News Image

Danske Bank Schools’ Cup 2nd Round Results and 3rd Round Draw.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Danske Bank Schools’ Cup 2nd Round Results and 3rd Round Draw.

It was an exciting day at the seven venues where the 2nd Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup games were taking place on Saturday 7th January.

 

Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 2 Results:

Banbridge Academy 8-8 Dromore HS*
Friends’ School Lisburn 57-7 Antrim GS
Portadown College 20-0 Wellington College
Larne GS 3-48 Dalriada School
Belfast HS 16-20 Limavady GS
Foyle College 10-19 Regent House
Lurgan College 39-0 Strabane Academy

*The Banbridge Academy v Dromore High School replay will take place on Wednesday 11th January at Dromore RFC (kick-off 2.00pm).

Following completion of the Round 2 fixtures, the draw for Round 3 of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup took place at Banbridge Academy on Saturday afternoon.

 

Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup Round 3 Draw:

Rainey Endowed School v Regent House
Banbridge Academy / Dromore HS * v Enniskillen Royal GS
Limavady GS v Dalriada
Grosvenor GS v Bangor GS
Lurgan College v Ballyclare HS
Portadown College v Belfast Royal Academy
Royal School Dungannon v Royal School Armagh
Friends’ School Lisburn v Coleraine GS

Round 3 games to be played on Saturday 21st January 2017.

The draw also took place for Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Trophy Quarter-Finals.

 

Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Trophy Quarter-Finals Draw

Wellington College v Foyle College
Belfast HS v Larne GS
Antrim GS v Strabane Academy
Cambridge House v Banbridge Academy / Dromore HS

Quarter-Final games to be played on Saturday 21st January 2017.

 

Pictured conducting the draw are Dromore High School Principal, Ian McConaghy and Chris Mitchell, Danske Bank Branch Manager, Hillsborough.

 
Analysis of Danske Banks Schools’ Cup Round 2 Games

 
Belfast High School 16-20 Limavady Grammar School

Belfast High School hosted Limavady Grammar School in a game from which the Limavady Grammar School team eventually emerged as 20-16 winners. The game started off at a frantic pace with both teams determined to play in a positive manner. This led to an exciting start to the game but all too often mistakes from both teams at crucial times interrupted the flow. That was until ten minutes into the game when the Belfast High School team was on the attack but a stray pass was intercepted by Jamie Young. Jamie took off with a number of despairing Belfast High School defenders in hot pursuit. However, Jamie managed to outpace them and finished his run in with a try under the home team posts. Jim McCartney added the extras to give his Limavady Grammar School team a 7-0 lead. The Belfast High School team responded to the setback in a very positive way.

They pressurised the Limavady Grammar School team into conceding a number of penalties which ensured they gained some territorial advantage. From one such penalty, close to the Limavady GS posts, team captain, Simon White, was successful with the conversion to reduce the deficit to 7-3. Now it was the turn of the Limavady GS team to go on the attack. Robbie Hunter and David Brown were effective at securing ball at the breakdown on a number of occasions. This enabled them to launch a series of attacks on the Belfast High School line. James Howe thought he had secured a try from one such attack only to be penalised for a double movement. Just before halftime Jim McCartney increased the Limavady Grammar School lead to 10-3 when he was successful with a penalty kick.

The Belfast High School team started the second half very strongly. They encamped themselves in the Limavady GS “Red Zone” and got due reward for their endeavours when a penalty was taken quickly by Sam McBride. Sam powered his way over the Limavady GS line to touch down for an unconverted try which reduced the arrears to 10-8. Good work from Chris McKee and Robbie Hunter then took the Limavady team deep into Belfast High School territory. A penalty following a lineout infringement gave Jim McCartney the opportunity to convert another penalty kick which increased the Limavady GS lead to 13-8. From the restart a series of mistakes from the Limavady GS pack presented Simon White with a penalty opportunity, which he converted, to reduce the Limavady Grammar School lead to 13-11.

The Limavady pack now started to take control of the set piece plays. Good work from Ben Riley presented David Brown with the opportunity to score a try. Jim McCartney was successful with the conversion to give the Limavady Grammar School team a 20-11 in the final quarter of the game. The Belfast High School responded positively to the encouragement they were receiving from their large section of supporters. They did manage to finish on something of a high when Carl Mullett displayed great footwork and ran in for an unconverted try. However, that was not enough to prevent Limavady Grammar School from winning this intriguing encounter by 20-16.

