries after twenty two minutes of the game. Paul Kerr hit a touchline conversion to reduce the Methody deficit to 10-7. Back came the Royal School, Armagh team and they pinned the Methody team into their 22m area in the period just before halftime. Patient and effective use of possession by players such as Ryan O’Neill, James Dunne, Jack Chapman and Jack Treanor enabled the RS Armagh team to stay within striking distance of the Methody whitewash. Good decision making from Benjamin Boyd presented Nicholas Jennings with the opportunity to touch down for an unconverted try which gave the RS Armagh team their 15-7 lead at the interval.

Six minutes into the second half that lead had extended to 21-7 following two successful Glen Faloon penalty kicks following Methody indiscretions at the breakdown. The Methody captain, Matty Loane then galvanised his troops and they came storming back into the game. Pressure in the RS Armagh 22m area presented Matty with the opportunity to touch down under the posts for a try. Paul Kerr added the conversion to reduce the Methodist College arrears to 21-14 ten minutes into the second period. The RS Armagh team recovered and went on the offensive once more. Four minutes later they forced Methody into conceding another penalty, which Glen Faloon converted, to extend their lead to 24-14. However, that proved to be their last real opportunity for points. The Methody team now took control of the game with their backrow trio and half backs working hard to put them into positions of strength. Thomas Gallagher scored his second try of the game, which Paul Kerr converted, to reduce the deficit to 24-21 midway through the second half. Methody continued to dominate both territory and possession at this stage of the game. Thomas Gallagher secured his hat trick with a hard earned try with just seven minutes remaining. Paul Kerr added the conversion to see the Methody take the lead for the first time in the game with the scoreboard reading 28-24 in their favour. Try as they might the Royal School, Armagh team could not get out of their half and the Methodist College team played the game out cleverly to secure their 28-24 victory at the end of this exciting Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup quarter-final game.

Wallace High School 17-21 Ballymena Academy

Wallace High School hosted Ballymena Academy to another great game of schoolboy rugby when the teams met in the quarter-final of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. The Ballymena team eventually emerged as 21-17 winners but their players had to work very hard for the victory. The Ballymena Academy team started the game in a very positive fashion. They scored an early try through Angus Kernohan, following good work from Alexander Clarke and Azur Allison. Bruce Houston added the conversion to see the Ballymena Academy team into a 7-0 lead. The Wallace High School team recovered from this early setback and launched a series of attacks with Gary Dillon, Jamie Manderson and Jonny Hunter asking questions off the Ballymena Academy defence. The defence held firm but the Wallace High School team did manage to get three points on the board when Tom McKendry was successful with a penalty kick. The Ballymena Academy team then launched a series of attacks with Mark Thompson, Michael Strong and Tiarnan Martin all causing problems for the opposition. Eventually, they spotted a chink in the Wallace High School defensive armour. Angus Kernohan took full advantage and ran in for his second try of the morning. Once again, Bruce Houston was successful with his second conversion kick of the game and he saw the Ballymena Academy team into a 14-3 lead at the interval.

Shortly after the restart the Ballymena Academy lead was extended to 21-3 when Stewart Moore ran in for a try which, once again, was converted by Bruce Houston. The Wallace High School team then mounted a tremendous comeback. They took full advantage of a Ballymena Academy player spending time in the “Bin” The Cardosi boys, Sam and Josh, were very much to the fore in a great spell of Wallace High School attacking rugby. Sam scored a try, which Conor Rankin converted, to reduce the Wallace High School deficit to 21-10. This seemed to spur the Wallace High School on and, shortly afterwards, Josh Cardosi took full advantage of good work from his pack before he touched down for a try. Conor Rankin added the conversion to reduce the Wallace High School arrears to 21-17. At this stage it was definitely game on and the Wallace team went on an all-out offensive looking for the winning score. However, it was not to be and the Ballymena Academy team hung on for a hard-earned 21-17 victory at the end of this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup quarter-final game.

Campbell College Belfast 3-10 Royal Belfast Academical Institution

Campbell College, Belfast and the Royal Belfast Academical Institution teams played out a re-enactment of the 2016 Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup final when they met at Fox’s Field in the quarter-final of the 2017 competition. The Campbell College team was very keen to loosen the Belfast Inst grasp on the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup but it was not to be as the Royal Belfast Academical Institution team held out to win the game by 10-3. A large crowd had gathered to watch these two teams of experienced Ulster Schools’ Cup campaigners go head to head in this quarter-final game. Early Belfast Inst pressure, with players such as Michael Lowry, James Hume and Callum Reid to the fore presented the holders to take an early lead with a penalty attempt. The opportunity was missed and the Campbell College team recovered strongly. Matthew Crowther, Jamie McCartney and Oscar Yandall all asked questions of the Belfast Inst defence but could find no way through. Campbell did, however, pressurise the Belfast Inst defence into conceding a penalty, which Will Davis converted, to see the Campbell College team into a 3-0 lead midway through the first half. The Belfast Inst team recovered and went into attack mode. Rhys O’Donnell, Michael Lowry and Paddy Finnegan combined to send Joe Finnegan in for an unconverted try to give his team a 5-3 lead at the break.

The early stages of the second half saw the Campbell College team launch wave after wave of attacks on the Belfast Inst line. John McKee, Ben Webb and Ben Power all came close but somehow the Belfast Inst line remained intact. With ten minutes to go it seemed the Royal Belfast Academical Institution might have sealed their victory only for the ball carrier to lose possession over the Campbell College line. With just minutes of the game remaining Yasser Omar and Charlie Cloke teamed up with David McCann to present quick ruck ball for the Belfast Inst backs. Good work from Michael Lowry presented Joe Finnegan with the opportunity to run in for an unconverted try. This was sufficient to secure their 10-3 victory at the end of dramatic Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup quarter-final game.

Next Round Draw

The draws were held at the Royal school, Armagh and organised by Chris Webster, Ulster Rugby Domestic Manager. Valerie Gordon, representing Danske Bank, assisted with the draws as did former Ulster and Ireland winger, and current Vice Principal (Pastoral) in the Royal School, Armagh, Kenny Hooks.

Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Semi-Finals Draw:

  • Royal Belfast Academical Institution v Ballymena Academy

Monday 27th February at Kingspan Stadium (2.30pm)

  • Methodist College Belfast v Belfast Royal Academy

Tuesday 28th February at Kingspan Stadium (2.30pm)

The Quarter-Finals of the Subsidiary Shield and Semi-Finals of the Bowl competitions were also played on Saturday morning.

Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Subsidiary Shield Quarter-Finals Results:

  • Grosvenor GS 13-5 Rainey Endowed
  • Ballyclare HS 22-20 Sullivan Upper
  • Down HS 41-14 Dalriada
  • Enniskillen Royal GS 10-14 Omagh Academy

Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Subsidiary Shield Semi-Finals Draw:

  • Omagh Academy v Down HS
  • Ballyclare HS v Grosvenor GS

Games to be played on Saturday 4th March 2017.

Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Bowl Semi-Finals Results:

 

  • Lurgan College 22-36 Bangor GS
  • Regent House 13-7 Royal School Dungannon

Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Bowl Final:

  • Bangor GS v Regent House

To be played on Wednesday 1st March at a neutral venue TBC.