 
Banbridge Academy 8-8 Dromore High School

Possibly the biggest crowd of the day was present at the game involving Banbridge Academy and Dromore High School. This was an historic day in the history of the Ulster Schools’ Cup in that it was the first time a senior team from Dromore High School had participated in the second oldest rugby competition in the world!

The game was played in front of a massive crowd of supporters and it proved to be a great example of schoolboy rugby with both teams giving off their best and thoroughly enjoying the experience.

Dromore started the brighter of the two sides and were unlucky not to score early on when fullback, Ben Martin, lost possession of the ball close to the Banbridge line. For the next twenty minutes both teams were well organised in defence but it was the Dromore team that dominated territory due to some intelligent kicking from half backs, Rhys Dale and Reuben Cobb. They got the reward just before the half hour mark and took a 3-0 lead with a penalty from captain, Ben Martin, after a period of sustained pressure. For the remainder of the half Banbridge had possession in the Dromore 22m area but could not give over the line.

The 2nd half was a different story to the first with Banbridge Academy dominating both territory and possession for long periods of time. The home team was held up over the Dromore High School twice in the early stages of the second period. They played smart rugby and got a deserved score midway through the second half when their industrios hooker, Timmy Beattie scrambled over the corner to touch down for an unconverted try to give his team a 5-3 lead. Two minutes later the Banbridge Academy team was back in the Dromore half and Ross Cartmill kicked a penalty to see his Banbridge Academy team into an 8-3 lead with just seven minutes remaining. From the ensuing kick-off by Aaron Atkinson the Dromore side won a scrum. Their back line produced a nice play out wide which saw them get behind the Banbridge Academy defence where they won a penalty.

Reuben Cobb went for the corner from the lineout the excellent Richard Dickson and Aaron Lyttle combined to produce a move which finished when Aaron Lyttle scored in the corner. The conversion was missed from a tight angle which left the scoreboard reading 8-8. With just two minutes to go Banbridge had the opportunity to win the game from a penalty but the kick was pulled just wide which ensured the game finished as an 8-8 draw. The teams will meet again at 2-00pm on Wednesday 11th January at Dromore Rugby Club for the next instalment of this Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup 2nd Round “Derby” encounter.

 
Foyle College 10-19 Regent House

Foyle and Londonderry College hosted Regent House School in a Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup game the Regent House team won by 19-10. It became very clear from the start of the game that both teams were planning to play this contest with contrasting styles. Foyle and Londonderry College started off playing a fast, high tempo game with the Regent House School team playing a much closer and tighter style which might have been more suited to the difficult underfoot conditions. Fifteen minutes into the game it was the Regent House team that struck first. From a lineout in the Foyle College 22m area the ball was won and a well-executed driven maul was finished off when Matthew McFarland was awarded the touchdown. Robbie Johnston added the conversion to see the Regent House team into a 7-0 lead.

Foyle College recovered from this setback and stuck to their approach to the game. With the final play of the first half the Foyle College team won a lineout close to the Regent House line. The ball was won and played off the top, moved wide where outside centre, Matthew Alford, made a line break. Matthew then off-loaded a clever pass to his winger, Ben Galbraith, who then off-loaded to Keelin Coyle who finished off with an unconverted try in the corner to leave the Regent House team with a 7-5 lead at the break.

The Regent House team started the second half displaying great intensity in all they did. They increased their lead to 14-5 when Robert Hull reacted quickly to a charged down kick to gather the ball and scamper in for a try which was converted by Robbie Johnston. In what proved to a disappointing third quarter for the Foyle College team the Regent House team scored another try. Good pressure presented the opportunity for Robert Hull to score his second try of the game.

The conversion attempt was unsuccessful but the Regent House School team had now opened up a 19-5 lead. The Foyle College team stuck to their attacking philosophy and in the final few minutes of the game got rewarded for their commitment. The team maintained the ball for multiple phases and their talented scrum half, Killéne Thornton, saw a gap, went round the corner and beat two opposition defenders for pace and before touching down for an unconverted try to leave the final score reading Foyle and Londonderry College 10 Regent House School 19.

 
Friends’ School Lisburn 57-7 Antrim GS

It was a very busy morning at Friends’ School, Lisburn when Antrim Grammar School turned up to play their 2nd Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup game. As well as the rugby it was the Friends’ School Open Morning and there was a good crowd of interested spectators who came along to witness the attack minded Friends’ School team win the game by 57-7. The Friends’ School team started the game in a very impressive manner. They put early pressure on a very committed Antrim Grammar School team and forced the visitors into conceding an early penalty. Ben McCaughey converted the penalty kick to give the Friends’ School team a 3-0 lead. The team captain, Adam Milligan, took advantage of a clever lineout move, added to good work from his backs, to gather the ball and run in for a try. Ben McCaughey added the conversion to put the home team into a 10-0 lead. The speed of the Friends’ School back three players saw them run the ball from their own 22m area on a counter attack which finished when Adam Milligan touched down for his second try of the morning. Ben McCaughey added the conversion to increase the Friends’ School lead to 17-0.

The Antrim Grammar School team then took advantage of some very weak Friends’ School defence. Their impressive scrum half, Callum Hull, ghosted his way past a number of Friends’ School defenders to run in for a try. Callum converted the try to reduce the deficit to 17-7. The Friends’ School team responded with a try from George Pringle, which was converted by Ben McCaughey, to increase their lead to 24-7. The Antrim GS pack, with JJ McKee to the fore, was taking the game to the Friends’ School team. However, a loose pass was picked off by David Stewart who outpaced a number of chasing defenders to run in for a try. What made this all the more special was that it was David’s first try in seven years of playing rugby at Friends’ School!! Ben McCaughey added the extras to see his team into a 31-7 lead. Just before halftime David Newell scored a try, again converted by Ben McCaughey, to see the Friends’ School, Lisburn team into a 38-7 lead at the break.

The first Friends’ School score of the second half occurred as a result of a well worked set piece move from a scrum. Space was created in the opposition defence which was exploited by Bradley Mulholland. Bradley finished off with a fine try, which went unconverted, to increase the Friends’ School lead to 43-7. Clever use of possession by the Friends’ School backline then presented David Newell with the opportunity to score his second try of the game. Ben McCaughey converted the try to extend the Friends’ School, Lisburn lead to 50-7. With the final play of the game George Pringle made a great solo run which finished off with a try, which he converted himself, to leave the final score reading Friends’ School, Lisburn 57 Antrim Grammar School 7.

 
Portadown College 20-0 Wellington College

Portadown College recorded a morale boosting 20-0 victory when they hosted the Wellington College, Belfast team in the 2nd Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. The Portadown College team took the initiative from the start of the game and pressurised the Wellington College team into conceding an early penalty in front of their posts. Matthew Neill stepped to coolly slot the ball over the crossbar and between the uprights to put the Portadown team into a 3-0 lead. The heavy Portadown College pitch meant both sides struggled to play an expansive game despite the best intentions of both sets of players.

The Portadown team was able to control a lot of possession but frustratingly knocked on numerous balls when they were in potentially good scoring positions. Wellington College had a number of opportunities as well with players such as James Blanchflower, Niall McGrath, capt, Aaron Nelson and Marcus Smyth asking questions of the home defence. Close to the interval Portadown College pressure forced the Wellington College team into turning over possession. A foot race ensued and it was the Portadown College outhalf, Matthew Neill who displayed deft footwork skills in controlling the ball over the Wellington College line and scoring the try. Matthew added the conversion to leave the Portadown College team with a 10-0 lead at the break.

The start of the second half saw a period of scrappy play from both teams with neitrher side able to stamp any real authority on the proceedings. The Portadown College team did look the more likely to score but a mixture of poor decision making, handling errors and some good scramble defence from the Wellington College team kept the Portadown team at bay. That was until the final ten minutes of the game when the Portadown College team sealed their win. Scott McDowell scored an unconverted try and then their hard working No 8, Stewart Hodgen, finished off a well-worked move with an unconverted try. That ensured the final score at the end of this 2nd Round Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup tie read Portadown College 20 Wellington College, Belfast 0.

 
Lurgan College 39-0 Strabane Academy

It was only a few seasons ago that Strabane Academy found themselves beaten in the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ 3rdxv Cup. This season they found themselves travelling to play Lurgan College in the 2nd Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup. It is tribute to the work undertaken by Niall McDonnell and his rugby staff in Strabane that the Strabane Academy 1stxv found themselves in this positive position.

The Lurgan College team won the game by 39-0 but the Strabane Academy team never displayed anything other than 100% commitment and their players will have learnt a lot from the experiences gained against a good Lurgan College team.

The Lurgan College team started well and centre, Richard Hull, broke through to score a try under the posts with just two minutes on the clock. Scott Wilson added the conversion to see the Lurgan College team into a 7-0 lead. With difficult conditions underfoot making running rugby difficult, the Strabane Academy team defended with great resolve and turned over the home team regularly with some excellent work on the ground. Strabane Academy players such as Oran O’Neiil, Jack Sayers and Jonathan Gamble were particularly imporessive in this regard. However, the persistent pressure from the Lurgan College team eventually paid off when their impressive young No 8, Reuben McCreery, crashed over from close range to touch down for a try. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful but the Lurgan College team was able to take a 12-0 lead into the halftime break.

Lurgan started the second half very brightly and, from the restart, quickly added a Scott Wilson penalty to increase their lead to 15-0. Again, the Lurgan pack quickly made their way up the field and, after an interchange of passes between backs and forwards, Scott Wilson sniped around the edge of a breakdown to run in under the posts and score a try. Scott added the conversion to increase the Lurgan College lead to 22-0. By now the Lurgan College team was playing with a confidence that seemed to be missing in the first half. In particular their backs, with the pace of Neil Allen and Adam Harrison causing a tiring visitors defence problems, looked impressive.

Full back, Adam Harrison, scored an unconverted try in the corner to take the score to 27-0. Then, with just minutes remaining, Scott Wilson ducked under the Strabane Academy defence once again to touch down for a try. Scott converted the try to increase the Lurgan College lead to 34-0. Lurgan College then launched one final attack from inside their 22m area. This finished when Adam Harrison touched down for an unconverted try, following good work from Jack Dunn, to secure the 39-0 win for the Lurgan College team against a more than gallant Strabane Academy team.

 
Larne Grammar School 3-48 Dalriada School

Larne Grammar School hosted Dalriada School in the 2nd Round of the Danske Bank Ulster Schools’ Cup in a game the Dalriada School team won by 48-3. The game was played in near perfect conditions and provided some excellent schoolboy rugby for the enthusiastic supporters from both schools. A nervous start from both teams saw both packs of forwards trying to dominate each other with neither gaining much of an advantage and both backlines getting frustrated with their spectating role. The Larne tactics of driving close ensured they had lots of possession but were unable to make any ground. When they then resorted to kicking in behind the Dalriada defence they had to deal with a dangerous Dalriada counter-attack. It was from such an instance that Dalriada gained their first points when Ewan Rodgers, playing on the left wing, was on the end of one such counter-attack to score a try out wide on the left. Paddy Elliott was successful with the conversion to give his team a 7-0 lead.

Almost immediately Larne hit back with a penalty which came as a result of a Dalriada player straying offside in front of their posts. Jonny Farquhar was successful with the kick and the Larne GS team had reduced their deficit to 7-3. With both teams defending well from set pieces the obvious difference between them was the pace of the Dalriada School backs. Thomas Hunter scored a try from forty metres out following broken play The conversion was missed but the Dalriada team had a 12-3 lead. Thomas scored another in similar fashion just before the break. Peter Elliott added the conversion to give the Dalriada School team a 19-3 lead at the break.

Five minutes after the restart Thomas Hunter completed his hat-trick with a superb solo run and ridiculous dummy to score an unconverted try out wide on the right which increased the Dalriada lead to 24-3.From the ensuing kick-off Dalriada produced rugby straight off the training pitch to once again cross the whitewash and to no-one’s surprise it was that man Thomas Hunter yet again – with his fourth try of the game. Once again Peter Elliott added the two points to put his team 31-3 ahead.

By this stage the Dalriada bench was now empty and Luke Pollock found space to attack the Larne defence before off-loading to Jacob Fleck who used his size and strength to make it to the line for a n unconverted try to put the Dalriada team into an unassailable 36-3 lead. Ewan Rodgers then scored two tries, one of which was converted by Jacob Fleck, to secure the 48-3 victory for the rampant Dalriada School team.